By David F. Pendrys
HAMDEN, CT- The Quinnipiac Bobcats Women’s Hockey team picked up their first win in program history over traditional power Boston University Wednesday. In a game that attracted a good crowd of students from area schools, QU used a quick start to propel themselves to a 6-1 victory and their twentieth win of the season.
QU which hasn’t lost a game in the past 17 was looking to keep that streak going and they sent Sydney Rossman out in net as usual. Boston University, at 14-8-2 (though with a stronger record in Hockey East) deployed Erin O’Neil. For the first few minutes it looked as it if would be a fairly even game as both sides were doing a good job holding off the other.
“I think the first five, six minutes of the game we were a little afraid, doing a little too much with the puck and I think we just sorta relaxed calmed down and we just capitalized from there,” QU Forward T.T. Cianfarano said post game.
Quinnipiac eventually started to break out though as Meghan Turner broke the scoring open at 13:01. A shot puck bounced off the goalie, but Turner was right there to put it back in. Assists went to Nicole Brown and Miranda Lantz. Coach Cassandra Turner saw the goal as a catalyst.
“We wanted to be able to create some good second shot opportunities,” Turner said. “For Meghan to get her own rebound. I think our team understood. Ok we need to stick to the game plan. We need to have those effort plays. That kind of set the tone.” She went on to say that “From that point on I think we played with much more confidence. We were able to make clean plays. Before that we were a little tentative.”
Nicole Connery struck less than a minute later. Emma Woods swept behind the net and sent the puck in front to her. She responded with a well placed shot for the second QU goal of the game. T.T. Cianfarano picked up the assist.
Late in the period with both teams skating four on four due to simultaneous penalties, Boston University committed two penalties in rapid succession condemning them to a long kill. This would prove to be disastrous as Kristen Tamberg didn’t let the opportunity slide as the seconds ticked away. As the team set up the passing scheme, she saw an opening and launched it past the netminder. Emma Greco also had an assist on the play.
With the QU power play continuing in the second period, Cianfarano rushed up the rink to the goaltender’s left. The defender screening her feel, giving her an opening to push in on O’Neil. She got the keeper to execute a blocking move, and instead swept in front and deposited the goal behind her even as two Terriers rushed to block it. Assists went to Kristen Tamberg and Lindsey West on the setup.
BU broke the shut out when Jordan Juron scored on the power play. During a rapidly moving play she got the puck in front, and sent it around Rossman’s left side through a screen. Rebecca Leslie and Lillian Braga had assist on a well executed play.
QU’s fifth goal came after the puck was bouncing around at center ice. The Terrier player couldn’t handle it and Cianfarano pounced on it, streaking in alone at net. This time she got O’Neil to commit low and then popped the puck over her left pad into the net. West snagged an assist on the play as well.
Cianfarano noted in the post game that Coach Turner had been working on certain strategies and admitted she didn’t capitalize on some of them but remarked,“I just had my chances, and was just kinda patient with the puck, and just put it in.”
Late in the game Melissa Samoskevich broke away from the BU defenders and right in on O’Neil knocking a shot through a gap to the goaltender’s right for the team’s sixth goal. Assists went to Danielle Marmer and Tamberg.
Overall Quinnipiac’s defense was very adept at disrupting BU’s attempt to get things started in transition. Rossman, though not challenge often, handled most of what came her way making 14 saves total. O’Neil made 28 saves on the 34 shots QU sent her way.
“BU’s a great team with a lot of speed and a lot of talent,” QU Captain and Defender Cydney Roesler said. “They have some really good players so our game plan going in was take that away from them. Don’t give them any time and space because with that they make things happen. I think we did a great job keeping some good gaps, with the forwards coming back with back pressure.”
Roesler was asked post game about the impact of the forwards and Cianfarano and Samoskevich. “They just do all the little things,” she answered. “You see them do it in practice and translates over to the game. That’s huge for us. In previous years we’ve had trouble scoring so now seeing them step up is huge.”
“I think today it showed a bit of our depth,” Turner said complementing the team’s overall effort and looking forward. “To see some people really step up. We were excited about that, you know to have Miranda Lantz play a regular shift as a center for Kosta who was out today. And to some people play on our PK that don’t normally play on our PK. And they work on it in practice and to see them be able to make some plays.”
“Each year we’ve gotten better,” Roesler said. “This year’s no different and I think we actually have, our group is so unique. We want to accomplish so many things this year that 20 years, it’s something we wanted to accomplish and now we got there, but we want to continue to move forward and win games.”
Quinnipiac is now 20-1-4 (10-1-3 in the ECAC) and heads to Harvard on Friday, January 29th and Dartmouth on Friday, January 30th. BU drops to 14-9-2 (11-4-2 in Hockey East) and hosts Providence Saturday and visits PC on Sunday.
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