Quinnipiac outlasts Penn State 3-2 in 3OT thriller, advance to NCAA Regional Final


Quinnipiac Athletics

Quinnipiac women’s hockey 3-2 win over Penn State in triple overtime Thursday is the sixth-longest game in women’s NCAA Tournament history.

Colin Kennedy, Staff Writer

109 minutes and 37 seconds. That is how many minutes it took the No. 8 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team to outwill No. 10 Penn State, 3-2 in a triple-overtime classic, where they advanced to face Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday night. 

This matchup had the makings of a classic playoff hockey game from the jump. Bobcats graduate student forward Shay Maloney inserted herself into the game early when she tapped a back-handed rebound into the back of the net. The Bobcats went up one five minutes in, a sign of good things to come for them in a year where they were 25-2-0 when scoring first. 

Quinnipiac kept the pressure turned up throughout the first period. Its best chance after the goal came when sophomore forward Maya Labad was left all alone with Penn State junior goaltender Josie Bothun, who sent the puck aside. 

Both goaltenders shined in the first period and throughout the entire game. Quinnipiac graduate student goaltender Logan Angers blanked the Nittany Lions in the first frame, making a sliding-pad save on junior forward Kiara Zanon for the first of many highlights on the night. 

As the second period began, Penn State also started to ramp up its playoff intensity. The Nittany Lions tied the game at one when Zanon deked out Angers with to send a back-hander into the net. 

Zanon’s goal marked the shifting of the tides in Columbus, as shortly after Penn State was given a power-play opportunity. 

Despite having the second-best penalty kill in NCAA Division I hockey, the Bobcats were unable to hold off the Nittany Lions’ attack. Junior forward Olivia Wallin entered into the conversation when she deflected a puck top-shelf to give her team the lead with just over two minutes left in regulation. 

The usual final 20 minutes began with Quinnipiac’s back against the wall. It was given a season-saving opportunity when Penn State was called for having too many players on the ice. The Bobcat power play pounced on Bothun, leaving her sprawled on the ice without a glove, but the refs blew the play dead before the Nittany Lions even had a chance to control the puck. 

Quinnipiac was officially on life-support with just under seven minutes remaining when senior defenseman Kate Reilly brought it back to life. Reilly dangled the puck past a pair of Nittany Lion defenders, and then fired a rocket to the left-side of the net. 

The third period came to an end with the teams knotted at two goals apiece, 60 minutes was not enough to decide a winner. Come to find out neither would 80 … or 100 be sufficient.

The Bobcats brought the offensive intensity to Penn State early in the first overtime, hoping for a short burst to end it early. Despite having a solid performance, Bothun had trouble reeling in loose pucks which led to multiple scoring opportunities for Quinnipiac. 

Bothun and the Nittany Lions settled back into rhythm as the game entered deeper into the fourth period, as both teams entered a stalemate. The refs put their whistles in their pockets and let the teams fight it out. 

The Bobcats’ best chance in the first overtime came when junior defenseman Kendall Cooper was left all alone in the slot, but sailed the shot over the net. 

The faced paced, tension filled, first overtime ended and gave way to a much slower-paced, but all the more tense, second overtime. Quinnipiac continued to fire the puck at Bothun who managed to deflect every shot sent her way. By the second overtime, both goaltenders had each tallied over 50 saves. 

Once again, neither team was able to muster up a quality chance strong enough to beat the pair of elite goaltenders, so a third overtime period was needed. 

As the Bobcats entered the third overtime period it became their second longest game since at least 2010, and the sixth longest game in women’s NCAA Tournament history. Luckily for Quinnipiac, it wouldn’t have to wait much longer to punch its ticket to the next round. 

With just over 10 minutes remaining in the third overtime, freshman forward Madison Chantler fired a shot that will long be remembered within the walls of the women’s ice hockey program. 

Receiving a pass from junior forward Olivia Mobley, Chantler sniped a wrist shot to the right of Bothun, who couldn’t react in enough time to save Penn State’s season, and all the while creating a defining moment for the Bobcats. 

Quinnipiac is going to need all the rest it can get as it prepares to face reigning national champion, No. 1 Ohio State, Saturday at 5 p.m. The date with the Buckeyes is the Bobcats’ second-straight season with a Frozen Four trip on the line.