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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey on verge of collapse amid four-game skid

The+Quinnipiac+womens+ice+hockey+team+gathers+in+a+pre+game+huddle+for+a+game+against+LIU+on+Dec.+30%2C+2023%2C+at+the+M%26T+Bank+Arena.
Nicholas Pestritto
The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team gathers in a pre game huddle for a game against LIU on Dec. 30, 2023, at the M&T Bank Arena.

It’s very rare in sports that a team will dominate their way through a season without at least encountering a speed bump. Bumps in the road are common, and most of the time, great teams are better off for it.

Perched atop that speed bump is exactly where Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey currently finds itself, and if it’s not careful that speed bump could send it barreling toward disaster.

“We’re fragile right now in our belief in what we can do,” head coach Cass Turner said after a Jan. 26 loss to Yale. “We’re there for certain moments, we’re there for certain periods and then it falls off as soon as something hard happens.”

This wouldn’t be an overly concerning two weeks for a team that is still ranked No. 9 in the country despite four-straight losses – for the first time since 2018 – but the problem is, the same thing happened each of the last three years.

The Bobcats ended their final eight games of the 2022-23 regular season at 4-4, one of those losses being an 11-3 beatdown to Princeton. They did find themselves in the NCAA Regional Finals, but were outclassed by Ohio State for the second-straight year.

The biggest problem in their recent skid? Losing close games against good teams. A home loss to Cornell and on the road against Yale have seen the opposing team out-execute the Bobcats down the stretch. A common theme between the two losses has been numerous penalties  that buried Quinnipiac late in games.

“We really need to be a bit more disciplined to stay out of the penalty box,” Turner said following a 4-3 loss to Cornell. “It could have been a very different game.”

It’s not just penalties either, as a poorly-timed line change in the third period against Brown allowed enough space for freshman forward Margot Norehad to pull off a Michigan goal. The Bobcats certainly don’t want to see themselves on the receiving end of a SportsCenter Top 10 No. 1 play when they should be ramping up for another postseason run.

“We got to keep it simple and get back to understanding that we’re a good hockey team,” Turner said.

Following a 2-1 loss to Yale, Turner mentioned how, “we can put the puck in the back of the net,” and she’s right. The Bobcats are fourth in the nation with 106 goals. There’s a slight problem, though. They haven’t scored more than three goals against a ranked opponent since Dec. 9, potting six in a 6-5 win over No. 12 Princeton.

That being said, barring a total collapse, this is still a top-10 team, but they’ll have to prove it. Home games against Princeton, No. 4 Clarkson and No. 8 St. Lawrence will give the Bobcats ample opportunities to find themselves against good competition before the postseason.

There’s plenty of chances to right the ship but there’s plenty of chances to sink it, too.

“If this is the adversity we needed, then this is the adversity we need to get there,” Turner said.

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Colin Kennedy, Associate Sports Editor

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