Quinnipiac University Bobcats show resolve in ECAC Hockey cliffhanger wins
By Rick Menning
HAMDEN, CT -- Taylor House converted a one-timer from the top of the crease for the game's only score and her second goal of the weekend as the Quinnipiac University women's hockey team blanked Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 1-0, on Saturday afternoon.
The victory capped off the fifth weekend sweep in six such outings for the unbeaten Bobcats, whose only other Friday/Saturday appearance produced a pair of ties against Providence in a home-and-home series.
House's decisive goal at the 15:26 mark of the first period was made possible thanks to key assists from Renee Saltness and Nina Steigauf in keeping the pressure on in the offensive zone with their passing and stickhandling.
House, who extended her point streak to six straight games, also found the back of the net with 2:13 left in the second period for the Bobcats' initial goal in Friday's 2-1 victory. Quinnipiac won that contest on a dramatic goal by sophomore Olivia Mobley with 1:24 remaining.
For the native of Joliet, Illinois, the team's ability to prevail in tightly contested matches comes through camaraderie and chemistry.
"I think having that friendship foundation ... we are able to balance off each other and use it to our advantage," said House, who has five goals in the last six games.
After House tied the game against Union College, Mobley took advantage of a 4-on-4 situation to strike for the game winner in the closing moments.
After Quinnipiac was called for an infraction that appeared to set up a penalty kill down the stretch , the Dutchwomen seconds later were also whistled to negate the kill and create more open ice and an opportunity for the Bobcats.
"That (turnaround from kill to 4-on-4) was huge," said Mobley, who upped her goal total to six and with her four assists now has 10 points this season. "We go from thinking 'okay, let's fight this one off ... to where we were able to flip it and use (the 4-on-4) as a positive thing and a momentum generator."
That's exactly what happened as Mobley raced in from the left side to supply the clincher after receiving a nice pass across the low slot from senior Lexie Adzija. It was Adzija's eighth assist this season and brings her point total to 12 (with her four goals).
For Mobley, the goal marked her second game-winner of the 2021-22 campaign and fourth point over the last two weekends.
Kendall Cooper helped set up the play in a big way by drifting back with the puck near the blue line and allowing Adzija to get in position for the perfect feed to Mobley.
'D' big vs. RPI
After an equally suspenseful showing the night before, the Bobcats were once again locked in a tightly contested match-up against the Engineers.
Quinnipiac had plenty of man-advantage chances in the third period, including a five-minute major and a lengthy 5-on-3, but could not get another past very tough RPI netminder Amanda Rampado, who stopped 31 of 32 shots in the contest.
For redshirt junior Logan Angers (Friday) and graduate student Corinne Schroeder (Saturday), it was business as usual with the dupo comtinuing to shine between the posts.
In the victory over Union College, Angers turned back 18 of the 19 shots the Dutchwomen sent her way, while against RPI less than 24 hours later Schroeder stopped all 16 scoring attempts for her second shutout this season.
Both Angers and Schroeder improved to 5-0-1 with their clutch performances in the low-scoring outcomes.
Bobcats' head coach Cassandra Turner is not surprised by ECAC Hockey cliffhangers such as those against Union College and RPI.
"We have one of the strongest, deepest leagues in the country. I believe it firmly," coach Turner said after Friday's triumph. "I'm impressed that we keep finding a way to win, which is great. I'm just excited about ECAC Hockey."
The Bobcats hope to keep their winning ways going with another two ECAC Hockey match-ups on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and Nov. 13.
Quinnipiac travels to Princeton on Friday at 6 p.m., and returns to Hamden for a 3 p.m. showdown against the Tigers on Saturday inside the Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena at the People's United Center.