Quinnipiac University Bobcats (12-7-2, 8-3-1 ECAC Hockey)
vs McGill Martlets (18-8-0, 11-0-0 QSSF)
Saturday January 5, 2013 – 1:30 p.m.
High Point Solutions Arena - Hamden, Conn.
Back in Action
After nearly a month off, the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team (12-7-2, 8-3-1 ECAC Hockey) is back in action Saturday afternoon in an exhibition matchup against the McGill Martlets (18-8-0, 11-0-0 QSSF). The Bobcats have been on a roll of late, winning five straight by a combined score of 22-5. They've defeated UConn, Rensselaer, Union, and swept a weekend home-and-home series with Princeton before the winter break. Their record currently stands 12-7-2 including a 8-3-1 mark within conference play which is good for first place in the points standings (17 points). Quinnipiac has never played McGill but their Canadian opponent will be a tough out as their season record stands 18-8 including an undefeated 11-0 record within the Quebec Student Sport Federation. The Martlets have challenged numerous NCAA teams this season including Providence, Boston University, St. Lawrence, among others. The Bobcats last played in a game nearly a month ago on Dec. 8 but were playing their best hockey of the season entering the break as the team is riding a season-long five game winning streak.
All-Time Against the Martlets
The Bobcats enter Saturday's contests having never faced McGill but hold an impressive 8-1-1 overall record in exhibitions throughout the program history. Their only defeat came at the hands of the Bluewater Hawks on Oct. 1, 2005 in a 4-3 defeat but the Bobcats have since rattled off five straight exhibition victories by a combined score of 24-4 including a 7-0 victory over Cambridge earlier this season.
McGill Women's Hockey History
The women's hockey has existed at McGill University since 1896 and has been one of the strongest programs at the university level in all of Canada. Through the years the team has undergone many changes but the most significant coming as recently as 2006 when a couple donated $1 million for the hockey program. It is the biggest donations ever made for a female sporting program in Canadian university history and allowed the team's trainers to assume a full-time role with the team in addition to hiring a scout for the Martlets in the recruitment of collegiate players in Quebec. In terms of Canadian university hockey, McGill is certainly a juggernaut as they've claimed 10 Quebec Championships and three Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) women's ice hockey championships. They won their first CIS championship during the 2007-08 season where they finished the regular season 33-0 and reeled off seven straight postseason victories to claim the national title on March, 28, 2008. They won the national title the following season, lost in the finals in 2009-10 and reclaimed the Canadian title again in 2010-11. With their third championship the Martlets became the most decorated in the history of McGill University. Just last season, the Montreal Carabins defeated McGill 3-2 on Oct. 29, 2011 to mark the first loss to a Quebec conference opponent in 108 games.
Scouting the Martlets
The McGill Martlets enter the weekend with an 18-8 overall record and an undefeated 11-0 record within Quebec conference play. They've taken on six NCAA opponents this season and nearly came away with victories against Hockey East's Providence and Vermont. The Martlets fell by one goal in each game and put a scare in St. Lawrence where they fell 5-4 in overtime. They have experience against several national powers as they've played Dartmouth, Boston University and Harvard this year while also claiming a victory over Brown, 3-1, in Montreal. They come into the weekend riding a 13 game winning streak and have outscored their opponents 78-27 this season. Their top scorer is junior forward Leslie Oles who comes in with 50 points (25 goals, 25 assists), six power-play and three shorthanded goals. Sophomore forward Melodie Daoust (18 goals, 24 assists) and junior forward Katia Clement-Heydra (18 goals, 24 assists) have also posted at least 42 points this season. Overall, the Martlets feature nine players with at least 10 points this season but the Bobcats need on a group of four skaters as 77 of McGill's 105 goals this season have come from four players (Oles, Daoust, Clement-Heydra, Gabrielle Davidson). Their top goaltender is senior Taylor Salisbury who has played in 15 games with an 9-2 record, .920 save percentage, 1.76 goals-against-average, and three shutouts.
Last Time Out
The Bobcats came away with an ECAC Hockey weekend home-and-home series sweep of Princeton in early December. The weekend began with the Bobcats traveling to Princeton on Dec. 7 and coming away with a 3-2 victory. Brittany Lyons scored her seventh power-play goal of the season to put her in a tie with two others for the most goals on the man advantage in the nation. Nicole Connery added her sixth goal of the season and the ECAC Hockey's leading scorer Kelly Babstock netted the game-winner early in the second period. Victoria Vigilanti locked down the Tigers down the stretch in goal for Quinnipiac as she finished with 17 saves on 19 shots for the victory. The two met again the following afternoon with the Bobcats dominating play from the start, finishing with a 4-0 shutout of Princeton. Vigilanti denied all 21 Princeton shots for her 22nd career shutout and first of the season. Four different players provided the goals for the Bobcats including another from Babstock to give her 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) through 21 games this season. Nicole Brown, Erica Uden Johansson and Brittany Lyons all scored to help give the Bobcats the victory.
Senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti picked up her second consecutive Hogan Hockey/ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week honor on Dec. 11 becoming the first goalie to pick up back-to-back conference awards this season. The senior netminder won her 14th career Goaltender of the Week after posting another stellar weekend for the Bobcats with a pair of victories including her first shutout of the season. She stopped 38-of-40 Princeton shots over the weekend series for a .950 save percentage, her highest in a two-game stretch all season.
On Her Game
Vigilanti has played her best and helped lead the team on their season-high five game winning streak. Her play has proved vital as the senior goalie has posted a 5-0 record, .941 save percentage (80 saves on 85 shots), and 1.00 goals-against-average over the past five games. Her talent was on full display in the Bobcat's last game played on Dec. 8 in her first shutout of the season as she made several sprawling saves all around the crease to preserve the 4-0 Quinnipiac victory.
Getting Her Lyons Share
Senior forward Brittany Lyons has made a living this season on the extra-man advantage for Quinnipiac as she her season total for power-play goals currently stands at seven. She scored her seventh of the season in the 3-2 victory over Princeton on Dec. 7 to place her in a tie with North Dakota's Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux for the most of any player in the nation. Lyons added another goal on Saturday, this time on even strength, to give her 11 on the season which is good for second on the team and one shy of her career high for goals in a season.
Babs Strikes Again
With three points (two goals, one assist) in two games against Princeton, junior forward Kelly Babstock moves her ECAC Hockey-leading total to 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists) on the season. She already matched her point total from last season and is on-pace to eclipse her program record 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists) achieved during her freshman year.
The team-leader in assists was at it again against Princeton as sophomore forward Nicole Kosta recorded her 22nd helper on the year in the Dec. 8 matchup against the Tigers at home. Kosta continues to lead ECAC Hockey in assists and is second in points with 31 (nine goals, 22 assists) behind fellow teammate Kelly Babstock.
Blue Line Power
Senior defenseman Regan Boulton has had herself a standout year, posting another three assists in two games against Princeton to move her season total to 20 (four goals, 16 assists). She already has established a single-season career high in assists and is just one point shy of matching her point total from last season of 21. The senior captain has really picked up her play of late, posting five points (one goal, four assists) over the past three games.
Moving On Up
Boulton's play of late has sent up surging up the national leaderboard in terms of points per game among defenseman. Her 20 points through 21 games (0.95 points per game average) puts her third among all ECAC Hockey defenders and 8th in the nation among all defensemen.
The play of freshman forward Nicole Connery has picked up of late as the first year Bobcat has registered one point in three straight games, tied for her longest such stretch of the season. Connery currently stands sixth on the team with 11 points (six goals, five assists) and has provided the team with great scoring depth behind the top offensive line.
Freshman Nicole Brown had herself another strong weekend and has played her best hockey since being moved to the top offensive line alongside Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta. Brown registered two points (one goal, one assist) over the weekend including the game-winner in Quinnipiac's 4-0 win over Princeton. Since moving to the top line, Brown has totaled four points (two goals, two assists), +6 plus/minus rating, and 16 shots-on-goal, including a career-high nine on Dec. 8, over the past four games. She currently stands seventh on the team with 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 21 games this season.
The Quinnipiac offense has exploded over the past five games with 21 goals over the span as the team scored at least three goals in all five matchups. The Bobcats currently stand ninth in the nation in scoring offense at 3.29 goals per game.
With only 126 penalty minutes through 21 games this season, the Bobcats come into the weekend as the least penalized team in the nation. They currently average six penalty minutes per game while the next-closest competitor (Union) averages 6.9 minutes per game.
Extra Attacker Goals
With two more power-play goals over the weekend, the Bobcats continue their dominate play on the man advantage. They enter the weekend scoring at a 26.7 percent clip on the power play, good for fifth-best in the nation. Of the 69 Quinnipiac goals this season, 23 (33.3 percent) of them have come off the power play.
On the Plus Side
Quinnipiac's Nicole Kosta and Kelly Babstock both have been instrumental in the team's success thus far in the season, evidenced by their +25 and +24 plus/minus rating through 21 games, respectively. They hold the top two spots in the ECAC Hockey standings as they're ahead of Jillian Dempsey of Harvard who sits in third place behind both Kosta and Babstock at +22.
Kosting Right Along
With another assist in the team's last game, Nicole Kosta continues her breakout season as her season total increased to 31 points (nine goals, 22 assists) that ranks second in the ECAC Hockey. With another helper, she continues to lead the conference in assists with 22 on the year. Kosta is within range of besting her numbers from last year as she finished the 2011-12 season with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists) through 34 games.
The Bobcats have combined to outshoot their opponents 212-85 through the last five games and haven't been outshot in a game since Nov. 10 against Rensselaer (nine games). For the season, the Bobcats have outshot their opponents 715-492 through 21 games so far.
Six is the Magic Number
The Bobcats have scored at least six goals in a game three times already this season in just 21 games played. This mark matches the most in a single season in program history when the team last accomplished the feat during the 2009-10 season.
Kelly Babstock etched her name further into Quinnipiac record books on Nov. 24 as she became just the second player in program history to register two shorthanded goals in one game. She joins Ashley Jaffray, who recorded a pair against Northeastern on Oct. 16, 2006, as the only two Bobcats to ever accomplish the feat.
She Shoots…She Scores…Again
With 20 goals and 20 assists in 21 games this season, Kelly Babstock has either scored or assisted on 40 of the team's 69 goals thus far in the season. She has had a hand in an astonishing 58 percent of the team's goals, which is the highest percentage of any player in the nation with Harvard's Jillian Dempsey the next-closest competitor at 55.5 percent.
Since her first game freshman year, not counting exhibitions, Kelly Babstock has recorded at least one point in 69 of the 87 games that Quinnipiac has not been shutout.
2012-13: 16-of-18 (current season)
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 40 goals and 72 assists in 21 games throughout the season. The 112 points between the five players represents 64.7 percent of the total points for Quinnipiac (173 as a team).
Kelly Babstock has been found near the top of the nation's statistical leaderboard all season. She currently ranks 6th in points per game (1.90), 4th in goals-per-game (0.95), 14th in assists-per-game (0.95), tied for 2nd in game-winning goals (four), and tied for 2nd in shorthanded goals (two). She is one of only six players to own a spot in the nation's top-10 points per game, top-10 goals per game, and top 15 assists per game.
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-20 in points-per-game in the nation, each have contributed at least 31 points, with Babstock's 40 (20 goals, 20 assists) and Kosta's 31 (nine goals, 22 assists) leading the way for the Bobcats. They rank as the second-highest scoring duo in the country behind No. 1 Minnesota's Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessell.
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 team's 173 combined points for the Bobcats this season, Babstock and Kosta have accumulated 71 of those 173 for 41.0 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 rank both in the top-15 nationally in assists-per-game. The two have combined to have a hand on 46-of-69 goals for the team on the season. Kosta has assisted on 31.9 percent (22-of-69) while Babstock has assisted on 29.0 percent (20-of-69) of the team's 62 goals this season. Kosta's percentage places her fourth in the nation's leaderboard in that category while Babstock sits right behind in eighth place.
Kelly Babstock comes into the weekend with 139 points which stands seventh among active Division I players. Babstock's point total is the third-most among active juniors and her 68 goals is the second-most behind Minnesota's Amanda Kessel who has posted 76 goals in her three years with the Golden Gophers.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com