Post Tagged with: " Women’s Hockey "

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original


Following a 7-0 victory in the first game of ECAC Quarterfinals series against Princeton (15-13-2) the previous night, No. 6 Quinnipiac (25-7-3) looked to finish the series in Game 2 on Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Arena.

Quinnipiac did just that, downing Princeton 2-0 to move on to the ECAC Semifinals.

“We figured out [we] needed to improve on the little things, and we then we pulled it together against Princeton, arguably the hottest team in the ECAC going into the playoffs,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley said. “I’m very happy with how we played.”

The Bobcats started the game showing momentum from their previous win, outshooting the Tigers 11-3 in the first period. Shiann Darkangelo had her goal overturned with 4:03 left in the period, which would have given Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead.

Quinnipiac took advantage of a Princeton penalty early in the second, however, as Nicole Connery tucked a Taylor Cianfarano pass into the bottom right of the net for her 13th goal of the year.

Princeton goalie Kimberly Newell had 34 saves just a day after giving up seven scored to the Bobcats. Newell made an athletic grab of a would be Darkangelo goal in the second period.

“[Newell] came out and played an amazing game, and made the saves I expected her to make,” Connery said. “After playing with her in camps for years, a game like the first one surprises me. Today, she was catching all the saves she should make, as well as stopping ones with the smallest parts of her equipment that we thought should have gone in.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers were only able to manage to get off 11 shots in the last two periods of regulation. Nicole Brown scored her 3rd goal of the season with 12 seconds left, after Newell had been pulled, to secure a 2-0 win for the Bobcats.

“I thought we followed up yesterday’s game with a good effort, and we are real happy with a 2-0 win,” Seeley said. “When you run into slumps, you are never sure why. So we watched a lot of video, we actually showed them every goal we have scored this season, and how they made those happen.”

The game also marks Senior goalkeeper Chelsea Laden’s 16th shutout of the season. The number is already an ECAC best, surpassing Erica Howe of Clarkson’s previous record of 14.

Laden is now one shutout shy of tying former Minnesota goalkeeper Noora Räty’s record of 17 in one season. Additionally, it came in Laden’s final home game in a Quinnipiac uniform.

“There were a lot of emotions tonight,” Laden said, “I was very happy, and I couldn’t have been more proud of my team, and as a senior there is no other way I would have liked to end out my home career.”

Up next, the Bobcats prepare for No. 4 Harvard (25-5-3), the one team they have yet to defeat in ECAC play this season.

“We’ve played Harvard tough both times this year, and in both cases we were up one goal, and we gave up a weak goal relatively after.” Seely said.

“If we go up 1-0, it has to be a one-nothing game and we have to understand that. This is where we wanted to be this season, as part of the final four of the conference, and we are prepared for the two tough battles we have ahead of us.”

The Bobcats travel to Cheel Arena in Potsdam, New York to battle with the Harvard next weekend

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

In just two years, Shiann Darkangelo has left her mark on the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey program.

Despite spending her freshman and sophomore seasons at Syracuse University, the senior forward has helped elevate the Bobcats to new levels.

Last season, her first at Quinnipiac, Darkangelo registered 40 points. The total is the fifth highest in program history.

“She is part of a line that is a force for us,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seely said. “She’s driven, works hard, and her ability to forecheck and maintain control of the puck during battles is huge for us.”

Darkangelo said she didn’t know what to expect when she first got to Quinnipiac, and that she didn’t even know if she’d earn playing time prior to the start of the season.

“I didn’t feel like a rookie,” Darkangelo said. “So I knew what to expect somewhat, but I came in knowing I had to work hard and prove myself so that I would be able to even earn a place on the ice.”

Now, in her second season with the team, Darkangelo’s performance both in games and in the locker room has been a major factor in Quinnipiac’s rise to a No. 5 national ranking.

“On the ice [Darkangelo] is a big, dominant player who has been scoring consistently, and she has just been invaluable,” Seeley said. “Off the ice she has been a huge leader for us. To be voted [alternate] captain by her teammates and peers despite only being here for one season is a testament to the impact she has had on our program.”

On the ice, Darkangelo plays on the first line with junior Nicole Kosta and senior Erica Uden Johansson. The line has been a consistent force for the Bobcats on both ends of the ice, as the three players lead the team in plus/minus this year.

“I think with Kosta and UJ, we are a strong line that can be matched up against any team’s first line and keep them from scoring,” Darkangelo said. “For example, against Clarkson we were matched up with a first line that has several gifted scorers, and they didn’t get any points against us.”

Darkangelo also described the balance in the three player’s attributes, which she feels makes the line work well together.

“We have two big bodies between me and UJ, and then there is Kosta who always works hard on the ice,” Darkangelo said. “Now that we are starting to figure out where the others are going to be on the ice, our chemistry is continually improving.”

Despite being one of the team’s most well-rounded players, Seeley still sees areas in which Darkangelo can improve her game.

“She has to keep working on her game away from the puck,” Seely said. “She has improved as a shot blocker for us, she consistently wants to work on good movement and smart movement away from the puck, and is able to move the puck quickly.”

In Quinnipiac’s Jan. 30 game against Harvard, Darkangelo put her name in the program record books once again. With her second period assist, Darkangelo became the second player in team history to register 100 points for her career.

“During the game I had an idea it was my 100th point, but that was only because people kept telling me about it,” Darkangelo said. “I don’t like to be focused on that kind of thing. If I go out there thinking ‘oh I have to score,’ typically it doesn’t happen, because it turns into forcing it instead of playing my game, and although I wish we had won the game, it was still an exciting moment.”

One of the contrasts Darkangelo has noticed about Quinnipiac in comparison to Syracuse is the general atmosphere surrounding the program.

“While I don’t want to downplay the Syracuse program, [at Quinnipiac] there are more people willing to do extra and push me to put in the extra work,” Darkangelo said. “I feel that now with the heavier focus on hockey, I am more enabled to get to the next step.”

Growing up with five other siblings, Darkangelo’s competitive nature has been present since her youth.

“My brothers, sisters and I would always play soccer and other games in the backyard when we were younger, and that definitely made me pretty competitive,” Darkangelo said. “Now, even though my brother plays college football [at Ferris State], we train together when I’m home for summer. The competitive edge still comes out.”

The competitive relationship with her brother led to Darkangelo’s start in hockey, as well.

“My younger brother and I would always go and watch our cousins play high school hockey, and when my brother started to play, I thought, ‘hey I want to go do that,’ and I was one of the better players on the team,” Darkangelo said. “I played boy’s hockey until I was about 10 or 11, and then my dad started a team and I started to play travel hockey, and this helped me realize one day that ‘hey, maybe I could do this at a Division 1 level.”

Now, with just four games left before the conference tournament, Darkangelo and the Bobcats have big goals they hope to accomplish during the remainder of their season.

“We want to win the ECAC, and get a shot at the national championship, and I think that we are very capable of doing that. If you look at the rankings, they are very close, which makes it fair game, with only one game being able to change a season.”

In terms of her own play, Darkangelo just wants to help the Bobcats reach those goals in any way possible.

“Individually, I want to step up and continue to be a leader on this team, and do whatever it takes to help my teammates accomplish those two goals.”

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

Sam Anas has hit the ground running as an underclassman at Quinnipiac.

This year, the sophomore forward is building on the momentum that began during his award-winning freshman season, where he earned the Tim Taylor Rookie of the Year award.

Following his freshman year, in which he led the team with 22 goals and 43 points, Anas has already recorded 10 goals and eight assists for a team-leading 18 points in the 2014-15 season.

Anas shared how he has been able to have such a smooth transition to the college game.

“I think the coaches have given me every opportunity I could have asked for, especially as a freshman,” Anas said. “I was able to play power-play [my freshman year], and play on a line with Connor and Kellen Jones. Now this year with [Matthew] Peca and Landon [Smith], I have just been surrounded with talented players.”

Additionally, Anas credits the two years he played amateur hockey for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League as a key in his transition.

“I loved playing junior hockey,” Anas said. “It is a good transition between playing youth hockey and making the jump to college. Had I gone from youth straight to college it would have been very tough, but instead I was able to play in the same place for two years with great coaches.”

During his two-year stint in Youngstown, Anas scored 54 goals and recorded 43 assists for 97 total points in 155 games. He finished third in the league in goals during the 2012-13 season.

Jordan Novack|Quinnipiac Chronicle Sam Anas looks to move the puck vs UConn 11/17/15

Jordan Novack|Quinnipiac Chronicle                   Sam Anas looks to move the puck vs UConn 11/17/15

In a conversation about his leading scorer, Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold reflected on what a special player Anas is, and how much he adds to the team.

“He is a highly talented player, who has a unique ability to create time and space for himself, but his biggest strength is his finishing,” Pecknold said. “There are players who can score goals in practice when you have the time and space with little to no pressure, but few thrive like him in game mode.”

Senior captain Matthew Peca, who centers the first line with Anas and Smith, talked about what it’s like to play with the second-year wing.

“[Anas] expects to score every night and he produces, it’s very fun to have him on your line,” Peca said. “You can always expect him to be open. He talks really well, you will always know where he is on the ice, and when he has the puck he makes plays.”

Peca added that Anas isn’t only a great scorer, but a great passer, too.

“He’ll pass through defenders sticks on feeds and you always have to expect the puck,” Peca said. “He is great with the puck; there are other players who won’t even try the things he can do.”

Peca said Anas is a leader off the ice, as well.

“He does a good job keeping the locker room loose, with little sayings and stuff, and he is just a great teammate,” Peca said. “I roomed with him on the road last year, and he is real easy going and a great team player.”

Anas first began playing hockey with his dad, Peter, early on in life. Peter played at the University of Western Ontario, and introduced the game to Anas at a very young age.

“[My dad] got me started when I was two years old shooting the ball around in the kitchen,” Anas said.

Nineteen years later, Anas’ talent is drawing NHL attention. In the past few summers, he has participated in developmental camps with the Washington Capitals, and most recently with the Montreal Canadiens.

Training with the Canadiens last summer was an “eye-opening experience,” he said.

“To go there and see all of the history there, and all of the Stanley Cups they have won, it is such a prestigious organization,” Anas said. “It really motivates me to make that jump to the NHL one day.”

Anas said that he doesn’t model his game after one specific player, but that he does enjoy watching Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise play because of his skill and hard-working attitude.

In addition, he idolizes New York Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis.

“He is a small guy who was undrafted out of college,” Anas said, “but has done everything people said he wouldn’t be able to do, and now he is going to be a Hall of Famer one day. He is a perfect role model for me.”

For Anas, he is looking to improve deficiencies in his game, while Quinnipiac as a whole has lofty goals set.

“As a player, I need to improve as a skater and I need to improve defensively,” Anas said. “As a team, we want to do everything. We want to win the ECAC regular season, the ECAC Tournament Championship, and hopefully the NCAA Championship, and just overall be the best team we can be.”

Women’s ice hockey goaltender Chelsea Laden tops NCAA Division I with a .974 save percentage this season

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

After starting the season ranked No. 10 in the country, the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team has now risen to No. 5 and continues to build momentum.

While many factors have contributed to the Bobcats’ 7-0-1 start, few can argue the play of senior goalie Chelsea Laden, as well as the team’s defense, have been a driving force to its success this year.

Laden, the ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Month in October, has been reliable in net for the Bobcats all season. Laden has gone 7-0-0 in seven starts, posting an 0.29 goals against average.

Laden tops all of Division I women’s ice hockey goalies with a .974 percent save percentage on the season. She is also leading the nation with five shutouts, which is the fourth most shutouts in a season by any goalie in Quinnipiac program history.

The Bobcats currently own a nation-leading 0.38 goals against average, which Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley credits to Laden’s dependability in net all season.

“Chelsea had a great year last year, but when she wasn’t on, and she gave up a poor goal, she would get in her own head and usually let up another soon after,” Seeley said. “This year, she has overcome that, and has yet to allow a bad goal all year.”

Laden also notes the growth in confidence that both she and her team have undergone since last season.

“I feel like our team is a lot more confident this year,” Laden said. “We are making the right plays at the right time, and we are more focused into the little details of the game. Our team is also buying into the system more, and since we’ve been winning all it has done is add to our confidence.”

Laden and the Bobcats are coming off a record-setting game, recording the first shutout win in program history at Cornell, which was also the first time Cornell had been shut out at home since Nov. 17, 2006.

“I actually had no idea about that statistic until I saw it posted after the game,” Laden said. “I think it shows how far we have come as a team to be able to go and shut out a program like Cornell, who has been ranked for as long as I can remember. Little accomplishments like this just continue to add to our confidence.”

Despite the individual statistics and acclaim that has been coming her way, Laden remains humble, crediting those in front of her for such success.

“People are talking about the stats recently, which I don’t think is indicative of anything spectacular that I am doing or of how I am playing,” Laden said. “I think it is more of a result of how amazing and consistent our team has been playing, and I feel so blessed to be the goalie for such a dominant and disciplined team.”

Moving forward, Laden hopes to remain a consistent force in net for the Bobcats.

“I want to stop all of the easy shots, most of the hard shots and some of the impossible shots I face,” Laden said. “Whether I am facing 14 shots or, maybe someday I’ll get 30 shots, I want to be able to be consistent so I can give back to the team seeing as they have given so much to me.”

And for Seeley, Laden’s consistency has been key in the evolution of her game.

“She is doing a great job learning from her mistakes and maturing, and becoming the goalie we now see.”

And on a grander scale, Laden also offered up insight into the team’s goals for the rest of the season. The Bobcats would like to win the ECAC, Laden says, and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

“Reaching the national tournament is something that has always been a goal for us, and this year we have become a step closer to reaching that goal,” Laden said. “Last year we had the talent, we only had six losses, but we also had a lot of ties, and we learned that amping up our game that much more can boost us into the national tournament, even though it will take a lot of hard work and consistency to get us there.”

Laden and the Bobcats look to continue their winning streak as they hosts Rensselaer at High Point Solutions Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.