HAMDEN, Conn. — For the second straight night, the Quinnipiac Bobcats offense came alive in the third period, giving them a 4-0 shutout of the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Quinnipiac (3-0-1) scored three third period goals to jump well ahead of Penn State (1-2-1) for the nonconference victory.
“I saw good energy and I saw build throughout the game,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said. “It was 1-0 heading into the third, but we were in control of the game and a lot of times teams have a tendency to relax and I thought we just kept building on what we were doing.”
Nicole Connery and Emma Woods led the Bobcats offensively with a goal and assist a piece as the Bobcats offense was dominant, outshooting the Nittany Lions 59-14 in the victory.
Celine Whitlinger was stunning in net for the Nittany Lions in the game, despite the four goals allowed. She stopped 55 of 59 shots in the loss, including several point-blank opportunities from Quinnipiac.
“She was fantastic, she gave us an opportunity,” Penn State coach Josh Brandwene said. “We had to do a lot of defending against a really good Quinnipiac team and she gave us an opportunity with a one goal game going right into the third period.”
The Bobcats managed to score the only power-play goal of the game, as both teams enjoyed success on the penalty kill throughout. Quinnipiac was 1-4 on the power-play while Penn State was 0-3 in the man advantage opportunities.
Chelsea Laden picked up the shutout for the Bobcats, her second shutout of the season but just her first win in those situations. She has only allowed two goals in four starts on the season.
“My goal this year is to take every shot seriously,” Laden said. “I can’t look too far ahead and if that’s 50 shots a game or 12 shots a game, it’s always that next shot I have to be ready for.”
Both teams were held scoreless until five minutes into the second when Nicole Brown lit the lamp to give Quinnipiac the lead. Shiann Darkangelo sent Amanda Colin a pass in the slot, where her shot was blocked by Whitlinger. The rebound came out on the left side of the crease, where Brown charged in to swipe home the puck for the goal.
Quinnipiac built on its lead in the third period with two early goals. At 1:43, Connery sent a pass across the front of the crease to Woods on the left side, who wristed it home to make it 2-0.
“That first one was big; it was great faceoff play with Connery getting it to Emma Woods, not exactly like they did it for the winning goal at St. Cloud but a very similar play,” Seeley said. “That was huge. That gave us another little jump, and then I thought from then on we really dominated in their end.”
At 6:10, Taryn Baumgardt cycled the puck to Cydney Roesler, who found a wide open Shiann Darkangelo on the left side to one-time the puck past Whitlinger’s glove to make it 3-0.
Two and a half minutes after Darkangelo’s goal, Kelly Babstock found a wide open Connery just inside the left faceoff circle, who roofed a wrist shot over Whitlinger’s blocker to close the scoring out.
Quinnipiac returns to action next Friday when it travels to Maine to take on the Black Bears at 7 p.m., while Penn State returns home for an eight-game homestand starting with Union on Friday night at 7 p.m.