November 17, 2012

Six Goals Including Three Unanswered Late Lifts Women's Ice Hockey in Come-From-Behind Win Over St. Lawrence, 6-4

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HAMDEN, Conn. – After building a 3-2 lead heading into the third period, the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team squandered the lead early but came back firing on all cylinders to come away with a 6-4 win over St. Lawrence from High Point Solutions Arena. The Saints scored two early in the final period to take the 4-3 lead before senior Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) recorded the equalizer and junior Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) ripped home the game-winner with less than seven minutes to play. The Bobcat's victory moves them to 7-5-2 (4-3-1 ECAC Hockey) and snaps St. Lawrence's (7-6, 5-1 ECAC Hockey) seven-game winning streak.

Quinnipiac continues their recent hot streak against the Saint as they improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven meetings. The Bobcats received production throughout their lineup on Saturday as 11 of their 18 skaters finished with at least one point. Freshman Nicole Connery (Newmarket, Ontario) tallied her first career multi-goal game and sophomore Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa) finished with her first career multi-point game with two assists. Seniors Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) and Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) each chipped in two helpers in the victory. All of the scoring came against a St. Lawrence team that was riding a seven-game winning streak and held a share of first place in the conference standings entering Saturday. The Saints were outscoring their opponents 29-9 in those seven wins but the Bobcats took it to St. Lawrence, outshooting their opponent 34-28.

The ECAC Hockey's leading scorer, junior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) gave the Bobcats the early goal they needed as the team moves to 5-1-1 on the season when scoring first. The play built into a two-on-one opportunity as Babstock moved in on St. Lawrence goalie Carmen MacDonald, faked the slap shot, and wristed home the goal.

The Saints proved to be resilient early as they roared back from three different one-goal deficits. The first came off a goal from Jenna Marks as she slammed home the goal after Quinnipiac senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) was hit with a shot in the face mask and the puck trickled out in front to Marks who scored the goal.

Freshman Nicole Brown (Oshawa, Ontario) recorded her third goal in four games at 13:19 in the first. Senior Kristen Eklund (Barrington, R.I.) hustled over to deflect a Saints outlet pass that came to Fritz-Ward in the center of the St. Lawrence defensive end. She nudged it up to Brown who fired home the goal for a 2-1 lead. Eklund's assist was her first on the season.

The rest of the first went without a score but the Saints didn't waste any time in the second with a goal from Kelly Sabatine 58 seconds into the period.

Connery made a great individual effort to give the Bobcats the lead against at 15:46 in the second. Fritz-Ward sent the puck up along to boards behind the net from the opposite blue line. Connery outhustled her defender to the puck, changed direction, and beat MacDonald five-hole on the wrap-around.

St. Lawrence came back once again, this time with two straight goals less than two minutes into the third period to their first lead of the game. Brooke Fernandez fired a goal from the point that Vigilanti couldn't pick up due to traffic in front to tie the score. Then Kayla Raniwsky knocked home a rebound out front at 1:41 to give the Saints a 4-3 lead.

Five minutes went by without a goal but Frykas put in the equalizer at 6:29 to tie the score at 4. Boulton sent a pass to Lyons who passed to Frykas behind the net. She wrapped around and lifted a backhander over MacDonald's blocker for her second goal of the season.

The Bobcat onslaught continued in the third as they forced two penalties. The Saints staved off the first but the second proved vital for Quinnipiac. After the puck was cleared out by St. Lawrence, a transition pass up ice missed Uden Johansson but the Saint defender lost control of the puck. Uden Johansson picked it up between the circles and roofed a shot blocker side for the game-winner.

Insurance came from Connery as she leaked out in transition with Lyons. From the blue line, Connery skated in, faked the pass to Lyons, and fired a goal through MacDonald to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead. Lyons picked up her third assist while the goal was Connery's fifth.

Momentum carried Quinnipiac to the victory, knocking off a first-place team in the process. The Bobcats will move on to play New Hampshire in a non-conference tilt in Durham, N.H. on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu