Bobcats bite, defeat Huskies

Bobcats bite, defeat Huskies
by Tom Butto
October 15, 2007

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team took the ice on Friday at their new venue, the TD Banknorth Sports Center and started off the season the way all teams want to, with a win. The Bobcats played against Northeastern who already had an exhibition and one regular season game before this.

Since it was Quinnipiac’s first game, they started off a little rusty and looked slower than the Huskies of Northeastern. They put themselves up against a wall early in the first period with two penalties that left them in a defensive situation.

“Northeastern was the better team on the ice tonight, they took it to us; we played with first game nerves. We didn’t play our best hockey but when you can win and start off the year with a win without playing your best hockey that is a good sign,” Bobcats coach Mike Barrett said.

After the Bobcats got rid of those first game jitters and killed the two power plays that they put themselves into, sophomore forward Antoinette Maldonado put Quinnipiac up 1-0 on an assist by Brandice Moniz. Quinnipiac then took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period on a wrist shot by Elyse Cole, another sophomore forward on the team.

Sophomores continued the scoring in the game, this time for the Huskies, when Chelsey Jones deked freshman goaltender Jamie Miller and backhanded the puck into the net. Vicky Graham then put the Quinnipiac team back up by two goals again a few minutes after that.

The second period then got wild after that with three total goals scored between the two teams in a span of three minutes. Two of these goals were scored by Northeastern, which made the game 4-3 going into the third period. Even though this fast paced type of game could have gotten to the heads of the nine freshman on the Bobcats team, giving up two goals in the period to cut the lead to one did not phase goaltender Jamie Miller.

“Well that’s what happens, you have a mental lapse in the game and a couple of goals get scored, but its important to bounce back,” Miller said.

And bounce back she did by stopping 28 out of 31 shots.

After the frenetic second period, the third period was more in control. The big moment for the Bobcats and Miller came with five minutes to go in the game when they were in a 5 v 3 disadvantage on the ice after two more huge penalties. The Bobcats were able to kill those power plays, but were not out of the woods. With ninety seconds to go in the game, Northeastern took their goaltender off the ice for an extra skater on the ice. With under a minute to go in the game, Coach Barrett opted to call a timeout after Northeastern used a time out a few moments before. During the timeout, Barrett gave his team important words of wisdom.

“You are talking strategy about what they are going to do and what your goals and tactics are going to be. The 2nd time out was because our best defenders were on the ice. I don’t normally take a timeout when they are down by a goal to let them rest their players but we had our best defenders on the ice and I wanted them to have another 20 seconds of rest.”

Calling that timeout did work as his defenders did get the necessary rest and were able to close out the game to get off to a 1-0 start.

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