Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Great contingent of Quinnipiac’s Canadian stars find new home in NWHL

In the aftermath of a breakthrough season for the Quinnipiac Bobcats, from their first postseason crown to hosting their first-ever NCAA tournament game, the jubilation continues for the proud program as three members of their season class extend their careers into the professional ranks.

Team captain Cydney Roesler, raised west of Ottawa in Stittsville, Ontario, along with forwards Nicole Connery and Nicole Kosta shall get the opportunity to become teammates once again. Having all signed with the Connecticut Whale, it increases the number of Bobcats alums into the NWHL to an impressive eight.
 
Considering that Quinnipiac is based in Hamden, Connecticut, the success of the program over the last few seasons has proven to be a boon for the Whale. These three titanic stars shall join the likes of fellow alums Kelly Babstock, Shiann Darkangelo, Morgan Fritz-Ward, Chelsea Laden and Elena Orlando into the league.

One of the unique qualities among the three new acquisitions for the Whale is that each was recognized as members of the ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team. Such an achievement is testament to the players maturity and ability to juggle responsibilities as both student-athletes and role models for younger players. As a side note, each have alos played with the Canadian national team at the Under-18 level.
 
General Manager Lisa Giovanelli announced that Roesler was signed to a one-year agreement valued at $15,500 USD. Similar deals were handed out to Kosta and Connery, both raised in the Greater Toronto Area, who shall each be paid $15,000 USD for one season.
 
One of the premier shot blockers in the NCAA, Roesler shall definitely be a welcome presence on the blueline. With the club’s goaltending situation in doubt, after the loss of Jaimie Leonoff to free agency, Roelser will be counted on to contribute immediately on the blueline. Taking into account that the most recent Bobcats season was one where new benchmarks were set for highest penalty kill and fewest goals allowed, Roesler was a key contributor to such success.
 
Despite being a stay-at-home blueliner, Roesler does have the capacity for offensive flair. As one of the quarterbacks on the Bobcats power play over the seasons, she has scored the majority of her goals on special teams. Having been recognized with the Coaches' Award in her senior season, along with serving as team captain, the 14th in program history, Roesler brings a likeability and maturity that should enable to quickly emerge as a leader in NWHL play.
 
For a Whale offense that sputtered towards the end of the season, slipping out of first place after what appeared to be a vice-like grip on the position, Kosta is poised to provide some solid offensive punch. A three-time ECAC Hockey Third Team selection (2013, 15, 16), she would also impress in the classroom, earning ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selections in every season.
 
Recognized as the Quinnipiac Rookie of the Year in 2011-12, she would amass a program-record 11-game point streak over the course of two seasons, rewaching its end on October 13, 2012. Her offensive skills would only continue to flourish as her career progressed.
 
Graduating with 123 points, second all-time in program history, Kosta achieved this through consistency. In every season at Quinnipiac, she never logged worse than 25 points in a season. Along with Connery, who were both among the Bobcats leaders in scoring, it would not be surprising if the two played on a line together with the Whale, rekindling some offensive chemistry.

Said chemistry was evident during Bobcats senior night as Connery and Kosta would deliver on all accounts, making their mark in a 4-0 win against RPI. Both would provide three-point efforts as a new program record was set for most conference wins in one season.
 
Undoubtedly, Connery shall be a key addition as the Whale looks to add offensive depth. One of the most prolific scorers in Bobcats history, her senior season was one to behold. Her playmaking wizardry would result in career highs for both assists (24) and points (37). Reaching the century club in career points, she would become only the fourth player in Bobcats history to do so.
 
For a Bobcats team that experienced a breakthrough 2015-16 season, as new program records were set for most wins, wins in conference play, most goals scored, highest power play and longest unbeaten streak, among others, Connery, Kosta and Roesler were integral components. The Whale are optimistic that they can duplicate their achievements at the NWHL level, bringing the club one step closer to an Isobel Cup.  

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