Women’s hockey beats Union, falls to RPI

By on February 6, 2008

Notching their first ECAC win on Friday night was certainly an emotional uplift to the Quinnipiac Women’s Ice Hockey squad. They took the ice against RPI Saturday afternoon attempting to string together wins, something that has evaded them since their sweep of Robert Morris at the beginning of the new year.

However the second ECAC win proved too difficult to achieve as the Bobcats dropped a head-scratcher to RPI 4-0.

Quinnipiac was clearly the better team in the early going. They thwarted the RPI attack and morphed defense into offense as they had three big time scoring chances. With six minutes gone a centering feed from Janine Duffy found the recently hot stick of Elyse Cole (2 goals on Friday) but only briefly as the puck skimmed away.

An RPI power play netted the Engineers their first score of the night at 11:20. Kelly Barbera found a lurking Kelly Guillemete, who sent a wrist shot from the point that saucered its way over Bobcat goalie Jamie Miller’s right shoulder. It was Guillemete’s tenth of the season.

At full strength the Bobcats went right back to work hemming in the RPI end and winning the loose pucks in the corner.

“We’re not a finesse team. We’re not going to score tic-tac-toe beautiful goals. We’ve got to work in increments,” Bobcat head coach Michael Barrett said. But the aggressiveness would cost them by way of a dubious interference penalty late in the first.

RPI spied another shorthanded opportunity, after being outshined by the Bobcats at even strength play. A mess of sticks and shoves occurred in front of the Quinnipiac net. RPI’s Brooke Thompson managed to get the puck out of the scrum and to Whitney Naslund who put a blind shot on net. Despite wearing a defender Engineer forward Jamie Lynn-Stewart stormed the net to find the rebound and finished off the score for her third of the season.

A power play that carried over from the first period saw RPI once again engineer a goal at the start of the second frame. At :22 in Nicole McDonald punched in her tenth of the season after another scrum in front of the QU net.

That’s not to say the Bobcats didn’t have their own chances on the power play. The team were turned back on seven opportunities of their own. RPI goaltender, Sonja van der Bliek proved to be the scourge of the Quinnipiac attack stopping all 30 shots. Barrett expressed his admiration of her efforts.

“In hockey goaltending can be everything,” Barrett said. “She was great tonight. We came across a good goaltender and we lost on the scoreboard.”

The third period had more offense in store for Quinnipiac as scoring chances were abound yet proved to be even more quixotic.

“Frustrating’s the only word. You can’t be mad at your players,” the Bobcat’s coach said. “We did dominate. We did all the little things right. If we play that way night in night out you’re going to win more than you lose.”

With 1:32 remaining and Quinnipiac pressing to score, RPI added an empty netter to swell the lead to 4-0 where it would remain.

Captain Trudy Reyns shared her coach’s sentiments about the loss. “We outplayed that team to the very last shift. To out-shoot and out play a team the whole game is even worse.”

Despite the perplexing loss his team’s refreshing play impressed Coach Barret.

“We just came up short on the scoreboard. It’s frustrating, but I still feel far better about my team than I have in a long time.”

The Bobcats will look to rebound on the road this weekend against ECAC foes Brown and Yale.


About Robert Duffy