Honey We're Home
After two consecutive weekends on the road, the Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team returns to the TD Bank Sports Center to host St. Lawrence and No. 4-ranked Clarkson this weekend. The Bobcats will take on the Saints on Friday at 7 p.m., and will face off against the Golden Knights on Saturday at 4 p.m. In their last outing, Quinnipiac defeated Colgate, 2-1, on Feb. 6.
Scouting the Saints
St. Lawrence has compiled a 14-9-7 overall record so far this season, and posts a 10-5-3 record in ECAC Hockey. The Saints are currently in fourth place in the league standings with 23 points, just one point ahead of the Bobcats. St. Lawrence is on a three-game winning streak, earning victories in its past three home games against RPI, Union and Clarkson. Sophomore forward Vanessa Emond currently leads the team offensively with 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points this season. Senior goaltender Brittony Chartier has seen the most action in net for the Saints this season, posting a .914 save percentage and a 2.14 goals-against average.
Scouting the Golden Knights
No. 4-ranked Clarkson currently posts a 20-7-3 overall record with a 14-3-1 record in the ECAC, good for 29 points and the top ranking in the league. The Golden Knights dropped from ranking third to fourth in the national rankings after they split a weekend against RPI and Union last weekend. Senior forward Dominique Thibault leads the team with 17 goals and 16 assists for a total of 33 points. Junior goaltender Lauren Dahm has played in all but one game for Clarkson this season, and posts a .939 save percentage and a 1.47 goals-against average.
For the fourth consecutive week, the Bobcats received votes in the USCHO.com Division I Women's poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's poll, recognizing the top women's ice hockey programs in the nation. Quinnipiac received three votes in each poll after they battled to a scoreless draw with Cornell and defeated Colgate, 2-1, last weekend.
She's a Brick...Wall
After turning aside 65 saves and allowing just one goal in 125 minutes of ECAC Hockey play, freshman goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) was named the ECAC Rookie of the Week by the league's coaches and administrators. The rookie was flawless in Friday night's game against Cornell, stopping a season-high 37 saves and recording her fourth shutout of the season. Vigilanti stopped 28 shots the following day at Colgate in her 14th win of the season. After her weekend performance, the freshman moved up to rank third nationally in save percentage with a .944. She also ranks sixth nationally in goals against average with a 1.39.
Playoff Talk - Only Time Will Tell
With just two weeks remaining in the 2009-10 regular-season schedules, the Bobcats are close to clinching their first ECAC Hockey playoff berth in program history, but the race for the finish is a tight one. The top eight teams will advance to post-season play, and the teams that currently rank between 2nd and 7th place are within just six points of one another. Quinnipiac is ranked in fifth place with 22 points in conference play, tied with RPI and just one point shy of St. Lawrence in fourth. The final four games will be crucial in deciding the Bobcats' playoff fate, as four wins could secure the host position for a playoff game.
Bobcats' assistant captain Evelina Husar (Eskilstuna, Sweden) scored her fourth career goal in the 2-1 victory against Colgate last Saturday. The tally was the second Quinnipiac goal of the game and marked the first game-winner ever scored by Husar in her four-year career with the Bobcats. The senior has had a career-year as she has two goals and four assists this season for Quinnipiac.
Hughes is Heating Up
Freshman forward Heather Hughes (Stouffville, Ontario) scored her 12th goal of the season in the win at Colgate last Saturday, her second tally in as many weekend series for the Bobcats. The freshman was Quinnipiac's top scorer in the first half of the season, notching ten goals before Dec. 5. Hughes is just three goals away from matching the program record for most goals scored in a season set by Hayley McMeekin in 2006-07.
Rookie Rally Round
Two freshmen picked up assists in last week's victory against Colgate. Defender Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) fired the shot on net that was converted by Hughes just three minutes into the first period, recording her fourth assist of the season. Five minutes into the second period, forward Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) sped up ice with the puck and ripped a shot on the goaltender that deflected wide. Husar collected the deflection and poked it through for the game-winning tally, earning Lyons her second helper of the year.