By: David Souza
The last time the Bobcats of Quinnipiac faced off with the Boston University Terriers, ranked BU skated to a 4-1 victory over the #4 Bobcats. Goals by Victoria Bach and Sarah Lefort, coupled with a three-point night by Kayla Tutino, propelled the Terriers to the upset victory that many see as the turning point to last year’s season. In 2016, the scarlet and white (14-8-2) will once again have to dig deep in order to knock off a highly touted Quinnipiac squad (19-1-4); but, this time they’ll have to do it in the Bobcats’ own barn.
One thing that hasn’t changed since these two teams last met has been the play of Bach. The 5’ 4” Canadian product repeatedly flip-flops with her countryman-turned-classmate Rebecca Leslie for the team lead in points. Bach, who boasts 28 points and a team leading 14 goals, trails Leslie by just two points. What truly sets Bach apart though is her shooting percentage. While she trails Samantha Sutherland for the team lead by just .07%, Bach’s 14 goals on just 85 shots exemplify how lethal she can be. Since her promotion to the first line a quarter of the way through the season, the play of both Lefort and Tutino have elevated immensely.
The second line of Leslie, Rebecca Russo, and Maddie Elia have cooled since their hot start to the season, though they still pose a scoring threat any time they touch the ice. Sammy Davis, fresh off of her first collegiate hat trick against Vermont, spearheads a tough and grinding third line.
The big question for BU will be who will be between the pipes tomorrow afternoon. Sophomore Erin O’Neil has been given the nod as of late, but Victoria Hanson’s stellar play against UVM on Sunday has once again raised the discussion of who is Durocher’s go-to net minder. O’Neil’s goals-against average is just over half a goal lower than Hanson’s while her save percentage is .02 lower than the junior’s.
For Quinnipiac, they’ll be lead by sophomore phenom Taylor Cianfarano. The Oswego, New York native is currently tied for ninth in the country in points with 36 (20g, 16a). With a .204 shooting percentage, Cianfarano has the potential to score any time she touches the puck.
As for goalie questions, the Bobcats have the farthest thing from it as junior Sydney Rossman has played every minute for the blue and gold. A definite contender for goalie of the year, Rossman has allowed only 22 goals in 24 games, good for second best in the country with a .90 GAA and a third best save percentage with .948.
Quinnipiac’s only loss on the season came from a 4-3 loss to Yale earlier in the season. Though the Terriers manhandled the Bulldogs 7-1 earlier this season, Yale was able to muster up a formidable attack against the stingy Bobcat defense. Since their sole loss on the year, Quinnipiac has gone 14-0-3 and has yet to allow more than two goals in a single game.
Though the Bobcats are heavily favored in this matchup of perennial powers, BU is a formidable opponent more than capable of pulling out a victory in Hamden, Connecticut tomorrow afternoon.