Quinnipiac falls to No. 1 Ohio State in NCAA Regional Final


Amanda Geraci

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team has now lost to the Buckeyes in back-to-back Regional Finals.

Colin Kennedy, Staff Writer

For the second consecutive year, the No. 8 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey season ended at the hands of No. 1 Ohio State in the NCAA Regional Final Saturday, this time by a final score of 5-2. 

Less than 48 hours removed from a marathon triple-overtime win against Penn State, the Bobcats were faced with a tall task going up against the Buckeyes’ high-powered offense. Despite the tired legs, Quinnipiac came out and battled with the nation’s best throughout the first period. 

With just under five minutes to play in the period the Bobcats were gifted two consecutive power plays off a pair of Ohio State penalties. Junior defender Kendall Cooper finally capitalized on the woman-advantage with just over a minute remaining in the period when she found twine from 40 feet out. 

Heading into the first intermission, Quinnipiac had to be feeling good about itself, considering it was 26-2-0 on the season when scoring first. Unfortunately, the No. 1 team in the country was about to remind everyone who the defending national champions are. 

“To come back and battle the way they did, showed a lot of character,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “When they got that first goal it was a wake-up call for all of us.”

The Buckeyes came out fast, flying up and down the ice firing eight shots on goal in the first two minutes of the period. Quinnipiac graduate student goaltender Logan Angers kept the Ohio State attack at bay for more than 30 minutes, highlighted by a sprawling glove save coming off the stick of graduate student defenseman Sophie Jaques. 

Angers was only able to do so much however, as a high-sticking penalty on freshman forward Madison Chantler opened the door for the Buckeyes. Ohio State graduate student forward Gabby Rosenthal delivered on the power play when she knocked a rare loose puck past Angers to tie the game. 

“A focus for us was to get to the net and get those rebounds,” Rosenthal said. “Crashing the net as best as we could to get past that goaltender.”

Following the Rosenthal goal, Ohio State took complete control of the game, outskating the Bobcats to every puck. With four minutes remaining the Buckeyes took the lead thanks to senior defenseman Lauren Bernard. The defenseman rattled a shot off the crossbar and into the net to give Ohio State a lead it would never lose. 

As the second period came to an end it was evident that the triple-overtime game had taken a lot out of Quinnipiac. The offensive attack for the Bobcats had completely disappeared as the Buckeyes outshot them 24-3 in the second frame.  

Down one as the third period began, Quinnipiac tightened up its defense, not allowing Ohio State to get the same volume of shots on net. With just over 15 minutes remaining, senior forward Alexa Hoskin was able to force a turnover creating a breakaway attempt, but her shot was sent aside by Buckeyes junior goaltender Amanda Thiele.

Ohio State once again turned up the pressure with 10 minutes remaining as freshman defender Emma Peschel found a loose puck and fired it into the net. Now down two, the Bobcats had to play hyper-aggressive which turned out costly when senior defenseman Kate Reilly got called for tripping. 

The penalty proved lethal for Quinnipiac as Jaques, one of the nation’s best players, smelt blood in the water. She fired the puck past Angers’ right shoulder to give Ohio State a commanding three-goal lead. 

With under four minutes remaining the Bobcats went into desperation mode, emptying their net and firing towards Ohio State’s net. Junior defender Maddy Samoskevich connected on one of those desperation heaves, but it was too little too late for Quinnipiac.

The Buckeyes’ forecheck didn’t allow the Bobcats to empty their net for almost two minutes, and as soon as they did Jaques buried an empty-netter to put a dagger into Quinnipiac’s season. 

With the win, Ohio State advances to the Frozen Four in Duluth, Minnesota, next weekend. Quinnipiac will return home to Hamden with one win in the NCAA Tournament, but not the result it wanted.