The Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team will host the Bluewater Jr. Hawks in an exhibition game Friday, Sept. 25 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The contest prefaces the Bobcats' regular season, which kicks off Saturday, Oct. 3 when Quinnipiac hosts Sacred Heart at 2 p.m. This is the fourth time in program history that the Bobcats have opened the season against Bluewater at home.
Welcome Back Bobcats
Quinnipiac returns 12 players from last year's roster, including eight of their top ten scorers. Leading the way is senior forward Janine Duffy (Toronto, Ontario) who generated 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists) last season and was named the team MVP. The Bobcats will also return senior Kallie Flor (Farmington, Minn.) who recorded four goals and eight assists, and junior Kelley Davies (Chesapeake, Va.) who tallied three goals and four assists last season. Also returning to the Bobcats are sophomores Chelsea Illchuk (Lockport, Manitoba) and Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.) who combined for 14 points last season.
Quinnipiac welcomes 14 new players to its roster for the 2009-10 season. Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba), Catherine Colucci (North Scituate, R.I), Kristen Eklund (Barrington, R.I.), Christina Finoia (Wallingford, Conn.), Breann Julius (Brookings, S.D.), Heather Hughes (Stoufville, Ontario), Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.), Amanda Nagel (Greenwood, Minn.), (Breehan Polci (London, Ontario), Jessica Puig (Niles, Ill.), Micheala Spiessl (Champion, Mich.), Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.), Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) and Kerry Wilson (Shrewsbury, N.J.) will all suit up for their first season with the Bobcats.
Eklund, Finoia, Hughes, Lyons, Polci and Puig will add depth to the Bobcats' forward lines this season. Eklund played the last four years with the Massachusetts Spitfires and one season with her high school team in Barrington, R.I., where she was earned all-region and all-state honors. Finoia is the lone Connecticut native to join the team, having played for the Connecticut Polar Bears where she helped win a Regional and State Championship. Hughes joins the Bobcats from the top-seeded Toronto Aeros squad of the Provincial Women's Hockey League in Ontario. Hughes played for the Aeros for three years, accumulating 47 goals and 34 assists in 68 career games. Lyons leaves a legacy behind as she comes to Quinnipiac, holding every ice hockey and lacrosse scoring record at Canton High School. She also suited up for USA Hockey's Assabet Valley and won a U-19 National Championship. Polci also dressed for the Toronto Aeros, as well as the Chatham Cyclones Midget AAA boys team for the past two seasons. Puig comes to Quinnipiac from the Chicago area and served as captain of her junior team, the Chicago Young Americans, from 2006-09.
Joining the Bobcats' blue line efforts are Boulton, Colucci, Julius, Vieweg and Wilson. Boulton will recognize a familiar face at Quinnipiac, as she played with sophomore Illchuk at Balmoral Hall in Winnipeg. Boulton captained the Blazers in her senior year, as well as being named the Team MVP and the school's Varsity Athlete of the Year. Colucci earned a number of accolades at St. Mary's Academy in R.I., being named all-state and all-division in her senior season. She also helped St. Mary's to back-to-back Rhode Island State Championships in 2008 and 2009. Julius had four successful years on the ice at Brookings High School in South Dakota, earning a spot on the All-State Defensive Team in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She also served as team captain and was named the Team MVP in those seasons, leading her team in points and plus/minus. Wilson played the last four years for her high school's varsity boy's hockey team in New Jersey where she was named to Boy's Ice Hockey Shore Conference B Division First Team in her senior season. Vieweg comes to Quinnipiac from Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., a team she captained in her senior season. She also played for the East Coast Wizards.
Quinnipiac welcomes three new goaltenders in Nagel, Spiessl and Vigilanti for the 2009-10 season. Nagel is a sophomore transfer to the Quinnipiac from Sacred Heart, leaving quite an impact on the Pioneers as she set the single-season save record with 967 saves in 31 games played in 2008-09. Spiessl joins the Bobcats as a transfer from Northern Michigan University who also played for the Negaunee Men's City League from 2005-2007 where she won the Men's League Championship in 2006. Vigilanti has posted strong statistics in the past three years playing for the Mississauga Jr. Chiefs of the PWHL, posting a 1.72 career goals-against average and a .929 career save percentage.
Behind the Bench
Head coach Rick Seeley returns along with associate head coach Harry Rosenholtz and assistant coach Cassie Turner for their second season behind the Quinnipiac bench. The coaching staff also introduces volunteer assistant coach Sergei Tartykov. An NHL skating instructor for the Minnesota Wild, Tartykov brings extensive professional experience as a skating specialist to Quinnipiac, helping the Bobcats improve their on-ice agility and develop the technical skating abilities of each player. Tartykov's responsibilities will focus on power skating instruction, group and individual skating sessions, on-ice drills and game preparation.
Flor will wear the "C" for Quinnipiac this season after serving as an assistant in 2008-09. Senior forward Evelina Husar (Eskilstuna, Sweden) will serve as the assistant captain for the second-straight season.
Hockey East Encounters
The Bobcats will face-off against four Hockey East schools this season, including the top two ranked schools in the conference, the University of New Hampshire and Boston College. Quinnipiac will face UNH on Oct. 4 for the first time since the 2002-03 season, before traveling to BC on Oct. 16 to square off with the Eagles. The Bobcats will also play the University of Connecticut and Northeastern this season, teams ranked fifth and sixth in Hockey East, respectively.
Bobcat fans can access ticket information by visiting the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.quinnipiacbobcats.com, or by calling the TD Bank Sports Center Ticket Office at 203-582-3905. Fans should also check www.quinnipiacbobcats.com regularly as schedules are subject to change