Women's Ice Hockey Comes Up Short Against No. 3/3 Cornell, 4-1

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ITHACA, N.Y. –The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team lost a hard fought battle to No. 3/3 nationally ranked Cornell, 4-1, on Friday evening at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. With the loss, Quinnipiac falls to 9-4-2 in ECAC Hockey and 13-9-2 overall, while Cornell improves to 10-1-0 in ECAC Hockey action and 14-2 overall. The Bobcats and Big Red now share first-place in ECAC Hockey standings with 20 points apiece.

Quinnipiac came ready to play against the perennial powerhouse of ECAC Hockey and stunned Cornell with a goal just 21 seconds into the first period of play. Off the faceoff, the Bobcats moved the puck into their offensive zone where sophomore forward Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) was spotted open on the crease. Babstock's initial shot was saved by sophomore goaltender Lauren Slebodnick, however the rebound slid directly to senior assistant captain Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) who one-timed in the backhander past the out-of-position Slebodnick. Wheeler earned her fourth tally of the season, while Babstock was credited with her team-high 15th helper on the year.

The Bobcats played one of their most sound defensive periods of the season, holding Cornell to just three shots in the frame. In the contest overall, the shots were deadlocked at 21 apiece, as junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) turned away 17 shots in net for Quinnipiac, while Slebodnick made 20 saves for Cornell.

Cornell found its offense in the second period and tied the score, 1-1, at the 3:41 mark into the frame on a slap-shot from the point by freshman forward Jillian Saulnier. Quinnipiac's penalty-kill unit had successfully thwarted a Cornell power-play, however the Big Red retained possession of the puck following the release, and freshman forward Emily Fulton eventually found Saulnier for the slapper. Sophomore forward Jessica Campbell was also credited with an assist on the goal.

The Big Red took its first lead of the contest, 2-1, just over the half-way point of the second stanza at the 10:12 mark, as senior Catherine White received a crisp pass from junior defender Lauriane Rougeau and one-timed it past Vigilanti. Junior defender Laura Fortino earned the second assist on Big Red's score.

Cornell found the back of the net for the third time in the frame just over two minutes later on sophomore Brianne Jenner's quick wrist shot. Jenner received a pass from Rougeau, skated in on the wing and buried her opportunity for her eighth goal of the season.

The Bobcats played the Big Red relatively even in the third period, but a Cornell power-play goal at the 11:43 mark by Campbell extended the lead to 4-1. Fortino and freshman Emily Fulton were each credited with an assist on the score. Quinnipiac and Cornell each picked up the physicality in the third period, and committed a total of eight penalties.

Overall, Quinnipiac held Cornell to just 1-for-7 on its power-play chances. The Bobcats were 0-for-5 on its extra skater opportunities.

Quinnipiac looks to bounce back tomorrow afternoon on Saturday, Jan. 14, when it travels to face ECAC Hockey opponent Colgate at 4 p.m.

Contact: Ross Bennett, rsbennett@quinnipiac.edu