Rossman’s 15th shutout leads No. 4 Quinnipiac past Rennselaer

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HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac completed its weekend sweep, defeating Rensselaer 4-0 on Saturday, but the teams will face off again in the first round of the ECAC playoffs next Friday.

Quinnipiac (26-2-5, 16-2-4 ECAC) will be the No. 1 overall seed, while RPI (10-15-7, 8-9-5 ECAC) sits as the eighth seed.

Emotions were at a high this weekend for the Bobcats, between clinching the program’s first ECAC regular season title Friday night, and honoring the senior class Saturday afternoon.

“That’s the difference between good teams and great teams in the playoffs; who can manage those situations that arise that can make you uncomfortable,” Quinnipiac coach Cassie Turner said. “I think that conversation this week helped, but it’s something they’ve been doing all year, and we’re really proud of that.”

Rossman posted her 17th career shutout, and 15th of this year, turning aside 14 shots throughout game. She was supported by her offense, which managed 52 shots on goal on the night and 13 goals on the weekend.

Eight points on the night were from the all-senior second line of Nicole Connery, Nicole Kosta and Nicole Brown.

“I think we use each other a lot — it’s tic-tac-toe here, there, it’s always support each other,” Connery said. “If I miss the puck, I know one of the other Nicoles is gonna back me up, so it’s a good feeling.”

“We talk a lot on the bench,” Kosta added. “I think communication has a lot coming into it, especially since I haven’t been around a lot for the past month. They’ve helped me a lot coming back into it. It’s just starting to work, so hopefully we can carry that into next week.”

RPI pushed back against the Bobcats in the third period, getting six shots on goal with 11 attempts in the frame. While the activity didn’t convert to a goal, the pressure still forced the Bobcats to retreat into playing a more defensive game.

“We just talked about having some pride,” Rensselaer coach John Burke said. “We had a tough game last night, we didn’t have as much energy as we wanted to here. That’s a testament to our kids to have some pride. Hey, let’s try and get a goal here, see what can happen. If you get one, you never know. But I liked our effort in the third and we’re excited about coming back down here.”

With a combination of a St. Lawrence win against Brown, a Cornell win at Harvard, and a last-second Clarkson victory against Yale, that set the stage for these two teams to face off once again in Hamden.

“Going in against RPI next weekend, their team is hard to play against,” Turner said. “They really have good sticks, they battle hard to the net, their goaltender is strong. We’re expecting a battle next weekend.”

Burke echoed the sentiments of the coach across the ice.

“We feel good about playing them [and] we feel good about the matchup,” he said. “They’re the top team in the league and one of the top teams in the country, but we like how we match up against them.”

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