February 17, 2012

Women's Ice Hockey Wraps Up Regular Season Against Union And Rensselaer This Weekend

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Union Game Program

Friday, February 17, 2012 – 7 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (15-14-2) (10-8-2 ECAC Hockey) vs.
Union College Dutchwomen (4-24-4) (2-16-2) 

Saturday, February 18, 2012 – 4 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (15-14-2) (10-8-2 ECAC Hockey) vs.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers (9-19-4) (6-12-2 ECAC Hockey)

High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center – Hamden, Conn. 

Regular Season Final Weekend
The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team (15-14-2) (10-8-2 ECAC Hockey) wraps up its regular season schedule when it hosts ECAC Hockey opponents Union (4-24-2) (2-16-2 ECAC Hockey) and Rensselaer (9-19-4) (6-12-2 ECAC Hockey) in this weekend's upcoming games. Friday's game against the Dutchwomen will begin at 7 p.m., while Saturday's game against the Engineers is set for a 4 p.m. start. 

Senior Day Saturday
Prior to the game on Saturday, Quinnipiac will honor its six seniors who will be participating in the final home games of their respective careers. Captain Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska), assistant captain Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.), assistant captain Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario), defender Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.), forward Chelsea Illchuk (Lockport, Manitoba) and goaltender Micheala Spiessl (Champion, Mich.) represent this year's senior class. 

Multimedia
Live stats, audio and video for this weekend's games can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

About Union
Union is coming off a 1-0 loss to Harvard on Saturday, Feb. 11. Harvard netted a late first period goal, but the Dutchwomen kept it close throughout the remainder of the contest. Senior goalie Kate Gallagher made a game-high 34 saves for the Dutchwomen. Overall, Union is led by freshmen Bryanne Panchuk and Christine Valente's 11 points (five goals, six assists) on the season. Gallagher has accumulated a 2.10 goals against average to go along with a .939 save percentage on the year. 

All-Time Against The Dutchwomen
Friday's contest will be the 21st time the sides have faced each other. Quinnipiac owns a dominant 17-0-3 record against the Dutchwomen, its best record against any opponent in program-history. In their last contest earlier this season on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, Quinnipiac skated to a 5-1 victory. Five different Bobcats scored on the afternoon, including junior Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba), sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.), sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario), junior Kristen Eklund (Barrington, R.I.) and senior Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska). Junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) made 19 saves in the contest for Quinnipiac. 

About Rensselaer
The Engineers are coming off a 4-2 win over Dartmouth on Saturday, Feb. 11. After falling behind, 2-0, in the first period, Rensselaer potted four-straight goals to storm back to victory. Junior Taylor Horton had a game-high three points (one goal, two assists), while freshman Brianna Piper turned away 22 shots for the Engineers. Overall, Rensselaer is led by sophomore Jordan Smelker's 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists), followed by freshman Eleeza Cox's 22 points (13 goals, nine assists). Piper and fellow freshman Kelly O'Brien have split time in net this season, as Piper holds a 2.92 goals against average and a .879 save percentage. O'Brien has a 2.73 goals against average and a .894 save percentage on the year. 

All-Time Against The Engineers
Saturday's game will be the 18th time the two teams square off in series history. While Rensselaer holds a 10-6-1 series lead, Quinnipiac has won the last two meetings including a 2-0 shutout victory over the Engineers earlier this season on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. Sophomore forward Kelly Babstock tallied the game-winner in the first period of play on an unassisted score, while captain Jordan Elkins added an insurance goal early in the third period of action for Quinnipiac. Vigilanti picked up her second shutout of the season, making 21 saves in goal.

Last Weekend's Action
The Bobcats lost two close contests last weekend, as they were edged by one goal on both Friday night and Saturday afternoon against St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Despite a valiant comeback effort on Friday, Feb. 10 against St. Lawrence, Quinnipiac was defeated, 4-3. Quinnipiac entered the third period of action down, 2-0, but rattled off three-straight goals to take a 3-2 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining in regulation. Junior forward Breann Frykas tallied the first two, while junior defender Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) notched the third score for Quinnipiac. Vigilanti made a game-high 34 saves in net. 

Quinnipiac fell to Clarkson the following afternoon, 3-2. Sophomore forward Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) and senior Kate Wheeler each potted goals for the Bobcats, while freshman goaltender Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) made 28 saves in goal. 

Mandi Schwartz Student Athlete of the Year Nominee
Senior captain Jordan Elkins represents Quinnipiac as this year's nominee for the 2011-12 Mandi Schwartz Student Athlete of the Year. The yearly award is presented by ECAC Hockey to those athletes who excel both on and off the ice. Prior to Friday's game against Union, Elkins will be recognized with an on-ice presentation, as the winner will be announced following the season's conclusion. 

Finding Her Groove
Junior forward Breann Frykas provided a boost of energy into Quinnipiac's offense on Friday, Feb. 10 against St. Lawrence, as she netted the team's first two goals of the game to tie the score at two-apiece. Quinnipiac entered the third period trailing, 2-0, but two quick goals by Frykas, at the 2:13 and 6:08 marks, turned momentum in the Bobcats favor. The following afternoon, Frykas added an assist in the team's final score of the contest. Frykas now has at least one point in five of the team's last six games, accumulating four goals and two assists during that time frame. 

Boults Laced Up
Junior defender Regan Boulton continued to display her offensive prowess over the weekend, collecting a goal and an assist in games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Boulton is currently riding a season-high five game point streak and has seven points (four goals, three assist) in the team's last seven games. She leads all Quinnipiac defensemen with 17 points and currently ranks third among ECAC Hockey defensemen with eight goals (tied for ninth in overall points). 

Dead Even
Quinnipiac is 6-6 in games decided by one goal. Four of the team's 10 games since its winter break have been decided by one goal. 

Grab Momentum Early
The Bobcats are 12-6-1 when they tally the first goal of the game. 

Playoffs Ahead
The Bobcats have secured the No. 6 seed in the ECAC Hockey postseason tournament, and will play the No. 3 seed in a best-of-three format next weekend. Quinnipiac and No. 1 seed Cornell are the only two teams which have secured their seeding positions.

Contact: Ross Bennett, rsbennett@quinnipiac.edu