December 3, 2011

Illchuk's Game Winner In Overtime Leads Women's Ice Hockey Over Yale, 3-2

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Senior forward Chelsea Illchuk's (Lockport, Manitoba) late game heroics, which included a game-tying assist and netting the game-winning goal, lifted the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team to a 3-2 overtime victory over Yale on Saturday afternoon at Ingalls Rink. The win for Quinnipiac gives it a season series sweep of Yale, as well as a weekend sweep and four points in ECAC Hockey action, improving the team's overall record to 11-7-1 and 7-2-1 in ECAC Hockey. Yale falls to 1-14-0 overall and 1-7-0 in ECAC Hockey action.

Illchuk's goal, her second of the season, came off her own efforts following a won faceoff in Yale's defensive zone. The senior played the puck back to junior defender Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) and drifted towards the front of the net in expectation of Boulton's shot. Boulton's blast was tipped by Illchuk, knocking it by Yale's senior goaltender Genny Ladiges and providing Quinnipiac with its fifth-straight victory.

Sophomore forward Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) scored the Bobcat's first goal of the game, while Boulton slapped home her third goal of the year in the final minutes of the third period to send the game into overtime. Yale received goals from senior forward Heather Grant and freshman forward Lynn Kennedy.

Freshman goaltender Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) made her third-career start for Quinnipiac in goal, and turned away 19 shots in victory. Ladiges made a game-high 36 saves in goal for the Bulldogs.

Yale jumped out to a surprising 1-0 lead just under four minutes into the first period on Grant's second goal of the season. Grant took a slap shot from the point and beat Laden, who was screened with traffic in front on the play. Sophomore forward Jackie Raines and junior forward Danielle Moncion were each credited with an assist on the score.

The Bobcats responded with its first goal of the game at the 12:23 mark into the period, as Uden Johansson's snipe from the top of the faceoff circle knotted the score at one apiece. Uden Johansson received a pass from senior defender Melissa Perry (Champion, Mich.), skated into the zone with good pace and unloaded her shot on net past the overmatched Ladiges. In addition to Perry, senior defender Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) earned an assist on the goal.

The Bulldogs once again were the first to strike in a period, this time taking the 2-1 lead at the 3:28 mark into the second period of play. Following a short pass from Moncion, Kennedy positioned herself in tight towards the side of the net and poked the puck underneath the pads of Laden for the score. Despite owning the shot advantage for the second straight period (11-to-7, 10-to-6), Quinnipiac was unable to find the game's equalizer, sending the teams into the locker room with the score, 2-1.

Quinnipiac turned up the intensity in the third period and notched the game-tying goal with 4:58 remaining in the contest, re-tying the score, 2-2. On a delayed roughing penalty against Yale, Illchuk came onto the ice as an extra attacker and made an immediate impact, out-hustling a defender to the puck to keep the play alive. She then passed the puck to junior forward Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba), who turned up ice and darted a pass to junior defender Boulton just inside the blue line. The junior defender then drilled a laser over the shoulder of Ladiges for the game's equalizer.

The Bobcats were determined to come away with two points on the afternoon, and did so with 2:11 remaining in the overtime frame on Illchuk's score at the 2:49 mark into the extra period.

Quinnipiac owned a commanding 39-to-21 shot advantage on the afternoon. Each team went scoreless on its power-play opportunities, as Quinnipiac went 0-for-2 and Yale went 0-for-1.

Quinnipiac returns to the ice on Friday, Dec. 9 when it travels to face ECAC Hockey opponent Princeton at 7 p.m.

Contact: Ross Bennett, rsbennett@quinnipiac.edu