By David F. Pendrys
HAMDEN, CT – The Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s hockey team decisively won the opener of a two game series with Vermont 4-1 Friday night on York Hill.
“It was a good day for us today,” Quinnipiac Head Coach Cassandra Turner said. “I thought the team did a really good job sticking to our game plan. We wanted to start to get our forecheck going, wanted a volume of opportunities on net. Those things, in the moments where maybe we had a few letdowns, those are the things that we came back to that kept our success going forward.”
Freshman Brooke Bonsteel picked up her first two goals of her career including the game winner and transfer Anna Kilponen scored her first goal in a Quinnipiac uniform as well.
The game started in a back and forth fashion. Both teams had speed and were able to get into each other’s zones and make legit scoring attempts. However in the waning seconds of a QU power play, Kilponen launched a hard one-timer from the point past Vermont keeper Sydney Scobee for a 1-0 lead. Assists went to Kenzie Lancaster and Alicia Barry on the setup.
It wouldn’t be until late in the second period that Bonsteel would get on the board. Immediately following a face off in the Vermont end, Laura Lundblad sent it towards the net and Bonsteel put it in during the scramble. The Catamounts responded nearly immediately as Allie Granato sent the puck in on QU’s Abbie Ives. The rebound came right to Val Caldwell on the other side who sent the disc into the open part of the net.
During a power play half through the third, Lancaster launched a shot on net. It bounced off Scobee and right to a screening Marcon, who passed it to Bonsteel on the other side. She then quickly deposited it in the net before the keeper could slide over.
Trailing 3 to 1, Vermont pulled the netminder late in the game, and Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout used her excellent skating ability to eventually slide around the back of the net and fling the puck off a Catamount into the open maw of the goal.
Vermont had put 16 shots on net during the game and Ives made 15 saves. Quinnipiac sent 40 on the net and Scobee made 37 saves.
“Defensively we’ve been giving up too many shots. I think a lot of that ties back to just how quickly we’re pressuring, how we value of our sticks. That today was a lot better for us,” Turner said.
Kati Tabin led QU with 2 blocked shots. Kate Mackenzie, Kilponen, Barry, Lancaster, and Marcon all had 1 apiece. For Vermont, Taylor Flaherty and Eve-Audrey Picard had 3 Blocks, Ali O’Leary, Taylor Willard, and Olivia Kilberg had 2 apiece. Sammy Kolowrat, Mackenzie MacNeil, Katherine Pate, Alexandra Drobot, Granato, and Alyssa Gorecki had one each. Vermont was noticeably in the way of a lot of QU chances throughout the game for a total of 20.
Raquel Pennoyer and Marcon’s aggressive play in the UVM offensive zone helped to generate chances and take pressure off the Quinnipiac D. They were seemingly constantly forechecking deep with great success. Their efforts were reminiscent of QU alum Nicole Kosta in how the defenders were harried.
“Marcon and Pennoyer are the first two kids we talked about when we came into our coach’s room we came into after the game because they had key momentum plays for us. Pennoyer was outstanding on face offs in terms of draws we lost,” Turner said. “She was quick, she had a great stick. We need that. We have very few upperclassmen in our lineup right now. To see them value those little plays and our bench really built from the plays those two made today.”
The QU Freshmen showed great stickhandling during the game including Bonsteel. Grace Markey also at one point moved the puck right through the defender’s legs on a zone entry. Taylor House was also effective at moving into the UVM area.
Picard and Saana Valkama were often key weapons in the Vermont attack. The pair will likely be looking to strike again in Saturday’s game as they were on the verge several times.
Quinnipiac is now 3-2-0 and Vermont drops to 2-2.
Post Game Pressers
(This is a not exhaustive very imperfect list of noticed plays that might not make the score sheet. It is very possible a player has far more of any sort of play than are noticed in the heat of action. It is what it is. Read these more as a player had “at least” what is noted here. Note the language is a bit stilted, I’m trying to figure out how to make the information flow better.
Barry: Had numerous steals in the defensive zone and neutral zone. Also naturally played a key role in sending the puck out of the the Bobcats zone. Had at least one kill on the penalty kill.
Coutu-Godbout: Had several instances where she snatched the puck in her zone and got it out or got it to a player who did. Had a block on the penalty kill. Displayed excellent stick handling throughout the game.
Kilponen and Tabin were both noticeable on defense interrupting the Vermont attempts to set up.
Laura Lundblad: Often either acquired the puck in the QU zone or was instrumental in getting it out.
Melissa Samoskevich: Had multiple steals in the offensive zone to create chances and had at least one steal in the defensive end.
Tabin: Got the puck away from UVM multiple times in the D zone. Also kept the puck in during a power play.
MacKenzie: Kept the puck in the zone during an offensive attack. Also had at least one defensive acquisition.
Marcon: Did a lot of things including intercepting a puck in the defensive and offensive zones. She also kept the puck within the blue line during the attack.
Tori DeAngelis: Disrupted at least one zone entry.
Cherpak and Lancaster were noticed making defensive plays.
Pennoyer: Kept the puck in the zone and had at least one clear during the penalty kill.
Saana Valkama: Was noticeable helping generate offensive attempts, but also stole or otherwise got the puck out of her zone.
O’Neill: Did it all defensively, stealing, disrupting QU, clearing the puck, fighting it out of the zone. Had at least one clear on the PK as well.
Kristina Shanahan: Blocked a centering pass, and also acquired the puck many times in the UVM defensive end before getting it clear.
Flaherty: Had a critical steal that ended a long QU possession in her zone.
O’Leary: Stole at least one puck in the D zone and got it out.
Picard: In addition to her offensive efforts she also defensively snatched the puck in the UVM end and exited it.
Sammy Kolowrat: Had several defensive steals including on the PK.
Pate: In addition to disrupting QU and bringing the puck out she had several steals in the QU zone.
Kilberg and Drobot had some defensive plays. MacNeil had a block on the penalty kill.