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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Women’s ice hockey swept by Cornell, awaits slim-to-none NCAA tournament fate

Senior defender Maddy Samoskevich maneuvers by a Cornell defender during the ECAC Quarterfinals on March 2, 2024.
Cat Murphy
Senior defender Maddy Samoskevich maneuvers by a Cornell defender during the ECAC Quarterfinals on March 2, 2024.

ITHACA, N.Y. — It seemed like Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey had turned a corner. The Bobcats rattled off three-straight wins — albeit against subpar opponents — and were playing their best hockey since early January before heading into an ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series with Cornell.

Turns out those three wins were just a façade as the Big Red snookered Quinnipiac, sweeping it out of the conference tournament.

“That’s a great Cornell hockey team,” Turner said. “Over the two days they just kept gaining momentum.”

The Bobcats were never really in it. Cornell was just too fast, too physical, too skilled and they just couldn’t keep up. That said, it wasn’t like Quinnipiac didn’t show some grit.

A competitive Game 1 saw the Bobcats fight back from an early 2-0 hole to force overtime. But a misplayed puck by graduate student goaltender Logan Angers early in the extra frame allowed Cornell freshman forward Karel Prefontaine to capitalize and put Quinnipiac on the brink of elimination.

“I saw her getting back, but I knew that a shot would probably make it harder for her than just trying to skate it in,” Prefontaine told The Cornell Daily Sun. “She was farther back (from) her net, so I had the perfect angle.”

Game 2 was a different story.

Cornell throttled the Bobcats from the start, and it wasn’t close. Unlike the first game, Quinnipiac was never competitive, and the team fell apart at the seams. Its offense was nonexistent — only putting up 11 shots on goal — and couldn’t muster any kind of a presence in its offensive zone.

“We didn’t get the same o-zone sustained pressure,” Turner said. “That helped (the Big Red) gain momentum because it was making them uncomfortable (on Friday).”

The Bobcats’ playoff discipline also evaporated in Saturday’s contest, filling the penalty box five times. In their previous two ECAC tournament games against Harvard, they played clean hockey, and with their backs against the wall, that discipline went right out the window. While none resulted in a Cornell goal, it’s clear Quinnipiac was cracking under the pressure.

“It was different officiating from the night before,” Turner said. “Cornell made us uncomfortable.”

The Big Red’s offensive onslaught was the most impressive thing on the ice last weekend. With dynamic forwards senior Izzy Daniel, junior Lily Deliandeis and sophomores Avi Adam and Georgia Schiff, the Bobcats couldn’t keep up. Penalty trouble stalled that attack in Game 1, but once it got rolling in the second and third periods of Game 2, it just poured fuel on the fire.

“We faced an opponent that is just on their game,” Turner said. “It’s harder to bounce back.”

So where does Quinnipiac stand now?

An emotional senior forward Kendall Cooper embraced with Angers as time expired in Ithaca. The sixth-year netminder could very well have played her last game as a Bobcat this past weekend.

While Quinnipiac was eliminated from the conference tournament, its NCAA Tournament hopes are still alive — for now.

“That hope, and that potential opportunity is going to keep (the team) moving forward,” Turner said.

Only 11 teams make the NCAA Division I women’s tournament. Five receive an auto-bid for winning its conference tournament while the remaining six teams receive an at-large bid. Currently two conferences — the NEWHA and CHA — sit outside the top-11, meaning two teams that are in as of now will be knocked out come next weekend. As of publication, the Bobcats would be out.

Following the sweep, Quinnipiac fell to No. 9 in the Pairwise — behind No. 8 Minnesota-Duluth, who it would need to finish in front of to secure the last at-large bid. The Bulldogs swept St. Cloud State, meaning they will be playing at least one more conference tournament game next weekend.

Currently sitting 0.568 points behind Minnesota-Duluth, Quinnipiac would need some serious help to revive its season. The Bobcats will have to sit and wait out the rest of the conference tournaments before the selection show on March 10 at 12 p.m. unveils their fate.

“It’s not where you want to be,” Turner said.

No, no it’s not.

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Colin Kennedy
Colin Kennedy, Managing Editor
Cat Murphy
Cat Murphy, News Editor

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