HAMDEN, Conn. – The Bobcats women's hockey team controlled the action for a majority of the night but couldn't find the back of the net as they were shutout by No. 9 nationally-ranked Harvard, 2-0, in both team's ECAC Hockey opener on Friday night at the High Point Solutions Arena. Quinnipiac managed 30 shots-on-goal to the Crimson's 22 but couldn't solve the Crimson's senior goalie Laura Bellamy who notched the shutout victory. The Bobcat's loss drops the team to (3-3-1, 0-1-0 ECAC) on the year with the loss while Harvard wins its season opener (1-0-0, 1-0-0 ECAC).
Senior netminder Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) was strong in defeat. The Bobcat goalie made 20 saves including a couple sure goals that would have extended the Harvard lead in the contest.
The Crimson opened the game with a significant scoring opportunity in the first 10 minutes of action. Harvard controlled the puck in the Bobcat defensive end and after a long battle along the boards, the Crimson's Jillian Dempsey came away with the puck. Her centering pass found Kelsey Romatoski in front of the net. Romatoski put a shot on goal but Vigilanti was up to the task as she denied the scoring chance.
Vigilanti continued her strong play later in the first period as Harvard had another open look at the net. Kaitlin Spurling led the Crimson two-on-one rush up ice and her pass found Mary Parker streaking towards the net. Parker took a shot to the lower left side of the goal but was denied by an outstretched pad of Vigilanti who moved from the near post all the way to the far post just in time to stop the Harvard shot.
The Crimson put themselves in front with a power-play goal at the 18:22 mark of the first period. Parker won the faceoff out to the blue line where Hillary Crowe fed Dempsey near the circle on the right side. The combination of Park and Dempsey worked back-and-forth before Dempsey put a shot on net from the middle that beat Vigilanti high for the 1-0 lead.
The Bobcats had perhaps their best scoring opportunity of the day in the opening period. Sophomore Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) found herself with the puck on an odd-man rush up ice with Bellamy stepping up to the Bobcat pressure. Kosta faked a wrister and moved to her backhand where her shot beat the senior goalie but nicked the post and caromed to the side.
Harvard made 2-0 in the final seconds of the second period. Parker circled the puck around the back of the net before sending it towards the net. A scrum in front of Vigilanti ensued before the puck trickled through, out in front of the goal line. Crowe skated in from the left circle to knock home the open goal with four seconds remaining on the clock. Parker recorded her second assist of the night on the play.
The Bobcats continued to threaten in the third period but couldn't come away with a goal to show for their effort. The controlled play in the final stanza with a 10-4 advantage in shots and bested the Crimson in every period of play. The Bobcats also came away with the faceoff advantage at 33-26 while the Crimson converted 1-of-4 power-play opportunities and the Bobcats couldn't break through on their only opportunity in the first period.
Quinnipiac will look to come away with a victory tomorrow against Dartmouth at the High Point Solutions Arena with the game starting at 4 p.m.