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Women’s hockey falls to Dartmouth, Harvard
After a huge road weekend in which they took 3 out of 4 possible points, the Quinnipiac University Women’s Ice Hockey team brought its recent success home to take on Dartmouth on Friday night and No. 1 ranked Harvard on Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, their recent hot streak would not continue as the team dropped both of the weekend’s contests while being outscored 10-0.
On Friday, Quinnipiac was shut out 6-0 by Dartmouth. Saturday was more of the same for the Bobcats (2-14-4 ECAC and 5-21-5 overall) when the No. 1 ranked Harvard Crimson downed the Bobcats 4-0.
“Pink at the Rink” night headlined Friday’s match up. The Bobcats sported their new pink jerseys in honor of the event. No, it was not to commemorate the recent holiday, but rather to display the ECAC’s magnanimity towards the American Cancer Society.
The first period was an evenly played up and down affair. Neither side made a dent in the scoreboard. It was highlighted by superb goaltending at both ends. Bobcat freshman Tia Wishart stopped 18 shots in the first frame including a spectacular sprawling stick save on a rebound from the Big Green’s leading scorer, Maggie Kennedy.
While offensive reticence was the story in the first, the second period was far from that. Dartmouth would put home five goals in the period. Quinnipiac senior Jessica Buttaro deflected a shot from Dartmouth defenseman Sarah Newman, from there it fell onto the tape of a trailing Carrie Thompson who fired it past Wishart.
“That first goal they really killed our momentum. If we had gotten one back it would have been different but they jumped on us so it put us back on our heels,” Captain Trudy Reyns said.
Forty-eight seconds later Maggie Kennedy made good on her earlier efforts by foregoing a two on one opportunity and simply ripping the shot from the right face off circle and into the net.
The Dartmouth scoring was dominated by Thompson. She introduced the puck to twine two more times in the period and assisted on another, a total of four points and a hat trick for the game. At the end of two Dartmouth lead 5-0.
The dye was cast for the Bobcats as they had no answer in the third period with Dartmouth adding their sixth and final goal midway through the period.
Saturday afternoon was Senior Day for the Bobcats. Seniors Jessica Buttaro and Vicky Graham were honored before the game. Buttaro is looking to come back with another year of eligibility, but as head coach Michael Barrett said Graham will surely be missed.
“In Vicky’s case I’m really proud of the person she’s become, how she evolved from her freshman year to who she is right now and that’s the mark I think that she’s leaving that’s going to last the longest,” Barrett said of the program’s leading scorer.
The Bobcats would play victim to No. 1 ranked Harvard and their goaltender Christina Kessler. Kessler snatched up a single season record setting 11th shutout in the 4-0 win.
It was the hustle of the Bobcats that shinned brightest as they outworked the Crimson early on. But Harvard would open the scoring at 8:50 on the power play. Jenny Brine gave it to Sarah Vaillancourt who raced the puck up the far side boards. She crossed the Quinnipiac zone and flicked a lead pass to Caitlin Cahow for her 13th tally of the year.
Harvard’s second goal was their only legitimate scoring chance of the contest. It came in the form of a penalty shot after a Bobcat defender covered the puck in the goal crease forcing the call.
The prolific Vaillancourt snuck the puck in by the tiniest margins in between post and the pad of Jamie Miller.
Quinnipiac continued to put their noses to the grindstone in the second period. They won a majority of the 50-50 pucks in the corners which produced a few decent scoring chances but once again Harvard would do all the scoring.
At 7:29 sophomore Evelina Husar was able to glove down a shot in the high slot. A heady Kati Vaughn relieved Husar of the puck, who was trying to corall and clear it, and then found Sarah Wilson for the goal.
It would have been easy for the Bobcats to get caught up in facing the No. 1 ranked team. However, they were not in awe of the mighty Crimson.
“We’re certainly not going to hand anybody anything. The girls fought hard and I’m proud of that,” Barrett said of his team’s grit.
Never was that more evident than in the third period where they refused to capitulate. The Bobcats held the Crimson scoreless but unfortunately for them so were they despite a trio of scoring chances.
Despite the lopsided losses last weekend, there was still much to be admired about the Bobcats’ play.
“We’re not as bad as our record or as some people may think. We don’t have as far to go as people think and we proved it earlier in the year and we proved it last year out in Wisconsin,” Barrett said.
Quinnipiac will close out its season on the road against Clarkson and St. Lawrence next weekend.