Woods nets controversial OT winner in Game 1 of ECAC quarterfinals to lift No. 4 Quinnipiac past Rensselaer


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HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac sealed a come-from-behind win in an overtime goal review to take the first game of the ECAC quarterfinals 3-2 against Rensselaer.

Two minutes into the extra frame, Emma Woods drove to the net with T.T. Cianfarano chasing. Woods went towards the far-side post as the puck popped up before going in off of Woods’ skate. The initial call on the ice was a good goal and the call was upheld.

“[I’m] disappointed because I think it was kicked in,” RPI coach John Burke said. “I don’t know what type of… what they were watching, but it’s pretty evident from the game tape we got. But we have to live with the result.”

Woods, credited with her second of the night, had a feeling the goal was going to get reviewed once the puck crossed the goal line.

“[Cianfarano] took the puck to the net and I was just there to pick it up,” Woods said. “I knew it was kind of that [kicking] motion, I knew it was getting reviewed. But I was in stride and I feel like it happened so quickly that it wasn’t forced. But I was a little scared at first.”

Rensselaer had a 2-0 lead at the end of the second period after tallies a minute and a half apart. The first goal came off of a Jaimie Grigsby breakaway, where she picked a Quinnipiac pass at the blue line and went through both zones unchallenged. She sailed a pretty shot in past Sydney Rossman’s blocker to take the lead.

The second goal game came 90 seconds later, as defender Josephine Hansen handled a bouncing puck and sent a clunky shot in from the top of the blue line and in to give the Engineers a two-goal lead.

Anchoring the Engineers was first-year goaltender Lovisa Selander, who turned away 57 shots during the game.

“Their goaltender’s good — she really does a good job being square on pucks, she’s patient,” Quinnipiac coach Cassie Turner said. “I think continuing for us to get her to move laterally, look to shoot a little quicker, get pucks in traffic. All the regular things you want.”

Burke admires the work of his goaltender and believes this is indicative of the play Selander has had all season.

“She’s been there for us all year,” Burke said. “I think she’s the best goaltender in the league, by far. I mean, there are some there kids with good numbers, but I think she’s the best kid in the league.”

Selander was supported by her defense, which worked to spurn Quinnipiac chances in the 102 attempts taken. Rensselaer had 22 blocked shots and forced 27 shots off target and wide of the net.

“We thought we did a really good job of stopping all those shots to the outside the shooting lanes,” Burke said. “I don’t think it was a barrage from the grade-A slot. I think we did a nice job of taking away the middle of the ice on them.”

With an assist on the game winning goal and a goal of her own, Quinnipiac’s Nicole Connery became the fourth player in program history to hit the 100-point plateau.

“My goal was to get 100 points,” Connery admitted. “Sometimes I had my doubts, but I had so many people on my team kept me going.”

The best-of-three series continues again Saturday afternoon, where Burke and the Engineers maintain a singular focus.

“It’s just find a way to bounce back after a tough loss,” said Burke. “It’s heartbreaking [and] we feel we should still be playing and who knows what would have happened. We just gotta find a way to bounce back and our main focus is to get us into Sunday.”