HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac took advantage of the power play Saturday afternoon as the Bobcats skated to a 3-1 win over the Guelph Gryphons in an exhibition game.
Morgan Fritz-Ward and Shiann Darkangelo each scored a power-play goal in the third period to secure the victory for the Bobcats.
The third period provided most of the action, with the Gryphons picking up five of their six penalties, leading to the two Quinnipiac power-play goals.
“I think we stopped moving our feet, we didn’t commit to our stops and starts, we just didn’t battle as hard as we had in the first two,” Guelph coach Rachel Flanagan said. “There’s no excuses. We just have to work in the third.”
Fritz-Ward scored the go-ahead goal 4:23 into the third period when she tipped a shot from Cydney Roesler past Stephanie Nehring to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. Kristen Tamberg shifted the puck across the point for Roesler, who fired on net with Fritz-Ward tipping it in.
Four minutes later, Darkangelo scored an insurance goal on a five-on-three opportunity to give the Bobcats a 3-1 lead. Tamberg got the puck off a faceoff and passed it to Roesler at the point. This time, Roesler found a wide-open Darkangelo on the faceoff circle for a wrist shot past Nehring.
“We knew coming in she was a complete player but I think she did better than we expected,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said. “She’s solid on the puck from an offensive standpoint. She made a lot of great plays in the offensive zone.”
Despite the three goals allowed, Nehring was excellent in net for the Gryphons. She faced a barrage of shots from the Bobcats, stopping 40.
“I think this game was actually really good for her confidence even though we came out on the losing end,” Flanagan said. “It gives her an opportunity to work on a few things but she really kept us in the game today.”
Quinnipiac outshot Guelph 43-8 and was 2-for-6 on the power play while the Gryphons were 0-for-2.
“For a first exhibition game I thought we were great,” Seeley said. “I think this was Guelph’s fourth or fifth game so they’re battle tested. I think we held them to no shots in the third, and that’s no shots on two power plays. Overall, I thought it was a really good effort.”
Neither Quinnipiac goaltender got too many opportunities in goal, but Seeley said that Chelsea Laden and Sydney Rossman both have done a great job in learning already.
“We’re happy with our goaltending at this point,” Seeley said. “It was a bit of mystery with [Victoria Vigilanti] taking the brunt of the load the last four years.”
The scoring got started for both teams late in the second period.
Nicole Connery scored the first goal of the game with a wrist shot off the post to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. Olivia Brackett sent the puck to Connery at the center line, and she passed it off the boards to herself. As Brackett skated in, Emma Woods was open on the right faceoff dot but Connery wristed the shot just past Nehring’s blocker and off the post.
Just 13 seconds later, Jessica Pinkerton evened up the score on the first shot seen by Quinnipiac’s second goaltender of the game, Rossman. Pinkerton received a pass at the blue line from Amanda Parkins and ripped a slap shot that squirted through the five-hole of Rossman to tie it 1-1 with 2:12 left to go in the second period.
Quinnipiac starts the regular season next Friday at St. Cloud State.