By Rick Menning
HAMDEN, CT -- Never, ever since the program's debut in 2002-03 has a Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team achieved what this season's Bobcats did on Saturday.
In fact, they did it with a third-period exclamation point highlighted by three goals in a span of one minute and 57 seconds to put the icing on the celebration cake.
The date Oct. 9, 2021 will go down with an historical asterisk as the Bobcats vaulted to their first-ever 6-0 record inside the Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena.
With their 5-0 victory over Saint Anselm, the Bobcats are truly in rarified air atop the York Hill Campus in Hamden as their six straight wins to start a season rewrites the record books and marks the first time a women's ice hockey team at Quinnipiac has hit that milestone.
There have been several unbeaten starts (including tie games) over the first six games during the last decade or so, but never has a Bobcats' squad posted six 'W's to begin a campaign.
Junior Sadie Peart, who has amassed points in all six games, emphasized that the Bobcats' work ethic has been huge to the early season success.
"I haven't been on a team that has skated as much in practice and worked as hard as this team," said the Grand Rapids, Minnesota native who already has 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists). "I think our whole team is learning a lot about ourselves and building experience."
Peart and fellow junior Alexa Hoskin each came through with their sixth goals in the season's sixth game.
Momentum is critical
Quinnipiac Head Coach Cassandra Turner has watched the Bobcats put the pedal to the metal at clutch times in every game thus far, and that was never more evident than in the third-period flurry of goals on Saturday.
"It's really nice when you can find those key moments ... moments when you have the momentum and score goals that help you come out with the win," she said.
Coach Turner noted that accomplishing the historic 6-0 start is all the more special considering the many ways the Bobcats have found to light up the scoreboard.
"I think our team is in a good place," she said. "They feel confident, and I think they're hungry now to continue to attack the season."
Saturday's win, which came less than 24 hours after Quinnipiac's hard-fought 4-3 thriller over the Hawks on Friday evening, also put the finishing touches to a third straight weekend series sweep at home.
Super Saturday surge
Leading 2-0 with just over eight minutes gone in the third period, the Bobcats elevated their performance into full firepower mode and less than two minutes later that 2-0 advantage became 5-0.
Sophomore Olivia Mobley converted a power-play opportunity thanks to great work by Lexie Adzija and Kendall Cooper at keeping the puck in the zone.
"We always want to play for the girl next to you," Mobley said about the Bobcats' terrific team effort throughout the first six games. "It's never about the 'I'; it's always about the 'T'. We've spread things out a ton this season and that's helped us to be successful."
Only 51 ticks of the clock later, it was Cooper's turn to join the scoring party as she notched her first goal of the season. Adzija increased her assist total to five with her back-to-back helpers, while Jess Schryver had the other assist on Cooper's goal.
Then, 1:06 after that, freshman Veronica Bac completed the assault on net with an unassisted tally. It was her second goal in the last three games.
Triple play in 'O' zone
Peart had made it five straight games with at least one point when she provided a pair of first -period goals in Friday's contest.
After putting Quinnipiac ahead with a tip-in following a great pass from Ann-Frederik Naud just under five minutes in, Peart was again all alone on the right side to deposit a rebound through traffic at 16:40.
Naud, who had five assists before Saturday's helper, was on her knees at the lower end of the left circle when she somehow managed to get the puck across the low slot to Peart for the opening goal.
Peart later added an assist for a three-point showing in the series' opener.
Hoskin netted what proved to be the game-winner when she poked home a rebound off an initial shot by Peart, who along with Naud assisted on the goal.
"I think we're a team that celebrates each other's successes really well," Hoskin said . "It's not a selfish environment; everyone just wants everyone to be successful and that's why we're as successful as we are right now."
Naud upped her assist total to four when she contributed the secondary helper on Peart's subsequent score that put Quinnipiac ahead 2-1.
A freshman from Montreal, Ontario, Naud joined Peart with a three-point performance on Friday evening.
Olivia Konigson, whose poke check late in the period prevented a potential break-in by the Hawks, had the primary assist on that second goal.
Tough between the posts
Graduate student Corinne Schroeder from Elm Creek, Manitoba was tested early, withstood both challenges and came away with her first shutout of the season.
Schroeder faced a clear breakaway by the Hawks' Madi Ressler midway through the first period. She squared up for the shot and swatted it off to the right side. Just minutes earlier, Schroeder had faced another point-blank challenge but again sticked the puck aside.
In all, she faced seven shots, only four of which came over the final 40 minutes of the contest.
A Friday tiebreaker tear
Adzija, whose fourth and fifth assists on Saturday give her eight points (including her three goals) in the six games, scored just 20 seconds into the third period of Friday's game.
Adzija's goal snapped a 2-2 tie and propelled Quinnipiac into an advantage it never relinquished.
Her effort while flying down the left side as part of a 2-on-1 break with Jess Schryver and a trailing Olivia Mobley sparked a bigtime shift in momentum that paved the way for the Bobcats to dominate the period.
"It's been pretty awesome to be a part of that line with Jess and Olivia," said Adzija, who hails from St. Thomas, Ontario. "We're starting to develop some chemistry and hopefully that keeps going."
After hitting the road for the first time this season to take on Providence in Rhode Island on Friday, Oct. 15, the Bobcats host that same Friars squad on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m.
For ticket information, visit gobobcats.com/tickets, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-582-3905.