Brilliant Bobcats roar to Friendship joy in Belfast
Quinnipiac University Bobcats came away from the 2020 Friendship Series with a perfect record at the SSE Arena in Belfast as they bested the Merrimack College Warriors twice to win the tournament.
The Bobcats were 4-2 winners in Saturday's opening game of the women's college ice hockey tournament, and they followed that up with a 3-1 victory over the Warriors in yesterday's rematch.
Quinnipiac forward Lexie Adzija was the stand-out player and she scored a goal and added three assists across the two games, while the Bobcats also had excellent goaltending from Abbie Ives (17 saves) on Saturday and Logan Angers (18 saves) yesterday.
"It's been a great experience overall, and to get two wins on top of that is a great feeling," said Adzija. "The people here were very welcoming, and to put up two wins in front of them was a great feeling.
"Our group grew a lot, this was a great building experience for us and we can take this back to the States. It'll make the long flight home a lot better!"
On the Warriors' side, Czech winger Dominika Laskova was on song as she grabbed two goals over the weekend, with Emma Gorksi making an outstanding 36 stops yesterday after Léa-Kristine Demers made 29 saves on Saturday.
Although they didn't pick up any points towards their NCAA standings, head coach Erin Hamlen was very pleased with the improvement her side showed from Saturday's game into yesterday.
"I thought our effort was better and our compete level was higher (yesterday)," said the former USA international.
"It was a really big deal for us to come back out and put in that kind of display.
"I'm proud of them. It was an incredible experience to be out here, and the support from the crowd and the staff is going to leave a really good taste in our mouth despite the results."
It was another superbly attended event after the success of last year's inaugural tournament with the fans coming out in force for the games, and the week as a whole left Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner delighted.
"It's nice to have the wins, but we're not leaving here with that. We're leaving with a phenomenal experience for our programme. We are so thankful to everyone for having us here, they welcomed us into a family and it's just an amazing culture," said Turner.
"We're all new Giants fans!"