HAMDEN, Conn. – Trailing 2-1 with the seconds on the clock waning down, the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team sent the record crowd of 870 at the High Point Solutions Arena into a raucous when junior Kelly Babstock scored with 29.5 seconds left to give the Bobcats a 2-2 tie against Yale on Saturday. The attendance figure of 870 is the most for a Quinnipiac women's ice hockey game in Hamden since Feb. 17, 2007 while the tie moves Quinnipiac to 15-9-2 (9-5-2 ECAC Hockey) while Yale stands 4-17-2 (3-11-2 ECAC Hockey) after the decision.
The Bobcats entered the third period facing a 2-0 deficit and with the two pivotal goals, Quinnipiac overcame a two-goal margin for the first time since Nov. 2, 2010 when the defeated Princeton, 5-2. Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) once again gave a valiant effort as her she tallied her second straight multi-point game (one goal, one assist) and 14th of the season. Her 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) keep her second in the conference behind Cornell's Brianne Jenner. Junior Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) also scored for the Bobcats while sophomore Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) boosted her team-leading assist total to 26 as she chipped in a pair of helpers against Yale.
Senior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) made 11 saves in relief of sophomore Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) including a couple in the overtime period that prevented a Yale victory. With the tie, the Bobcats also run their home unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1).
The Bulldogs certainly came to play early as they jumped out to an early 1-0 lead at 9:19 in the first period. A breakout play from the Yale defensive end caught the Bobcat defense offguard and turned into an oddman rush. Jamie Haddad pushed the puck up to Lynn Kennedy whose crossing pass was onetimed by Hanna Astrom past Laden for the goal.
Roughly seven minutes later, Yale struck again this time off the stick of Patricia McGauley. A crossing pass to the right of the nearside faceoff dot was saved initially by Laden but she couldn't cover it up as McGauley poked home the rebound in front to give Yale a 2-0 lead.
The second period went by without a score before the pressure picked up in the third. For the game, the Bobcats outshot the Bulldogs 36-16 but the third heavily favored Quinnipiac, 11-3. Time and time again Quinnipiac was stifled by the Bulldog's sophomore goalie Jaimie Leonoff who finished the game with 34 saves.
Finally the pressure paid dividends with a goal at 6:09 in the third period. A nice set of combination passes in front had Babstock giving off to Uden Johansson in the slot area. Her one timer was turned away by Leonoff but Kosta hustled to the post and flipped a pass back to Uden Johansson, who this time made the most of her second attempt. As the shot beat Leonoff stick side, the record crowd came to their feet in support of the Bobcats who flipped up the intensity as the clock continued to wind down.
Vigilanti was pulled from the net with just over one minute remaining to give the Bobcats an extra skater. A pair of passes around the point from senior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) to Kosta resulted in an opening for Babstock. Kosta found her with a pass below the faceoff dot as Babstock twirled around a defender and flipped a shot on net that was deflected in front by a Bulldog and past Leonoff five hole for the equalizer.
With the extra five minutes, both teams skated up-and-down the ice with several scoring opportunities but none bigger than Yale's Haddad. The push was pushed out from the Yale defensive end to the freshman who skated in on Vigilanti without any defensive pressure. She wound up a wrist shot but was denied with the glove by Vigilanti who helped turn away the Bulldog's near game-winning goal.
Now the Bobcats will move on to their last regular season home weekend series of the season as they take on Cornell on Friday and follow with Colgate on Saturday for Senior Day from High Point Solutions Arena.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com