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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac women’s hockey enters pivotal season with high hopes

Aidan Sheedy
Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey begins the regular season on Sept. 29 against Maine.

 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey recorded a program-best 15-1-2 first half in 2021-22. It bettered that last season, going 17-1 in its first 18 games. The back half of each campaign was considerably rockier, lowlighted by a sweep at St. Lawrence in February of 2022 and an embarrassing 11-3 loss at Princeton just shy of a year later.

Each time, however, the Bobcats rallied back into form for the ECAC Hockey Tournament, only to lose to Colgate in the semifinals. They then pulled it back together for the NCAA Tournament, just to lose to Ohio State in the regional round.

Two years in a row, two eerily similar results. Debatably the two most successful seasons in program history, stopped short of the ultimate goal by the same two teams. Even in 2015-16, Quinnipiac’s lone conference championship season, the Bobcats’ Frozen Four aspirations once again came to a halt in Columbus.

This season is the last kick at the can for much of the Bobcats’ long-time core. Most of players who were rostered for the COVID-impacted 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons are set for their final run in blue and gold.

“Its going to take a lot of work to have result be different than its been, but they want it, and that is the best place for us to be,” head coach Cass Turner said in the ECAC preseason coaches call. “They’re only going to be as strong as they are connected and that’s where they’re diving in right now, how well they can support each other and how connected can they be.”

Forward Lexie Adzija, who led Quinnipiac in scoring as a sophomore and a junior, graduated last spring, as did her co-captain Zoe Boyd, a defensive rock for the Bobcats.

Olivia Mobley, the forward who led the team in scoring the past two seasons, joined the enemy, transferring to Ohio State for her senior season.

What remains are five graduate students and five seniors hoping that the third time’s the charm, and this is the year they break through the regional round and book the program’s first trip to the Frozen Four.

The men’s team proved that saying has merit in April, turning its third Frozen Four appearance into a national championship. What will it take for the women to forge a similar fate?


Adzija, Mobley and Boyd are not the only significant losses Quinnipiac suffered in the offseason. Forward Shay Maloney, a 15-goal scorer a year ago, graduated and turned pro, as did defender Courtney Vorster. The two are set to play together for Leksands IF in Sweden this season.

The Bobcats will also be without goaltender Catie Boudiette, who stepped away from hockey in March. In three seasons for Quinnipiac, Boudiette has more career shutouts (nine) than games where she’s allowed a goal (six).

In their place enter a class of five new Bobcats, most notably BU graduate transfer forward Julia Nearis.

It’s the second-straight season Quinnipiac has brought in a graduate student ringer from a struggling east coast team. Last year it was Maloney from Brown, this year it’s Nearis — BU’s leading scorer in 2022-23. She’s not a traditional center, nor the shooter that Maloney was, but the Massachusetts native stepped up at the face-off dot last season and is capable of quarterbacking a power play. Where Nearis shines the most, however, is in drives to the net, where her speed and puck-handling ability have a habit of making defenders look stupid.

“She’s a phenomenal offensive hockey player,” Turner said. “She’s creative and patient with the puck, seeing her in practice, she just sees things in such a great light offensively so we’re excited to add that into our lineup.”

Joining Nearis out of the portal is sophomore forward Emerson Jarvis. The Albertan appeared in 20 games for national runner-up Ohio State last season, recording three points. Jarvis should see an elevated role in Hamden in 2023-24.

The clear star of the Bobcats’ three-woman freshman class is forward Kahlen Lamarche. At 17 years old, Lamarche broke the OWHL U22 Elite scoring record last season, tallying 82 points in 42 games for an astounding 1.95 points per game. Her elite shot should help replace some of the team’s missing scoring output.

“(Lamarche) will certainly find the back of the net a ton this year,” Turner said.

Defender Brynne West and goaltender Lucy Phillips make up the remainder of Quinnipiac’s additions.

West is a lockdown defensive player who spent the past four years competing for the Chicago Mission program and Fenwick High School in Illinois, where she was an all-state selection. Phillips, who stands 5 feet, 10 inches, likely won’t see significant playing time this season, but projects to be a future starter with a strong frame and recovery ability.


19 players return from last year’s team, including seven 20+ point scorers, led by junior forward Maya Labad (31) and graduate student forward Sadie Peart (28). On defense, All-ECAC Second Teamer Kendall Cooper, a senior, alongside classmate Maddy Samoskevich and graduate student Kate Reilly make up an experienced trio for the Bobcats.

In net, Logan Angers returns for a sixth year of college hockey, granted by COVID eligibility and a redshirt freshman season. Angers ranked top-10 in the NCAA last season in both goals against average and shutouts, highlighted by a career-high 50-save performance in Quinnipiac’s triple overtime NCAA Tournament opening win over Penn State.


Like the past two seasons, the Bobcats will undoubtedly start strong, storming their way through a mediocre early-season non-conference schedule and likely the first half of conference play. But when the schedule moves out of the dead of winter and the lights get brighter, Quinnipiac has to turn up the heat.

The ECAC is arguably the strongest women’s conference in the NCAA, with six teams ranked in this week’s preseason USCHO poll. Quinnipiac has proven time and time again not just that it can hang with the big dogs, but that it is one. It shutout both ECAC champion Colgate and national champion Wisconsin last season.

They set the groundwork in 2021-22 and 2022-23 with two monumental NCAA Tournament wins. But there’s still work to be done. When they make that fateful walk to the ice in six months time with their season on the line, perhaps again in Columbus, what will it take to flip the script and send the Bobcats dancing further than they ever have before?

“We won 30 games, our men won 34 and they won a national championship,” Turner said. “That’s not to say that it’s just four more wins, it certainly is a big step, but I think for our group beating Wisconsin last season and seeing them go on to win the national championship, it’s feeling closer … They expect big things.”

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Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor
Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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