HAMDEN, CT -- An amazing second-period shift in fortunes propelled the Quinnipiac University Bobcats to a resounding 5-1 victory over the University of Maine in Saturday's matinee attraction at the Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena.
The second match-up in the showdown inside the People's United Center between the two non-conference rivals also featured one of the most bizarre goals in any level of ice hockey.
But first to the pivotal turn of events six minutes into the second period.
With the Black Bears inches from taking a 2-0 lead on Maddie Giordano's valiant try while facing a wide open left side of the net, the puck instead dribbled just past that near post.
The missed opportunity would dramatically alter the game as just 10 seconds later Alexa Hoskin sent a wrister from inside the left circle that trickled through the five-hole and past Maine netminder Loryn Porter.
"Whenever you score (like that) it just kind of relieves a little of the pressure and gives that confidence and that worked for us today," Bobcats' head coach Cassandra Turner said. "It's nice to beat a good goalie, and Loryn Porter is a very good goaltender."
Hoskin, who along with her goal also had two assists for a three-point afternoon, leads the Quinnipiac squad with five points through the first two games.
Bolstered by the huge momentum swing, the Bobcats maintained a strong pace in the Black Bears' end of the ice and at the 10:59 mark gained the 2-1 lead when Taylor House converted a backhander that went top shelf. It was her first goal this season.
"Getting that first one out of the way the first weekend I think is huge," House said. "Our line has been building chemistry over these two games and it's really showing."
The go-ahead goal was made possible by Lexie Adzija's gritty effort behind the net in getting the puck to House, who pivoted around the right side and beat Porter. Jess Schryver also assisted on House's goal.
Quinnipiac stayed red-hot offensively and went ahead 3-1 on Sadie Peart's riser that sailed over Porter's blocker. It was the first goals of the season for both House and Peart.
Maddy Samoskevich and Hoskin had the assists, and Hoskin's helper gave her a second straight multi-point game for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats remained in overdrive at the start of the third period, and just over a minute in Nina Steigauf went high to Porter's stick side and made the deposit top shelf to extend the cushion to 4-1.
Steigauf and Hoskin each have a pair of goals, while Hoskin and Peart each totaled three assists in the Maine series.
Unlike Friday, it was the Black Bears who controlled the action early. Their persistence while on the attack paid off when Celine Tedenby knocked in her own rebound just under three minutes into the contest.
Quinnipiac goaltender Corinne Schroeder made the initial save but the puck tricked just outside the blue paint and Tedenby was there to deliver for the game's first goal.
"(Maine) had a great first period," coach Turner said. "The grit that we had after going down 1-0 and then to come back and play as well as we did in the second and third period is a huge step for this team to build some confidence."
The Bobcats, who didn't record their first shot until nearly nine minutes had passed, struggled to get any flow going against Maine's tough defense. Quinnipiac managed four shots in the first 20 minutes.
Schroeder turned back 27 of 28 Black Bears' shots to secure the win between the pipes.
In one of the more incredible occurrences in any level of hockey, Schroeder was credited with her first career goal with the Bobcats about to be called for a penalty.
"I still can't believe it," Schroeder said. "I was very surprised when I saw my name on the scoreboard."
The Elm Creek, Manitoba graduate student made an initial save and the puck was subsequently picked up behind her net by a Maine player who tried to get it to a teammate in front.
Instead, the puck traveled the length of the ice and landed directly in the empty net vacated by Porter to allow for the extra player on the Quinnipiac delayed penalty.
"It was kind of fun for Corinne; pretty cool,"coach Turner said. "I have not seen anything like that. (Maine) kind of scored on themselves and (Schroeder) was the last one to touch the puck."
The Bobcats and Black Bears had an international audience for the Saturday afternoon game as the second match-up in the weekend series was broadcast on ESPN-+.
To The Point
For Quinnipiac junior Jessica Schryver, Friday's game marked an historical first as the forward from Ansonia, Connecticut recorded her first point as a member of the Bobcats with her primary assist on the decisive goal by Courtney Vorster in Quinnipiac's 3-2 win over the Black Bears.
Schryver also had a helper on House's goal in Saturday's contest.
For the first time since the 2019-2020 season, the Quinnipiac University women's hockey team played a regular-season series with fans in the People's United Center.
A total of 792 spectators witnessed the two-game series against the University of Maine.
"It's everything. It's so huge," coach Turner said of the weekend turnout. "It's that sense of support and normalcy; that true college hockey experience."
The Bobcats continue their six-game homestand to start the season when the Long Island University Sharks visit the Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena for back-to-back games on Friday, Oct. 1 (6 p.m.) and Saturday, Oct. 2 (3 p.m.).
For ticket information, visit gobobcats.com/tickets, email@example.com or call 203-582-3905.