SYRACUSE, N.Y. – In a high-octane, pressure-packed offensive slugfest between the Bobcats and Syracuse, junior Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) found the game-winner with 6.8 seconds remaining in a 3-2 overtime victory on Friday night. After a Syracuse penalty in the waning minutes of overtime resulted in a power-play, Uden Johansson's wrist shot deflected off the side post and beat Syracuse goalie Jenesica Drinkwater to send the Bobcat bench into hysterics. Senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) played big in net all day for the Bobcats as she picks up the victory with 36 saves. The win moves Quinnipiac to 3-1-1 and the Orange fall to 2-3 on the year.
In a game that played back-and-forth all night, the shots-on-goal totals at the end of the game were 39-38 in favor of Quinnipiac, with each goalie making 36 saves. The Bobcat power-play and the rocket shots from Uden Johansson led to the victory as she netted a pair of goals on the man-advantage. As a team, Quinnipiac finished two-for-five while also staving off five Syracuse power-play opportunities as well.
Quinnipiac's first period was very uncharacteristic as the least penalized team in the nation (6.5 penalty minutes per game) coming into Friday took three penalties in the stanza. The Bobcats however, limited to the Orange on the extra-man advantage as Syracuse went 0-for-three with six shots-on-goal in their opportunities.
Both goaltenders had shining moments in the period with the first coming on the Quinnipiac offensive attack. Sophomore Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) and junior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) were playing the puck back-and-forth down low behind Drinkwater. Kosta gave off to Babstock one more time before cutting to the right post. Babstock's pass from behind the goal slid past the Orange defenders and was one-timed by Kosta. Drinkwater slid over and glove saved the puck, denying the Bobcat goal.
Vigilanti had a few highlights of her own as she played big in the three Syracuse power-plays. The Orange consistently drove the puck down the right boards and sent in several wristers that were all denied by Vigilanti. Late in the period, seconds after an unsuccessful Quinnipiac power-play, Vigilanti denied an odd-man rush off the return with a glove save to highlight her 18 saves in the period.
The Orange struck first with a goal off a Quinnipiac defensive lapse. The puck was mishandled at center ice and the Orange's Danielle Leslie sent the puck up to Sadie St. Germain for one-on-one against Vigilanti. A couple stick moves led to a backhander that was lifted over the stick of Vigilanti and into the back of the net for the first goal of the evening.
The Bobcats returned the favor with an incredible goal from Babstock. A bang-bang play at center ice led to an odd-man rush with Babstock and Kosta both streaking towards the net. Babstock came in with a full head of steam, playing the puck with her stick and eventually sliding a backhand shot past the sprawling Drinkwater. The goal was the ninth of the season for Babstock and 15th point while freshman Nicole Brown (Oshawa, Ontario) was credited with the assist, her third of the year.
After being dominated 18-8 in shots in the first, the Bobcats returned the favor with a 15-9 advantage in the second frame. One of those eight Syracuse shots was emphatically denied by Vigilanti with less than five minutes in the second. The Orange rushed up-ice and wristed in a shot that was saved by the Bobcat goalie. The rebound caromed out to the Orange and set up a series of passes in front. The final pass led to a shot from Cara Johnson at the right post that Vigilanti stretch all the way across the crease to glove the one-timer.
Syracuse responded off a broken-play in the Bobcat's defensive end. The puck was played to Laurie Kingsbury in front of Vigilanti. She touched the pass and her backhand shot slide under Vigilanti's glove side for a goal and a 2-1 Orange advantage. Melissa Piacentini and Caitlin Roach were credited with assists on the play.
Quinnipiac roared back moments later on the power-play. Just 10 seconds into the power-play at 18:58, senior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) passed over to junior Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) ripped a one-timer that caromed off the crossbar and past Drinkwater at the far side post for the equalizer. It was the second goal of the season for Uden Johansson and Boulton's fifth assist.
In the third period, both goalies proved vital to the result as each recorded over 30 saves heading into overtime. Quinnipac's best opportunity came off an Orange turnover. Kosta corralled the loose puck, skated in and roofed a shot that hit the crossbar and deflected to the boards.
The Bobcats staved off a couple Syracuse power-play opportunities with two more Vigilanti saves. The first came off a rush up-ice, Kingsbury centered to Melissa Piacentini who was denied by a diving Vigilanti. With less than two minutes to play, another Vigilanti save prevented the deciding goal as a shot from the point dropped the senior to her pads. A second shot came in and the puck stopped on the skate of Vigilanti and was later covered.
Quinnipiac had several opportunities in the extra stanza before finally breaking through with the last seconds ticking off. Boulton finished with two assists to give her six on the season. Kosta's program-record 11-game point scoring streak came to an end but the sophomore forward finished with a game-high eight shots.
The Bobcats will hit the ice again tomorrow against the Orange as the puck first hits the ice at 2 p.m.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com