In a remarkable Quinnipiac Bobcats career filled with so many highlights, it was an opportunity for fans to appreciate the greatness of Cydney Roesler for one more season. Bestowed the honor of the captaincy in her senior season, the first blueliner since Regan Boulton in 2012-13, it was testament to her impact with the program. Such a proud milestone was enhanced by the fact that she had learned from past captains, herself setting a positive example for freshmen to look up to.
“It certainly meant a lot to be the captain of the team for my senior year. It was really humbling to know that not only the coaches believed I could fulfill this role but also my teammates. For my first three years, I had great captains to look up to and they really showed me what it was like to lead a team. My teammates this year made my role so fun because we were all striving for the same thing and collectively wanted to get better everyday.”
Of note, the experience of the captaincy was not unfamiliar to Roesler. The product of Stittsville, Ontario served as the captain of PWHL’s Ottawa Lady Senators in her final season. Her PWHL career would bring with it two special connections in her Bobcats career.
During her time with the Lady Senators, one of her teammates was Morgan Richardson, one of the finalists for the 2016 Hockey Humanitarian Award. The two would also be teammates on two other stages. At the 2011 National U18 championships, the two were joined by Lady Senators goaltender Amanda Leveille on the roster of Team Ontario Red, capturing a gold medal. As a side note, Roesler was named Top Blueliner of the tournament.
With Canada’s national Under-18 team, Roesler and Richardson captured gold at the 2012 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, under the tutelage of head coach Pierre Alain, currently with Ottawa’s Carleton Ravens. One of their teammates on the U18 team was Nicole Connery, who would go on to play four seasons alongside Roesler with the Bobcats. Connery would amass an exceptional 102 career points on the strength of 60 assists, while contributing to an ECAC championship team in 2016.
Although Richardson would go on to a proud four-year career with the Cornell Big Red, a Bobcats rival in the ECAC Conference, there was a special occasion that helped define the senior seasons of both Roesler and Richardson. Do It for Daron (DIFD), a cause that celebrates the life of Morgan’s sister, held four fundraising games during Richardson’s career at Cornell. The 2016 fundraiser for DIFD featured the Big Red hosting the Bobcats, a special opportunity for two competitors and cherished friends to grace the ice in a heartwarming and respectful way.
The road towards such a great senior season was one defined by hard work. In Roesler’s first two seasons, she would not miss a game, establishing herself as an iron woman for the Bobcats. During her sophomore season, Roesler was not only the leading scorer among blueliners, she established herself as one of the ECAC’s best shot blockers. Blocking 41 shots as a sophomore, she would improve on that number as a junior with 52, establishing herself as a true specialist in the craft.
Perhaps more impressive was the fact that she took only two penalties during that season. Recognized as the Bobcats Best Defensive Player in 2015 (also her junior season), she added the honor of ECAC Hockey All-Academic and Nutmeg Classic All-Tournament Team to her sterling career.
During Roesler’s final season with the Bobcats, she would experience a rite of passage which is common to all competitors in collegiate sports; senior night. Honored alongside fellow seniors Nicole Brown, Nicole Kosta, Kristen Tamberg, Lindsey West and Connery, it was a Class composed entirely of Canadian-born players. With family in attendance, the presence of such proud supporters only added to the feeling of teamwork for Roesler.
Competing against the Rensselaer Engineers at High Point Solutions Arena, Tamberg would log the first goal of the game, which also stood as the game-winning goal. Brown and Connery also scored, while Kosta registered three assists in a 4-0 victory. The victory added to the jubilation of a memorable evening for Roesler,
“Senior night was really special for me because I had my parents down to watch me play in my last regular season games. They’ve been by my side since day one so it was really amazing to have them there. A lot families, friends, and fans were there as well, celebrating the our class and what we’ve accomplished in four years. The support we got was incredible. What also made that night so special was the fact that we had just clinched the regular season title the night before.”
Statistically, Roelser accumulated 52 career points, while managing a respectable 7 power play goals. Not only did she become the fourth blueliner to amass 50 career points with the program, she would also become the 20th skater overall. During the 2014-15 season, she would also show some offensive proficiency, logging three game-winning goals.
The last goals of her NCAA career actually occurred on the road in a November 14, 2015 contest vs. Princeton. Contributing a two goal effort, as the scoreboard showed a 4-2 final in the Bobcats favor. Scoring both of her goals in the third period against Kimberly Newell, a fellow alum of the Canadian U18 national team, Emma Woods would gain the assist on Roesler’s final goal, also scored on the power play. It was only fitting that Woods would earn such a notable assist as she inherits the captaincy from Roesler heading into the 2016-17 season.
Roesler’s final assist was certainly one to remember, representing a great personal and team milestone. On March 6, 2016, she assisted on the game winning goal that clinched the ECAC Postseason Crown for Quinnipiac, a program first. Adding to the emotion of such a monumental day was the fact that everyone involved with said goal were part of the Bobcats senior class. Roesler and Connery would log the assists on a goal scored by Nicole Brown.
“To win the ECAC postseason title as a senior was an amazing feeling. As a class, it had been a goal of ours for four years and to reach that accomplishment on home ice in our final season was truly incredible.
I will never forget the look on everyone’s faces when we lifted the trophy up for the first time and skated it over to the rest of the team. As a captain, I was so proud. After taking the team photo we let all the family members and fans onto the ice so they could celebrate with us. It was the greatest moment in my four years here at Quinnipiac.”
In the aftermath of the 2015-16 season, one that saw Bobcats win their first-ever ECAC postseason championship, followed by the prestige of hosting their first-ever NCAA Tournament quarterfinal game, Roesler was honored by the Bobcats with the Coaches Award. It was a fitting tribute for her as the defense set a program record with fewest goals allowed in a season. Although the Bobcats will certainly not be the same without her next autumn, her presence set a gold standard on and off the ice, holding a special place in the hearts of coaches, teams and fans alike.
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Image obtained from: https://quinnipiac.prestosports.com/