Women's Ice Hockey Travels to New Hampshire in Search of First Win Against the Wildcats on Tuesday
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (7-5-2, 4-3-1 ECAC Hockey)
@ University of New Hampshire Wildcats (5-7-1, 3-2-1 Hockey East)
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 – 7 p.m.
Towse Rink – Durham, N.H.
What's Looming Ahead
A weekday non-conference test looms for Quinnipiac as they face off against the Hockey East's New Hampshire Wildcats on Tuesday night at Towse Rink in Durham, N.H. This will be the first non-conference matchup for the Bobcats since Oct. 20 when they faced Syracuse on the road, losing 4-0. The Wildcats come in with a 5-7-1 overall record but have received votes in the USCHO.com national poll for a majority of the season. Despite a six-game losing streak from Oct. 21 through Nov. 6, the stretch was sandwiched between a pair of victories over Boston College and Boston University, both ranked in the top-10 nationally. The Bobcats will look to ride the momentum of their 6-4 victory over St. Lawrence into Tuesday's matchup against a worthy opponent.
Live stats, audio and video for this weekend's games can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics,www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
All-Time Against the Wildcats
Quinnipiac is winless in their all-time series against New Hampshire as the Bobcats come in with a 0-7-1 overall record. Their last meeting came two seasons ago on Feb. 8, 2011 when the teams played to a 1-1 tie at High Point Solutions Arena. Kelly Babstock assisted Amanda Colin in the first period for the Quinnipiac goal while Victoria Vigilanti made 24 saves in goal to lead the way for the Bobcats. The two teams met again in the 2009-10 season where New Hampshire came away with a 4-0 shutout of the Bobcats from Towse Rink. Before the 2009-10 meeting, the two played six times between 2001-03 where the Wildcats outscored Quinnipiac 49-4.
New Hampshire Women's Hockey History
The New Hampshire Wildcats represent the University of New Hampshire. The Wildcats never had a losing season in their first 33-year history of the program. They have won five ECAC championships between 1986 and 1996. When the Wildcats joined Hockey East, they won four Hockey East titles from 2006 to 2009. The Wildcats have more wins than any other women's ice hockey program at 668 in its first 32 years. They went undefeated in their initial 74 games (73-0-1) spanning the 1978 to 1982 seasons. The Wildcats competed in the first AWCHA Division I National Ice Hockey Championship. Contested in March 1998, the Wildcats defeated the Brown Bears, 4-1, to become the first recognized national champion in women's college ice hockey. New Hampshire set school records with 33 wins in 2006 and 2008. The 2006 team had a perfect home record at 17-0-0 and the team was ranked No. 1 in the nation. New Hampshire played Northeastern University in the first outdoor women's college hockey game ever. The Wildcats outlasted the Huskies, 5-3, from Fenway Park on Jan. 8, 2010 in the landmark meeting. The team advanced to the NCAA Tournament in five consecutive seasons from 2006-2010 and made it to the Frozen Four in 2006.
Scouting the Wildcats
New Hampshire comes in riding a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) including a 4-2 victory at home over Boston University. They have struggled against similar opponents between the two teams as they are 3-3 combined against Syracuse, Colgate, St. Lawrence, Dartmouth, and Maine whereas the Bobcats are 6-1 in their seven meetings against the same five teams. Their offensive and defensive number leave a lot to be desire as they rank 22nd in scoring offense (2.31) and 17th in scoring defense (2.77). The team's penalty kill of 83.6 percent (46-for-55) sits a respectable 14th in the nation while their power play has produced at a 17 percent clip (nine-for-53). Unlike Quinnipiac who features a pair of dominant scorers, the Wildcats employ a very balanced scoring attack as 10 skaters have scored at least two goals. Their leading goal scorer is a freshman defenseman Alexis Crossley who comes into play with five goals. Senior Kristina Lavoie leads the Wildcats with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 13 games thus far. Also atypical of many teams throughout the country, New Hampshire has used four different goaltenders this season. Vilma Vaattovaara comes in with eight starts to lead the team as she has posted a 3-6 record, 3.14 goals-against-average, and .895 save percentage. Don't be surprised to see one of the three other goalies, Marie-Eve Jean, Moe Bradley, or Jenn Gilligan, receive some time in net on Tuesday.
The Bobcats first took on No. 3 Clarkson and controlled the action for the most part, with a 37-25 shots-on-goal advantage but couldn't break through the Golden Knight's goalie Erica Howe. The three-time ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week posted 36 saves in Clarkson's 4-1 victory. Quinnipiac's Erica Uden Johansson scored the game's first goal in the first period but the Golden Knights reeled off four unanswered including three from Jaime Lee Rattray to power them to the victory. Quinnipiac certainly responded with a great victory on Saturday over St. Lawrence. A balanced scoring attack including five different goal scorers and 11 of 18 skaters recording at least one point led to a 6-4 win for the Bobcats. Freshman Nicole Connery tallied her first career multi-goal game and sophomore Morgan Fritz-Ward chipped in her first career multi-point outing with two assists. Senior Breann Frykas provided the equalizer late in the third period to tie the score at 4-4 before Uden Johansson knocked home the game-winner with less than seven minutes remaining.
Two's Better Than One
Five different Bobcats recorded two points on Saturday against St. Lawrence. Nicole Connery (two goals), Breann Frykas (one goal, one assist), Morgan Fritz-Ward (two assists), Regan Boulton (two assists) and Brittany Lyons (two assists) all chipped in the Quinnipiac scoring on Saturday.
Goals All Around
In a game that featured six goals for the Bobcats, second-highest total in a game this season, Quinnipiac also tied for their highest number of goal scorers in a single game this season. Nicole Connery (two goals), Nicole Brown, Kelly Babstock, Breann Frykas, and Erica Uden Johansson all recorded goals against the Saints to tie the team's total from a 8-3 win over Dartmouth earlier this season.
For the First Time
Freshman Nicole Connery notched her first career multi-goal game for the Bobcats against St. Lawrence and in the process moved herself into a tie for third place on the team in goals with five on the year. Sophomore Morgan Fritz-Ward came into the season with just one career point to her name but already has four points through 14 games this season. She notched a pair of assists on Saturday for her first career multi-point game.
It's Nice to See You Again
Senior Breann Frykas recently returned from injury last weekend and notched two points (one goal, one assist) including the game-tying goal to even the score at 4-4 in the third period. She added an assist late on Nicole Connery's insurance goal to give the Bobcats a two-goal lead over St. Lawrence.
Blue Line Power
Senior defender Regan Boulton has put together another solid season in her fourth year with the Bobcats. She currently ranks third on the team in points (two goals, 11 assists) and fifth (tied for 11th nationally) among the ECAC Hockey's defensemen in points-per-game (0.93).
Nowhere Near Finished
The two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Week and reigning ECAC Hockey Player of the Month Kelly Babstock has broken numerous records to start the 2012-13 season. With three points against Mercyhurst, she became the first player in program-history to reach 100 career points. She broke the program-record for goals in a game with four in a 6-1 victory over Maine. She tied the program-record for assists in a game with four against Dartmouth and also finished with the highest plus/minus (+5) of any Bobcat in a game in the program's history. Finally, she rode a six-goal point streak where she either scored or assisted on six straight Quinnipiac goals, a program-record.
Caution: Hot Surface Do Not Touch
Opponents haven't been able to touch Nicole Kosta of late as she posted a five-point weekend against Colgate and Cornell to help her earn her first career ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honor. Always noted for her gifted passing skills, Kosta remains third in the ECAC Hockey in scoring with two assists over the weekend behind fellow teammate Kelly Babstock and Clarkson's Jaime Lee Rattray.
She Shoots…She Scores…Again
With 14 goals and 15 assists in 14 games this season, Kelly Babstock has either scored or assisted on 29 of the team's 46 goals thus far in the season. She has had a hand in an astonishing 63 percent of the team's goals, which is by far the highest percentage of any player in the nation with Clarkson's Jaime Lee Rattray the next-closest competitor at 52.1 percent.
The Bobcat's top offensive and defensive lines have completely dominated the Quinnipiac scoring to start the season. The production of top forwards Kelly Babstock, Nicole Kosta, and Erica Uden Johansson along with top defenders Regan Boulton and Cydney Roesler have combined for 33 goals and 50 assists in 14 games to start the season. The 83 points between the five players represents 70.9 percent of the total points for Quinnipiac (117 as a team).
Whoever's First Wins
Scoring the game's first goal has been critical all season for the Bobcats as they extended their impressive record to 5-1-1 when scoring first whereas they currently stand 2-4-1 when their opponent breaks through with the game's first goal.
Quinnipiac's Kelly Babstock has been found near the top of the nation's statistical leaderboard all season. She currently ranks seventh in points-per-game (2.07), tied for sixth in goals-per-game (1.00), tied for 15th in assists-per-game (1.07), and tied for 15th in power-play goals (three).
Everything You Can Do I Can Do Better
Teammates Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta have teamed up this season for one of the most impressive tandems in the country thus far. Both rank in the top-15 in points-per-game in the nation, each have contributed at least 23 points, with Babstock's 29 (14 goals, 15 assists) and Kosta's 23 (seven goals, 16 assists) leading the way for the Bobcats. They rank as the third-highest scoring duo in the country behind Minnesota's Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessell and Mercyhurst's Christine Bestland and Emily Janiga.
The combination of Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta ranks as the top scoring tandem in the nation when considering their team's total production. Of the 117 combined points for the Bobcats this season, Babstock and Kosta have accumulated 52 of those 117 for 44.4 percent. That percentage ranks as the highest of any pairing in the nation.
Nicole Kosta had her program-record 11 game point scoring streak come to an end earlier this season at Syracuse but she and Kelly Babstock have shown impressive passing ability as they both rank in the top-15 nationally in assists-per-game. The two have combined to have a hand on 31-of-46 goals for the team on the season. Kosta has assisted on 34.8 percent (16-of-46) while Babstock has assisted on 32.6 percent (15-of-46) of the team's 46 goals this season. Kosta's percentages places her atop the nation's leaderboard in that category while Babstock sits a right behind in fifth place.
Quinnipiac freshman Nicole Brown has been a standout scorer for the Bobcats of late, scoring one goal in both games two weekends ago including the first of her career on Friday against Union. She then followed with another tally on Saturday against St. Lawrence to boost her total for four on the season and three in her last four games.
Of the 46 Quinnipiac goals in the 2012-13 season, 16 (34.8 percent) of them have come off the power-play. With the mark at 26.7 percent (16-of-60) throughout the season the Bobcats rank tied for sixth in the nation on the man advantage and their proficiency when it comes to their total team production ranks among the best in the nation.
Junior Erica Uden Johansson and senior Brittany Lyons have been the main beneficiary on the Quinnipiac power-play as they have scored four each on the man advantage. Uden Johansson notched a pair this weekend to bring her total up to Lyons who has scored four of her five goals on the season on the power play. Their totals rank tied for eighth in the nation among all players in power-play goals.
On the Plus Side
Quinnipiac's Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta both have instrumental in the team's success thus far in the season, evidenced by their +15 plus/minus rating through 14 games which ranks significantly higher than the next-closest player in the ECAC Hockey. Jillian Saulnier of Cornell is in third place behind both Babstock and Kosta at +12.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com