Sports

Women’s ice hockey knocked out of playoff contention

Princeton, Quinnipiac hold Brown scoreless in back-to-back blowout victories

By
Sports Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Maddie Woo ’17 takes possession of the puck for the Brown women’s hockey team during a tough 5-0 loss to Quinnipiac Saturday. The defeat followed a 3-0 loss Friday to Princeton.

The women’s ice hockey team was defeated in two shutouts this weekend, falling to Princeton 3-0 and Quinnipiac 5-0 and surrendering any chance of a playoff berth. The Bears (4-18-5, 3-14-3 ECAC) entered the weekend hoping to carry momentum from a two-game winning streak, but the Tigers and Bobcats proved to be formidable opponents, incapacitating Bruno’s offense and running away with two blowout wins.

 

Friday: Princeton 3, Brown 0

Bruno’s trip to Princeton (13-10-4, 9-8-3) Friday was decided by a disastrous second period for the Bears. The first period yielded two penalties, one on each team, but no scoring. The Bears hung with the Tigers, taking 10 shots to Princeton’s 11. The start of the second period saw Bruno fail to score on another power play after a Princeton tripping penalty. The teams played on, evenly matched, until halfway through the second period, when Brown’s control began to slip.

A trailing penalty on Ariana Rucker ’16 initiated a series of 12 unanswered Tiger shots, leading to the first goal of the game three minutes later. Brittany Moorehead ’15 followed Rucker into the box a minute after her teammate’s penalty, and Princeton’s power-play goal came soon after Rucker returned to play.

With momentum favoring the orange and black, Vanessa Welten ’14 committed another penalty for the Bears 14 minutes into the second period. Ten seconds into their power play, the Tigers added another point to their lead, going up 2-0 over the Bears, with both goals scored over the course of four minutes. Three minutes later, Princeton widened its lead to three with the final goal of a game-winning second-period surge. The period ended with a Bruno power play that carried over into the third but did not produce any goals.

The third period, like the first, played out in scoreless fashion. While the Tigers outshot Brown by 10 in the second, Bruno outshot Princeton by three in the final stanza. Another power play for each team could not inflict any damage, and the game ended in a disappointing 3-0 loss for the Bears. Goalie Aubree Moore ’14 made 30 saves, and the Bruno offense managed 25 shots on goal, compared to 33 for Princeton.

Moore attributed the loss to second-period penalties that led to two Princeton power-play goals.

“When we had them in the five-on-five, we were able to play with them,” said Moore, adding that the Bears were unable to keep pace when they were down a man. “They capitalized on power-play opportunites.”

 

Saturday: Quinnipiac 5, Brown 0

Unlike Princeton, the Bobcats (18-5-9, 9-4-7) were not held to scoring in concentrated bursts Saturday. Outshooting the Bears by 12 in the first period alone, Quinnipiac went up 2-0 by the start of the second period. The first goal came halfway through the first when Kelly Babstock, Quinnipiac’s scoring leader, fired the puck into the back of the net off a turnover in Brown territory. With less than two minutes to go in the period, Meghan Turner widened the Bobcat lead to 2-0.

Moore called Babstock “one of the best players in the country,” but added that the entire Quinnipiac team contributed Saturday.

Ten ticks into the second period, Bruno gained a power-play advantage, taking three fruitless shots before the penalty expired. The game continued in back-and-forth style, with the Bears working to match the Bobcats’ shot attempts. But Quinnipiac scored again with five minutes left in the period. The Bobcats followed up the goal with another penalty, but Bruno was, once again, unable to capitalize on the advantage. The period ended with a Quinnipiac roughing penalty that allowed Brown to start the third period with a full-length power play.

Needing to cut a three-goal deficit quickly, the Bears could not muster a shot before their opening power play ended. Thirteen minutes into the period, Quinnipiac’s Morgan Fritz-Ward scored her second goal of the game. The last tally was notched with a minute left to play, an exclamation point for Quinnipiac’s resounding victory. Bruno was outshot by 15, with Moore making 29 saves.

Brown Assistant Coach Jillian Kirchner said before the game that Quinnipiac’s offense can score with or without the power play, and the Bobcats proved her right Saturday night. Four different Bobcats notched Quinnipiac’s five goals, all of which came at even strength.

Quinnipiac “moved the puck well in their offensive zones and made smart plays,” Moore said. “It was hard for us to defend against them.”