No. 4 Quinnipiac skates circles around Princeton in shutout effort


Aidan Sheedy

The No. 4 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team recorded a shutout for the 11th time this season Saturday afternoon.

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

HAMDEN, Conn – There is an expectation for playoff-bound teams to beat up on lower-caliber opponents and the No. 4 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team did just that. The Bobcats moved to 24-4-0 (14-2-0 ECAC Hockey) on the year after a 4-0 victory against the unranked Princeton Tigers Saturday afternoon.

It was a dominating effort all around for the Bobcats, as they maintained puck possession for the majority of the matchup. The suffocating offensive pressure allowed for a number of scoring chances for the hosts.

After five minutes of halfhearted hockey, Quinnipiac junior defender Maddy Samoskevich found a loose puck and fired a shot at Princeton freshman goaltender Taylor Hyland. The shot slipped right through Hyland’s pads and despite what looked like an in-front deflection by senior forward Alexa Hoskin, the goal was good for the seventh of Samoskevich’s career and a 1-0 Bobcats lead. 

“I think we’re really dialing in on that and just getting pucks in there (and) creating chances,” Samoskevich said.

Later on in the first, senior defender Kate Reilly doubled Quinnipiac’s lead. Reilly toe dragged around a Tigers’ defender and blew a slapshot past Hyland for her fifth goal of the year.

The Tigers got their best chance of the game early in the second, as Quinnipiac sophomore forward Maya Labad was sent to the box for interference. Immediately after, Reilly was forced to sit for another interference call. The Tigers mustered a few scoring chances on the power play, but Quinnipiac graduate student goaltender Logan Angers stood tall in net. 

“I think it’s a sense of urgency when you’re older, and you don’t have a lot of time left,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “(Angers is) calm and composed, engaged, she trusts herself and she trusts her teammates.”

Beyond Angers having yet another superb season, a big reason for the Bobcats’ success today (and all year) has been their penalty kill, which is statistically the best in the country. At 94.1% coming into the game, the unit has been one of Quinnipiac’s strongest throughout conference play. 

“We don’t take a lot of penalties,” Turner said. “We’re the least penalized team in the country, (though) we might not be after today. We do a nice job with our sticks, we do a nice job pressuring.”

After a few minutes of both sides turning the puck over in the neutral zone, the second period horn sounded with no update on the scoreboard. 

Coming out of the locker room, the Tigers skated with no enthusiasm allowing the Bobcats to control the puck often. After a tripping call on junior forward Annie Kuehl, Quinnipiac was able to use the power play to get back on the board. 

Junior defender Kendall Cooper grabbed the puck right in front of the net and poked it five-hole on Hyland, extending the Bobcats’ lead to three. Cooper’s fourth goal of the year, along with her assist on the Samoskevich goal, pushed her career point total to 49, tying fellow defenseman, graduate student Zoe Boyd, for seventh-most by any active skater on the team. 

With exactly one minute to go in regulation, junior forward Olivia Mobley slammed the door shut. Her unassisted power-play goal gave the Bobcats a late 4-0 lead and all but sealed the win.

“I think they kind of seemed out of position,” Mobley said. “Hopefully something opened up and luckily it did.”

The shutout was Angers’ sixth of the year and 11th overall for Quinnipiac, the most by any team in the nation. The strong goaltending has allowed Turner to not have to worry about the uncharacteristic penalties.

“Beginning from the top of the ice to the back of the ice, you know, our goaltenders make great saves,” Turner said. “For us, that’s your best penalty killer.”

The Bobcats will now travel to the historic Hobey Baker Rink for a matchup against these same Tigers tomorrow. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m. as Quinnipiac looks to improve in the ECAC Hockey standings. 

“We’re gonna need to be ready to play Princeton again and on their ice,” Turner said. “It’s going to be a challenge tomorrow.”