No.9 Women's Ice Hockey Opens Regular Season On The Road Against No.8 Mercyhurst, Friday At 7 PM And Saturday At 4 PM

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Friday, September 30, 2011 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 1, 2011 – 4 p.m.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0-0) (0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) vs.
Mercyhurst College Lakers (0-0-0) (0-0-0 CHA) 

Mercyhurst Ice Center – Erie, Pa.

Top-10 Matchup
The preseason No.9 ranked Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team opens its 2011-12 regular season schedule this Friday and Saturday when it takes on No.8 ranked Mercyhurst at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pa. Friday's contest will begin at 7 p.m. while Saturday's game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start. 

Live stats and audio can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, 

About Mercyhurst
The Lakers are coming off an incredible year in which they finished the 2010-11 season with a 29-6 overall record. Mercyhurst won its 10th College Hockey America regular season title and made its seventh straight appearance to the NCAA Division I playoffs. While the Lakers hosted the Frozen Four, they were eliminated by eventual runner-up Boston University in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Mercyhurst graduated two of its all-time greatest players last season, in 2010-11 Patty Kazmaier Top-3 Runner-up Meghan Agosta and 2009-10 Patty Kazmaier Winner Vicki Bendus. Replacing their offensive talents will be senior Bailey Bram (43 points in 2010-11), sophomore Christine Bestland (42 points in 2010-11) and senior Kelly Steadman (29 points in 2010-11). In net for the Lakers is Hillary Pattenden, who accumulated a .905 save percentage to go along with a 2.04 goals against average during the 2010-11 season.

All-Time Against The Lakers
Friday's contest will be the 11th time the two sides face each other, with Mercyhurst holding a 10-0 all-time series lead. In their last meeting on January 26, 2009, the Lakers defeated the Bobcats 7-0. 

Exhibition Tune-up
The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team played strong in its exhibition contest, skating to a 7-0 victory over the Durham Jr. Lightning on Saturday, Sept. 24. Six skaters scored for the Bobcats, including three new members, junior Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba), freshman Anna Borgfeldt (Kristianstad, Sweden) and freshman Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario). Sophomore Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) added two goals for Quinnipiac, while sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) and Kristen Eklund (Barrington, R.I.) each tallied a goal. Junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) made seven saves in net, before giving way to freshman Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) and Michaela Spiessl (Champion, Mich.) for the final thirty minutes of action. And ECAC Hockey Preseason Polls
For the first time in program history, the Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team was ranked in the preseason Preseason Poll, garnering the ninth spot, as announced by the college hockey website on Monday, Sept. 19. In the 2011-12 ECAC Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll, the team was selected to finish third, as announced by the league on Thursday, Sept. 15. The Bobcats collected 93 points in the ECAC Hockey Poll and one first-place vote after posting a 22-12-3 overall record (12-9-1 ECAC Hockey) last season, en route to the team's first-ever appearance in the ECAC Hockey Semifinals. 

Season Outlook
Led by third year head coach Rick Seeley, the 2010-11 Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team experienced another record-breaking season, setting a new program-record for wins (22) and matching the program-record for ECAC Hockey wins (12). Quinnipiac made history when it completed a two-game sweep of Princeton in the first round of the ECAC Hockey Playoffs, earning its first-ever Semi-Finals appearance. Although the Bobcats lost to eventual ECAC Hockey Tournament champions Cornell, the team gave all the Big Red could handle, narrowly falling, 4-3.

A Rookie Season To Remember
The 2010-11 Bobcats were led by ECAC Hockey Player and Rookie of the Year, Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario), as she put together the most prolific offensive season the school has ever witnessed. Breaking the program's single season points, goals, and assists records, the program's first-ever Player of the Year recipient finished the season with a league-best 58 points on 30 goals and 28 assists. She accounted for nearly 30 percent of the team's goals and had 17 multi-point games throughout the season.

Her numbers had her not only first in ECAC Hockey, but also atop the leader board among all NCAA skaters. Babstock led all NCAA freshmen in goals, points, and points per game (1.59), while finishing second in assists. Among all NCAA skaters, she ranked second with 10 game-winning goals on the year, while ranking 11th in the nation in points per game and goals per game

The freshman hit the ice in full stride, as she registered at least one point in the first eight games of her career; a program record. On Friday, Nov. 26, 2010 in the team's 17th game of the season against Sacred Heart, Babstock broke the program's single-season points and assists record, while also setting a new single-game record with six points. Just two games later, she set a new program record for single-season goals on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 against Brown.

The freshman forward also received nationwide attention for her performance throughout the season. On January 17, 2011, Babstock became just the second athlete in school history to receive mention in Sports Illustrated's Weekly publication of its "Faces In The Crowd" section. At season's end, Babstock was named one of the 26 nominees for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented by Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The award is given annually to the most outstanding player in Division I Women's Ice Hockey.

Babstock was also named a First-Team All-League selection by ECAC Hockey, as well as being named the team's Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player at the annual team banquet. She also earned the title of Quinnipiac Female Athlete of the Year at the 2010-11 Quinnipiac Athletics & Recreation Athletic Awards program.

Wisdom Between The Pipes
Quinnipiac looks to be in prime shape to repeat the success it experienced a season ago, as it graduated just two seniors from the squad. Returning in net is junior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario), the anchor to a Quinnipiac defensive unit which allowed only 62 goals against for a 1.68 goals against average (both second in ECAC Hockey). Vigilanti surpassed her own career-high last season with nine shutouts on the year, a mark which also had her ranked first in among all ECAC Hockey goaltenders. Vigilanti led the league in saves (841), minutes played (2179), and wins, and finished fourth overall with a .932 save percentage.

Senior Leadership
 The Bobcats will once again rely on two of its returning captains from last season, seniors Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska) and Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario). Wheeler finished the season ranked second on the team with 29 points on 12 goals and 17 assists, all personal career-highs. Elkins led the Bobcats to another defensively strong year, as the team allowed only 12 power player goals against, for a penalty kill percentage of 89.7%. The Bobcats also did well to stay out of the penalty box, recording the second fewest penalty minutes among ECAC Hockey teams with 238.

U.J. All-The-Way
Sophomore Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) returns to the squad following a great rookie season, as she finished third on the team in points with 25, on 11 goals and 14 assists. Uden Johansson began the season strong and recorded her first-career hat trick in just the fourth game of the season. Her contributions throughout the season remained consistent, as she recorded at least one point in 18 of the 25 games in which she saw the ice.

Growing Talents
Junior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) had a breakout season in 2010, setting new career-highs in points (22), goals (12) and assists (10). She finished the season strong, netting nine points in the final seven games of the year. Her most dramatic goal of the season came on Friday, Feb. 26, 2011, as her game-winning goal with five seconds remaining in the first round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs against Princeton gave the Bobcats their first victory in the series.

Sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) made a fine showing in her rookie campaign, as she finished with 15 points on seven goals and eight assists. Similar to Lyons, Colin's confidence grew as the season progressed, and tallied nearly half (seven) of her season's points in the month of February.

Senior Chelsea Illchuk (Lockport, Manitoba) will continue to lead by her veteran example, as she saw action in every game during the 2010-11 season, contributing two goals and four assists on the year.

Solid D
The defensive core for the Bobcats was one of the highest scoring defenses the program has ever seen. Newly assigned assistant captain and senior Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) returns after leading all Quinnipiac defenders with 24 points on six goals and 18 assists. Junior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba), who missed a portion of the season due to injury, finished with 16 points on nine goals and seven assists. Senior Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich) and junior Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) also add experience to the back line, as the two combined for three goals and eleven assists on the season.

Babstock And Vigilanti Preseason All-League
Quinnipiac women's ice hockey junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) and sophomore forward Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) were each honored with an ECAC Hockey Preseason All-League selection, as announced by the league on Thursday, Sept. 15. For Babstock, the 2010-11 ECAC Hockey Player and Rookie of the Year, this was her first Preseason All-League selection while Vigilanti, the 2009-10 ECAC Hockey Rookie and Goaltender of the Year, earned her second-consecutive Preseason All-League nod. Joining Babstock and Vigilanti are four Cornell skaters, including defenders Laura Fortino and Lauriane Rougeau, and forwards Rebecca Johnston and Brianne Jenner.

Newcomers To The Squad
The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team welcomes five skaters to its roster for the 2011-12 season. Freshmen Anna Borgfeldt (Kristianstad, Sweden), Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa), Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.), and Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) represent the class of 2015, while junior transfer Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) joins the squad after a move from NCAA Women's Ice Hockey National Champion Wisconsin.

"All five have fit perfectly into our program," said head coach Rick Seeley. "They all bring great character and determination and should clearly give us more depth than our program has ever experienced. Frykas, Borgfeldt and Kosta will help our power-play right from the start."

Kosta brings great talent to the team and looks to make an immediate impact with the Bobcats, as her all around skill set has coaches believing an ECAC Hockey All-Rookie team is not out of reach. As a team captain for the Mississauga Junior Chiefs last season, Kosta registered 25 goals and 35 assists in 31 games played. The Mississauga native received international exposure when she played in the World Championships in Sweden for U-18 Team Canada in 2011. As a member of the Mississauga Chiefs, Kosta helped the squad to a Union College Fall Festival Championship, USA/Canada Cup Championship, and a Provincial Women's Hockey League Regular Season and Overall Championship.

Fritz-Ward had a stellar 2010-11 season with her Lakeville South squad, finishing the season with 64 points on 28 goals and 36 assists. The team captain and Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association (MGHCA) All-State honorable mention was named to the MGHCA All-Academic and All-Conference teams, as well as earning most valuable player honors in the Upper Midwest Hockey League. 

Laden brings an impressive goaltending resume to Quinnipiac, earning runner-up in the state of Minnesota for Defensive Player of the Year in 2010-11. As a team co-captain with fellow teammate to Fritz-Ward, Laden held a .926 save percentage to go along with a 1.63 goals against average for Lakeville South. She was a four-time All-State most valuable player and Athena Award winner, as well as a four-time All-Lake Conference honoree. Her good size and quickness between the pipes should give the Bobcats an excellent one-two punch with Laden and her mentor, junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario), in net.

Frykas previously was a member of the 2010-11 NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey National Champion Wisconsin Badgers. In her collegiate career, she has accumulated 11 goals and eight assists and earned a spot on the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) All-Academic Team. Before her collegiate career, she played for Team Canada in the IIHF World Women's U-18 Championship, helping the squad to a silver medal. As a member of Team Manitoba, Frykas helped the team to a bronze medal in 2007 and 2008 at the National Women's U-18 Championship.

Borgfeldt, who brings her aggressive offensive instincts to the ice, helped her native country Sweden to a bronze medal at the U-18 World Championships in 2009 and 2010. She helped her club team, Linkoping, to a Swedish Champion bronze medal in 2010.

Season Schedule
Following this weekend's games against Mercyhurst, the Bobcats will host Maine for its first two home contests of the season on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. and again in Saturday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.

Quinnipiac begins a four-game road trip with visits to Northeastern on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m., Boston College on Friday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m., Renssealear on Friday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. and Union on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m.

The Bobcats return home to face Yale on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. followed by a Saturday, Nov. 5 matchup against Brown at 4 p.m. Quinnipiac travels to face Clarkson on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7p.m. followed by a meeting against St. Lawrence on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m.

Quinnipiac returns home for three games, first hosting Colgate on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m., followed by Cornell on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. and Boston College on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.

The Bobcats will participate in the Nutmeg Classic up in Storrs, Conn. , facing Connecticut on Friday, Nov. 25 at 4 p.m., followed by a meeting between either Robert Morris or Yale on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.

December will see the Bobcats play four games early on in the month; first traveling to face Brown on Friday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. Quinnipiac will then visit Yale on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. before it travels to face Princeton on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. The Bobcats will then play their final game in the 2011 calendar year with a home game against Princeton on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m.

After nearly a month break, Quinnipiac jumps right back into its conference games, hosting Dartmouth on Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. followed by a Saturday, Jan. 7 matchup against Harvard at 4 p.m. The Bobcats travel to face Cornell on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m., followed by a Saturday, Jan. 14 matchup against Colgate at 4 p.m.

The Bobcats host non-conference opponent Syracuse for two straight games on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. and again on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. Quinnipiac heads out on the road on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. to face Harvard, before traveling to Dartmouth on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m.

Quinnipiac hosts its final four games of the regular season, beginning with a meeting versus St. Lawrence on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., followed by a matchup against Clarkson on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. The Bobcats then host Union on Friday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. before its final regular season contest against Rensselaer on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m.