Having risen to national prominence, the Quinnipiac Bobcats are truly one of the great feel-good women’s hockey stories of this decade. The gathering of elite talent was only exceeded by the sense of family and commitment towards greatness, elements that made Bobcats hockey so special.
Among the Class of 2017, blueliner Taryn Baumgardt was on-hand for that rise to prominence. Raised in Innisfail, Alberta, Baumgardt was only the fifth recruit in program history to have suited up for Canada’s U18 national team. This exclusive sorority includes the likes of Nicole Connery, Breann Frykas, Nicole Kosta and former captain Cydney Roesler.
Developing into an essential member of the Bobcats blueline, she was a key contributor to the program’s magical season in 2016, which was also her junior season. Experiencing an increase in offensive output, doubling her previous season’s point total as a junior by recording 13 points, while establishing herself as a key performer on special teams, she always remained focused on her defensive duties.
During her junior season, she placed third among Bobcats blueliners with 35 blocked shots. Perhaps the most important metric was the fact that the Bobcats enjoyed a sterling undefeted mark of 10-0-0 when Baumgardt logged at least one point. Having experienced the jubilation of a conference crown in 2016’s postseason, which saw her log an assist in the ECAC semifinals against St. Lawrence, such an achievement was rewarded by the opportunity to make history by competing in the Bobcats’ first-ever game in the NCAA tournament.
Recognizing that the ECAC is a highly competitive conference, Baumgardt has never taken her achievements, or the team’s success, for granted. Hard-working and dedicated to giving her team a chance to win, Baumgardt’s senior season allowed her the chance to add her name to Bobcats history.
Raising her game in her final season of Bobcats hockey, the results spoke for themselves. From a defensive standpoint, Baumgardt was the heartbeat of the defensive unit, leading a group that allowed a miniscule 1.32 goals-per-game, frustrating opposing offenses while ranking second overall among all teams in NCAA Division I play. Complementing this masterful display of defensive proficiency, the Bobcats ranked first in the nation with an average of 18.18 shots on goal.
In addition, Baumgardt’s offensive abilities flourished, eclipsing previous highs with six goals and 11 assists for a solid 17 points. Finishing her career with 150 games played, Baumgardt became the first player in program history to reach such a pinnacle. In a career defined by durability, her tough as nails approach to the game was also complemented by the prestige of being named to ECAC hockey’s Third Team All-Stars in the aftermath of her senior season.
“Being named to the Third-Team All ECAC is a huge honor. The ECAC is a very competitive conference and to even be considered for any sort of recognition by the league is very humbling because of the incredible talent within the conference.
In the four years I have been a part of the ECAC the level of hockey has grown and the talent that the league has showcased is incredible. I am very grateful to be considered for a Third Team selection.”
A February 4 home tilt with Yale, which was also the Skate with the Bobcats event at High Point Solutions Arena, resulted in the last goal of Baumgardt’s NCAA career. Scoring at the 11:21 of the third, Kenzie Lancaster earned the assist. Before the period would expire, fellow senior Emma Woods would also put the biscuit in the basket, resulting in a 4-1 victory.
The last points of Baumgardt’s NCAA career would also take place on home ice, displaying her playmaking skills in a great multi-point effort. Hosting Rensselaer in the second last game of the regular season, she logged a pair of assists on the first two goals of the game for her 16th and 17th points of her senior campaign in an eventual 5-0 shutout win. Coincidentally, Woods would also have an impact in this game, combining with Baumgardt on her final assist.
Just as important for Baumgardt is the exultant standing that comes with being named to the ECAC All-Academic Team. Complemented by the pleasing recognition as a Quinnipiac Scholar Athlete, such honors are only gained through perseverance and dedication.
Displaying keenness both on the ice and in the classroom, Baumgardt’s attainment truly embodies the meaning of attaining the status of Student-Athlete. With grace and humility, she attributes such success to the support that comes within the program itself, substantially devoted to the development of its athletes as students and leaders.
“Being named a Quinnipiac Scholar Athlete and to the ECAC All-Academic team is extremely humbling. I believe that it is also a testament to the Quinnipiac Women’s Ice Hockey Program.
The coaching staff supports us as both students and athletes and ensures that we receive the resources we need to be successful. To have a coaching staff that is committed to providing us with a positive academic and athletic experience is pretty special. The Quinnipiac faculty and staff provide students with every opportunity to be successful.”
In reflecting on her Bobcats career, it is evident that the favorite moment of her career is one that is likely shared among many of her teammates, and others within the Bobcats athletic community; the 2016 ECAC conference championship. Defeating the Clarkson Golden Knights (who won the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four), it was a visceral match that helped escalate the program to unprecedented heights. Coincidentally, the two teams would play each other again in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
As important, and treasured, as that win is for Baumgardt, it becomes quickly evident that such triumph extends far beyond personal achievement. In recognizing the impact of said win, her team-first approach quickly rises to the surface. Graciously acknowledging what it meant to the graduating class that season, it is testament to the loyalty and respect that she has for the Bobcats players, and more importantly, what the program means to all who wear its colors,
“There are so many great moments that I was fortunate enough to experience with the Bobcats. I am very grateful for my time as a Bobcat and so fortunate to be a part of such a special program.
If I had to pick a favorite moment it would have to be winning the 2016 ECAC Conference Championship. Every single member of the team played a crucial role throughout the entire season and it was an amazing feeling to lift the trophy together.
It was also a special moment for our 2016 senior class. They gave so much to the Quinnipiac program and to be a part of their success is something that will not be forgotten.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Quinnipiac Bobcats Athletics