Kelly Babstock's Heroics Ignite Bobcats; Leads Offensive Explosion in 6-1 Win Over UConn From Nutmeg Classic

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Saturday afternoon belonged to the Bobcats and junior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) as the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team won the Consolation Game in the ninth annual Nutmeg Classic, 6-1, over UConn from Ingalls Rink. Babstock became just the second player in program history to record two shorthanded goals in a game, joining Ashley Jaffray who accomplished the feat on Oct. 16, 2006 against Northeastern. Three more Bobcats finished with multi-point outings to help improve Quinnipiac 8-7-2 (4-3-1 ECAC Hockey) while UConn drops to (2-12-2, 1-5 WHEA).

The ECAC Hockey's leading scorer, Babstock electrified the Quinnipiac crowd with her second shorthanded goal at 17:48 in the second period. The Huskies turned the puck over along the boards and Babstock hustled with the puck up-ice. She reached the right faceoff circle and fired a slap shot that deflected off the leg UConn goalie Sarah Moses and into the back of the net to earn her a place in the record books.

Babstock added an assist to give her three points and her first multi-goal game since she scored four against Maine on Oct. 12. She now leads the conference with 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) through 17 games this season. Quinnipiac certainly didn't just rely on Babstock as senior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) scored two power-play goals to move her season-total to six on the man-advantage, tied with two others for the most in the nation. Junior Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) tied her career-high with three points (one goal, two assists) against the Huskies and sophomore Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) tallied two assists as she continues to lead ECAC Hockey in helpers with 18 on the season. Senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) and the Bobcat defense played big all day, limiting the Huskies to 13 shots, without any in the third period. Vigilanti earned her seventh win of the season, making 12 saves and matching her season-low for goals-allowed (one). 

The UConn goaltending was up to the task throughout the first frame until the last minute when the Bobcats scored the game's first goal. UConn's Emily Snodgrass was called for a tripping penalty and the Bobcat's first power play struck off the stick of senior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba). She took a pass from Uden Johansson and ripped a slap shot from the point. With Lyons shielding in front, the puck made it through the mass of defenders and found the back of the net.

The Huskies roared back early in the second period with a scramble goal in front of Vigilanti after a rush up-ice. Just a little over a minute into the second, Stephanie Raithby poked in the goal to tie the score.

The remainder of the second was dominated by Babstock and the Bobcats. Babstock scored the first Quinnipiac shorthanded goal of the season at 13:59. With UConn on the man-advantage, Babstock pressured the point and blocked a pass attempt. The puck deflected right in front of Babstock at the blue line as she picked it up and beat Sarah Moses five-hole on the breakaway. It was the first shorthanded goal for Quinnipiac in a game since Feb. 18, 2012 (20 games) when Bethany Dymarczyk scored against Rensselaer.

The Bobcat special teams struck again with just over 30 seconds remaining in the second with a power-play goal. The puck was worked along the boards from Uden Johansson down to Babstock who passed over to Lyons. She skated from the right to left post and slammed home the third Quinnipiac goal of the period and her team-leading fifth power-play goal of the season. The assists were Babstock's 16th and Uden Johansson's sixth of the year.

Quinnipiac struck again on the extra-man advantage, their third of the game, off the stick of Lyons. Kosta possessed the puck in front of the blue line along the left boards. She sent a pass up to Lyons who beat the goalie five-hole for her third career multi-goal game.

Minutes later, Uden Johansson scored her first of the game to finish off the scoring with five unanswered goals for Quinnipiac. The tally wouldn't have materialized without an amazing saucer pass from Kosta. She possessed at near the Bobcat defensive blue line and flicked a pass over the two UConn back line defenders to Uden Johansson racing up-ice. She took the pass and roofed a slap shot under the crossbar to give Quinnipiac a 6-1 lead.

The Bobcats resume ECAC Hockey play next weekend at home as they take on Rensselaer and Union. They welcome the Engineers to High Point Solutions Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. and the Dutchwomen on Saturday at 4 p.m.

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