Women's Ice Hockey Opens Season Against Sacred Heart And New Hampshire

Open Season
The Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team opens its regular season this weekend as it hosts Sacred Heart on Oct. 3, and travel to the University of New Hampshire on Oct. 4. Both games are scheduled to start at 2 p.m. It has been a while since these two opponents have appeared on Quinnipiac's schedule, as the team has not faced Sacred Heart since 2004 and UNH since 2002.

On the Air
Saturday's game can be heard live on the WQAQ webstream. Jamie Palatini will handle the play-by-play duties with Brian Farrell adding color commentary. Fans can also follow the action with live stats. Both can be accessed by clicking the appropriate links above.

Scouting the Pioneers
The Pioneers post an 0-2 record coming into the weekend with the Bobcats after dropping both games at Maine last to open the season on Sept. 25 and 26. Junior forward Jessica Fontaine and sophomore defenseman Nicole Palazzo currently lead the Pioneers with one goal and two assists apiece. Sophomore goaltender Raelene Sydor has started both games in net for Sacred Heart, posting a .774 save percentage with 41 saves.

Scouting the Wildcats
The Wildcats are predicted to be one of the toughest match-ups for the Bobcats this season. On Sept. 22, UNH was selected to finish first in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll, receiving three first-place votes and 50 points overall in the rankings. The Wildcats played one exhibition game this season against the Durham Jr. Lightning, whom they defeated 13-0 on Sept. 26. Junior forward Julie Allen and freshman defenseman Brittany Skudder led UNH in that game with four points apiece. Goaltenders Kayley Herman and Lindsey Minton split time in net, collectively recording five saves in the game.

Last Outing Against the Pioneers
Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart last met in a weekend series on February 27-28 in the 2003-04 season. The Bobcats swept the Pioneers, 7-1, on Feb. 27 in Milford, Conn., and 3-0 on Feb. 28 in Northford, Conn.

Last Time Against the Wildcats
Quinnipiac and UNH last met in the 2002-03 season in a season-opening weekend series at the Northford Ice Pavilion. The Wildcats took both games from the Bobcats, earning a 5-3 win on Oct. 25, and a 10-0 victory on Oct. 26.

Starting on the Right Skate
The Bobcats started their season with an exhibition game last Friday against the Bluewater Jr. Hawks at the TD Bank Sports Center. Quinnipiac earned a 4-1 win over the Hawks, improving to a 3-1 all-time against Bluewater. Four different Bobcats scored in the contest, while six different players added assists.

Picking Up Where She Left Off
Senior Janine Duffy (Toronto, Ontario) picked right up where she left off from last season as she tallied a goal and an assist in the game against the Jr. Hawks. The forward scored the fourth goal of the game when she received a pass from freshman Breann Julius (Brookings, S.D.) at center ice and streaked up the left side, snapping a shot into the upper right corner of the goal. She also assisted on the second goal of the game when she passed the puck through the crease to freshman Heather Hughes (Stoufville, Ontario) for the goal. Duffy ranked second on the team last year in points as she put up nine goals and nine assists in the season.

Seniority Rules
Seniors Breana Burton (Surrey, British Columbia) and Evelina Husar (Eskilstuna, Sweden) each recorded a goal in the exhibition match-up on Sept. 25. Burton opened up the scoring for the Bobcats as she positioned herself at the right post and tipped in a Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska) slap shot from the left point. Sophomore Stacey Kmill (Thunder Bay, Ontario) also assisted on Burton's goal. In the second period, Husar followed suit as she tipped the puck into the upper right corner off a Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.) blast from the right point.

Remarkable Rookie
Freshman Hughes picked up her first goal in a Quinnipiac sweater in the second period against the Hawks to give the Bobcats a 2-1 advantage. In the offensive zone, Hughes darted to the left post where she received the puck from Duffy that she roofed into the top right corner for the score. Fellow rookie Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) was credited with an assist on the goal.

Constant Vigilance
Goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) served played the entire 60 minutes in goal against Bluewater. After allowing the first goal of the game, the freshman netminder buckled down, shutting out the Hawks the rest of the game. Vigilanti recorded 12 saves in the contest.

Ticket Information
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.