Women’s ice hockey heads into NCAA Tournament following ECAC Hockey semifinal loss


Zack Hochberg

Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey will play No. 10 Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Milton Woolfenden, Staff Writer

After three long periods Friday night, No. 3 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey found itself leaving Ingalls Rink eliminated from the ECAC Hockey playoffs with a 5-1 loss to the No. 2 Colgate Raiders.

This was the third meeting of the season between the Bobcats and Raiders, with the former winning both of the previous matchups.

Despite this, Colgate head coach Greg Fargo said his team wasn’t changing its strategy going into Friday’s game.

“As the year goes on we become more familiar with our opponents and you get to see more tendencies,” Fargo said.

As the Bobcats’ offense struggled to get into a groove, Quinnipiac graduate student goaltender Logan Angers only surrendered one goal in the first period, despite being bombarded with 16 shots.

“She was outstanding … she’s calm, she’s confident, she’s ready for big moments,” Quin- nipiac head coach Cass Turner said.

Despite the team’s less-than-perfect showing, Turner praised the team’s effort.

“Our team showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight today,” Turner said. “We didn’t start the game the way we needed to, but I thought that we kept fighting throughout the game, there was no quit in our game.”

While they still weren’t able to get a shot past Raiders sophomore goaltender Hannah Murphy, the Bobcats came out in the second and third periods with a much better mentality.

“We started to really play with confidence af- ter the first period but we’ve got to be ready to play the way we did in the second and the third at the start of the game,” Turner said.

After two periods where they had the majority of possession time, the Raiders went into the locker room up 4-0. However, the team made sure not to get ahead of themselves.

“We talk about having a 0-0 mentality,” Fargo said. “When you do that you’re just able to turn the page and not play based on what the scoreboard says.”

The Raiders continued to play solid hockey and trusted one another as Murphy made saves against the Bobcats’ shooters.

“(Trust) is everything,” Murphy said. “Having a team in front of me I can trust allows me to play my game.”

While Colgate played disciplined hockey for the majority of the game, it began taking more penalties as the third period wore on.

“We took some penalties, that’s an open win- dow for (Quinnipiac),” Fargo said. “You just don’t want to add emotion to the game.”

Senior forward Alexa Hoskin did get the Bobcats on the board in the third, but the Raiders added an empty-net goal to secure the victory and advance to the championship game against Clarkson.

Despite this latest performance, the Bobcats don’t plan to make any major changes to their game plan moving forward.

“There just needs to be a few changes here and there to put the puck in the net,” Turner said during Monday’s media availibility. “We need a little more crash and bang around the net.”

On Selection Sunday the Bobcats earned an at-large bid and will face No. 10 Penn State in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament. This is Penn States’ first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

“I feel like it’s been a long time coming for Penn State, they’ve had some really good teams,” Turner said.

The Bobcats find themselves in familiar territory in the Columbus regional as an at-large bid for the second year in a row.

“Playing in the NCAA Tournament there’s a lot to manage, so it’s nice to be going back to the same place,” Turner said.

The Bobcats also find themselves matched up against the same conference. Both Penn State and Syracuse, whom Quinnipiac played last year in the opening round of the tournament, play in the CHA.

While Quinnipiac continues to struggle to get into an offensive groove, Penn State is currently riding an 11-game win streak.

“They have great depth through their offen- sive lines,” Turner said. “I think it’s going to be fun for us.”

However, while in ECAC Hockey, Quinni- piac faced a ranked team nearly every week, the Nittany Lions aren’t as accustomed to that level of competition in the CHA.

The last game Penn State played against a ranked team was in November – a 5-1 loss to then-No. 3 Minnesota. In the team’s 10 match-ups against ranked teams this season, the Nittany Lions were 2-7-1, being outscored 33-15, including two shutouts.

One thing the Bobcats should take note of is that the Nittany Lions went 0-4 against the ECAC in the regular season.

However, after being shutout in their first game against Yale 3-0 on Nov. 18, Penn State took the Bulldogs to overtime in a 2-1 loss to close the weekend.

In the all-time series against the Nittany Lions, Quinnipiac leads 4-0-1. However, it’s been over seven years since these teams faced off against each other. This will also be the first time the teams meet in the postseason.

If they win on Thursday, the Bobcats would face off against the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes for the second straight season. Last year, even with a program-record 73 saves from graduate student transfer goaltender Corinne Schroeder, the Buckeyes came out victorious by a score of 4-3 in double overtime.

Aside from the team’s five freshmen and graduate student transfer Shay Maloney, everyone on the Quinnipiac roster faced Ohio State last year. However, neither of these teams are the same as they were a year ago.

Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday.