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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

No. 8 Quinnipiac wins season opener, takes down Maine 3-0

Jack Spiegel
The Bobcats notched 31 shots-on-goal in their 3-0 win over Maine.

HAMDEN, Conn – No. 8 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey won its fifth-straight season opener Friday, defeating Maine 3-0. The Bobcats took down the Black Bears thanks to stellar performances from their graduate student core, goaltender Logan Angers and forwards Julia Nearis and Sadie Peart. 

“We’re super happy with the game today,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “We want to keep building and we’ve certainly built a ton from our exhibition game against UConn.”

Quinnipiac came out the gate on fire, as only 49 seconds into the game, senior forward Nina Steigauf sent a pass flying up ice to Peart. The Minnesota native turned the breakout pass into a two-on-one opportunity, blowing her shot past Maine senior goaltender Anna LaRose to give the Bobcats a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. 

“We used our speed early in the game very well,” Turner said. “We got in behind their defense a bunch, and to see Sadie score there, she’s been scoring so much in practice. She’s worked so much on her shot and it’s nice to see it happen for her so quickly.”

Quinnipiac was all over Maine throughout the first period, piling on 12 shots on goal. One of those shots nearly turned into a Bobcats’ goal when graduate student forward Alexa Hoskins slammed a shot towards LaRose. The Black Bears’ netminder had trouble collecting the loose puck and was forced to make a diving glove save before the puck could trickle across the goal line. 

Quinnipiac had a plethora of high quality scoring chances in the first frame, none the more dangerous than when it was awarded a penalty shot due to Maine freshman defender Ashley Kokavec covering a loose puck in front of the net. Senior defender Kendall Cooper took the penalty but LaRose was able to make a stick save, preserving a one-goal deficit. 

Much like the first period, the Bobcats came out of the locker room on the attack in the second. Just over two minutes in, Nearis received a missile of a pass up the middle from graduate student defender Kate Reilly and buried the puck through LaRose’s five-hole to extend the lead to two.  

“I like to slow the game down, sometimes it gets a bit hectic out there,” Nearis said. “I try to say ‘Take a deep breath,’ to the entire team and so far I feel like it’s been working out.” 

Despite hurling 11 shots on goal through 40 minutes the Black Bears couldn’t break through the brick wall that was Angers. 

“She was so calm today and I know our team trusts her a ton,” Turner said. “We’re so grateful to have her back and it’s nice to see her play so well in our first game this season.” 

Much like the second period, the final frame saw the Black Bears searching for any kind of life in their offensive zone, but each chance was quickly rejected by Angers. One of their closest attempts came off a breakaway from junior right winger Alyssa Wruble, but once again Angers slammed the door shut with a sprawling right pad save.

“When the pucks come close in our end I’m super engaged and talking to our team,” Angers said. “So when they do actually start getting shots on net it doesn’t feel too different from how the rest of the game was.” 

As the minutes turned to seconds, Maine pulled LaRose in an attempt to find any luck with an extra skater, but an empty-net goal from Cooper quickly put any hopes of a comeback to sleep. 

The Bobcats look for the series sweep against Maine on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Hamden. 

“I think there is a lot of really good things we did today,” Turner said. “Some really good moments defensively especially, but we’re going to keep pushing to get better for tomorrow.” 

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