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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Penalties doom Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey in first loss of season

Junior+forward+Maya+Labad+scored+Quinnipiacs+only+goal+in+a+3-1+road+loss+to+Clarkson+Friday+afternoon.
Aidan Sheedy
Junior forward Maya Labad scored Quinnipiac’s only goal in a 3-1 road loss to Clarkson Friday afternoon.

POTSDAM, N.Y. — Penalties. Penalties. And more penalties.

That’s what defined Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey’s 3-1 fall to Clarkson Friday afternoon.

The No. 5 Bobcats took five minor penalties against the No. 6 Golden Knights — who took four penalties of their own — in their first loss of the season Friday. With a combined nine penalties between them, the rival teams played at even strength for just 70% of the game.

“I think our girls are definitely disappointed, but I think we can point to some things that changed the game,” Bobcats head coach Cass Turner said. 

And between hooking and holding, cross-checking and tripping, Quinnipiac’s second and third offensive lines just couldn’t stay out of the box.

“It’s really challenging to win games when you take as many penalties as we took today,” Turner said.

Amid the penalties, the Bobcats didn’t ever seem to find their groove. 

Junior forward Maya Labad only put Quinnipiac on the scoreboard in the waning minutes of the game — and at that point, it was already too late. 

Three different Golden Knights had found the back of the net by the time Labad scored with Bobcats graduate student goaltender Logan Angers pulled.

“It’s certainly out of character,” Turner said of Quinnipiac’s striking number of penalties. “But I felt like the majority were probably stuff we could have controlled.”

“Out of character” is putting it mildly. 

Prior to their road matchup with Clarkson, it was strange to see the Bobcats take three penalties in one game — much less three in one period, as they did in the second frame against the Golden Knights. 

Averaging just two penalties per game heading into the weekend, Quinnipiac took the ice Friday as the cleanest of the 12 ECAC teams. But after spending one-sixth of the game in the box, the Bobcats have now ceded that title to Brown.

It’s not as though Quinnipiac’s aggression went unanswered. At one point, well behind the play, a Golden Knight levied a retaliatory cross-check against graduate student forward Julia Nearis hard enough to send her to the ice.

The penalty call on the Golden Knights forward who committed the infraction enraged Clarkson fans, who screamed the classic “I’m blind, I’m deaf, I want to be a ref” chant from the Cheel Arena stands.

Clarkson players bowled over Angers on two separate occasions, the second of which ended with the net off its bearings and on top of Angers.

But the Bobcats couldn’t capitalize on any of their four power plays, even letting up a shorthanded goal in the third period.

And yet, Quinnipiac’s penalty kill was a bright spot in a game clouded by chippy play — and it was instrumental in keeping the game as close as it was.

“Our PK was awesome,” Turner said. “We showed some hard grit.”

After successfully killing all five penalties Friday, the Bobcats’ penalty kill remains perfect on the season.

“That’s a good power play that we played — I think they had six power play goals going into today, so that part was really good.” Turner said. “I think, for us, we need to continue to celebrate those successes so that we can be positive and confident tomorrow.”

Asked why she thought the game was so chippy, Turner seemed confident in her answer: “It’s ECAC Hockey.”

“There’s a lot of history there,” Turner said of Clarkson and Quinnipiac. “You have to expect that, and you have to be ready to manage it.”

The Bobcats are slated to complete their North Country road trip Saturday with another conference game at St. Lawrence.

“In this league, every point matters in such an important way,” Turner said. “We got to wipe the slate clean and be ready to get back at it tomorrow.”

Puck drop in Canton, New York, is set for 3 p.m. Saturday.

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