Ice Hockey, Sports

Women’s hockey prepares for matchup against No. 4 Quinnipiac

Freshman Sammy Davis now has 11 goals on the year.
Freshman Sammy Davis now has 11 goals on the year. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DFP FILE PHOTO

Coming off a 6-2 victory over the University of Vermont, the Boston University women’s hockey team will hit the road to take on No. 4 Quinnipiac University Wednesday morning.

The Terriers (14-8-2, 11-4-2 Hockey East) have had a rocky start to 2016, losing the their opening game to No. 1 Boston College last Friday. However, BU bounced back in Vermont, taking three out of four possible points in the series against the Catamounts (6-17-2, 4-9-2 Hockey East).

Freshman forward Sammy Davis scored her first hat trick Sunday against Vermont and is now second in goals scored on the team with 11, behind sophomore forward Victoria Bach’s 14. Thanks to Davis’s four-point afternoon, she was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week this past Monday for the second time this season. Davis ranks second among rookies in Hockey East in goals and third in points.

“Not meaning to speak for Sammy, but I’m sure she’d compliment her linemates,” said BU head coach Brian Durocher. “[Junior forward] Sam Sutherland had a good weekend and [senior forward] Dakota Woodworth is a wonderful leader in the middle there. The three of them had a real good weekend. Sammy’s puck possession and her strength clearly were strong qualities this weekend.”

Despite BU’s recent success, Wednesday night’s matchup against the Bobcats (19-1-4) will not be easy, as Quinnipiac is one of the best teams in the country.

“I think against a team like that, you really need to play a thorough game,” Durocher said. “They pride themselves on defense, yet they’ve got some really talented kids and they’ve got a really experienced team.”

The Bobcats are in the midst of a 17-game unbeaten streak, and have only lost once this season. They currently have the second-longest unbeaten streak in the country, behind No. 1 Boston College (23-0-0, 16-0 Hockey East).

Forward Taylor Cianfarano leads Quinnipiac in both goals and points with 20 and 36, respectively. The Oswego, New York native has registered points in all but four games this season. Freshman Melissa Samoskevich follows Cianfarano with 24 points this season.

“You’ve added two really talented young kids, one in Cianfarano and Samoskevich, who’s a freshman,” Durocher said. “Any time you get that type of injection, it’s great for your program. It brings everybody up a notch because your experienced kids have been through wars and they’ve got that on their side.”

Cianfarano and Samsokevich — as well as defenseman Taryn Baumgardt and seniors Nicole Kosta, Nicole Connery and Cydney Roesler — played for the U-18 National Teams of the United States or Canada before becoming a Bobcat.

Goaltender Sydney Rossman has played in every game this season, starting all but one. She boasts a .948 save percentage and has 19 wins this season.

The Terriers hope to put out a solid effort in the matchup with the help of sophomore goaltender Erin O’Neil, who Durocher said will most likely start Wednesday.

“Erin has had a nice run and has seemed to manage wins or ties,” he said. “The BC loss was one that she played pretty darn well, and that part of it is something we look at.”

Durocher added that a strong defense will be imperative against the Bobcats, especially since their offense is highly skilled.

“We’re going to have to play real solid defensively,” Durocher said. “We’re going to have to have good goaltending and certainly we’re going to have to make sure we’re doing things right.”

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