February 21, 2013

Home Ice in ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals on the Line This Weekend for Women's Ice Hockey; Travels to Yale and Brown

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Live Stats vs. Brown

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (17-10-4, 11-6-3 ECAC Hockey)
@ Yale Bulldogs (4-19-3, 3-13-3 ECAC Hockey)
Friday, February 22, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
Ingalls Rink – New Haven, Conn.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (17-10-4, 11-6-3 ECAC Hockey)
@ Brown Bears (6-18-1, 5-15-0 ECAC Hockey)
Saturday, February 23, 2013 – 4:00 p.m.
Meeham Auditorium – Providence, R.I.

One Last Stand

The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team (17-10-4, 11-6-3 ECAC Hockey) enters the final weekend of the regular season ready to travel to Yale (4-19-3, 3-13-3 ECAC Hockey) and Brown (6-18-1, 5-15-0 ECAC Hockey) looking to seize control of home ice for the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals. Currently the ECAC Hockey point standings has the Bobcats (25 points) sitting in fifth place, two points behind the fourth seed St. Lawrence Saints (27 points). Due to a win and tie against the Saints this season, the Bobcats need to finish the weekend at least tied with St. Lawrence in points to secure the home ice advantage for the Quarterfinal Round. Two wins and a St. Lawrence loss would do the trick and help Quinnipiac host just their second ECAC Hockey Tournament series in program history and for the first time since the 2010 Quarterfinals. Dartmouth (24 points) is also breathing down the Bobcats' neck and could force the Bobcats into a sixth seed with potential outcomes to be determined over the weekend.

All-Time Against the Bulldogs

Quinnipiac and Yale have met at least once in every season since the Bobcats first started playing Division I hockey in 2001. The Bobcats' overall record stands 8-13-4 against the Bulldogs but the past eight games (6-1-1) have heavily favored Quinnipiac since the 2009-10 season. However, playing at Ingalls Rink has gave the Bobcats fits over the past few seasons. It took an overtime goal from Chelsea Illchuk on Dec. 3, 2011 to defeat Yale last season, 3-2. Before that game, Quinnipiac was shutout playing at Yale, 1-0, on Feb. 18, 2011 and four road meetings ago the Bobcats were shutout again, 1-0, playing in New Haven. Earlier this season, Yale gave the Bobcats everything they could handle as the Bulldogs controlled the game from the start, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. It took two late third period goals including one from Kelly Babstock with 30 seconds remaining to even the score at 2-2 and force a tie at home. Jaimie Leonoff stood on her head in net, making 34 saves to deny several strong Quinnipiac scoring chances and lead her team to the result.

Yale Women's Hockey History

The roots of the Yale University ice hockey program dates back to 1975 when the team, at first, competed as a club team. Only two years later the program elevated its status to be a varsity team in the 1977-78 season. That makes Yale one of the oldest varsity women's ice hockey programs in the country. Both the men's and women's teams play at Ingalls Rink, also known as "The Whale," and is one of the oldest rinks in the country as it was first opened in 1958. On April 3, 2011 former Yale player Mandi Schwartz succumbed to recurrent acute myeloid leukemia at age 23. She was a forward on the Yale's women's hockey team and had a string of 73 consecutive games played. Later that month, the Yale Bulldogs introduced the Mandi Schwartz Ward. The award is given in acknowledgement of a Yale Bulldogs player's courage, grit and determination. Aleca Hughes was named the first winner of the award.

Scouting the Bulldogs

Yale (4-19-3, 3-13-3 ECAC Hockey) slipped into 10th place in the ECAC Hockey standings last weekend after losing to RPI Friday and tying Union Saturday. But the Bulldogs are still within striking distance of the team currently holding the eighth and final playoff, Princeton and they have a game in hand on the Tigers. The Bulldogs thus could finish with as many as 15 points; Princeton currently has 12 points. Yale will have to do plenty of scoreboard watching this weekend, as the Bulldogs also face competition for the eighth spot from Colgate (ninth place, 11 points, at Union and RPI) and Brown (10th place, 10 points, vs. Princeton and Quinnipiac). Close calls may ultimately prove costly for the Bulldogs in the ECAC Hockey standings. In addition to holding the lead at one point in all three conference ties this year, Yale has led or been tied in the third period of five of its 13 conference losses and six of those 13 losses have either been by one goal or two goals with an empty-netter. Compared to last season, the team has decreased its goals allowed per game by 42 percent and increased its goals scored per game by 29 percent. The Bulldogs' power play effectiveness has increased by 44 percentage points from a year ago, and their improvement on the penalty kill has been even more dramatic. En route to improving the PK by 46 percentage points this year compared to last year, the Bulldogs have killed off 29 consecutive penalties, a span that dates back to the second penalty of the game vs. Brown Jan. 17.

All-Time Against the Bears

The Bears and Quinnipiac have played to a 7-6-4 all-time series record but the Bobcats are unbeaten against Brown in their previous seven meetings (4-0-3). On the road, the Bobcats are 3-3-2 in eight all-time meetings with their last contest in Providence coming on Dec. 2, 2011 as the Bobcats left with a 3-0 victory. Kelly Babstock pumped in the game-winning goal in the second period while Victoria Vigilanti made 16 saves to preserve her shutout. The two teams played to a 5-0 decision earlier this season in Hamden as the Bobcats dominated play from the start. Vigilanti tallied 12 saves in the shutout while Nicole Connery and Babstock each finished with two goals in the victory. Over the past three meetings, the Bobcats have scored nine straight goals without allowing one to the Bears.  

Brown Women's Hockey History

The Brown Bears women's ice hockey program is the oldest women's hockey program in the United States. The team was led by illustrious head coach Margaret "Digit" Murphy, who became the winningest coach in Division I women's ice hockey history during her 18th season at Brown (2006-07). She ultimately retired after the 2010-11 season but not before she had accomplished a great deal in her reign with the Bears. Brown advanced all the way to the 2002 NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Division I Frozen Four before losing to Minnesota-Duluth in the National Semifinals. The team finished the season at 25-8-2, having won 19 of its final 22 games, and advanced to their first and only appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The history of the program dates back to 1964 when the Brown Bears men's coach Jim Fullerton arranged for Nancy Schieffelin to attend a team practice. She disguised in full uniform and Fullerton was impressed enough that a year later, Brown University would have the first women's ice hockey program. In 1976, Brown would host the first ever Ivy League women's ice hockey tournament and between 1994 and 1997, the Bears won three consecutive ECAC regular season championships. During that time span, the Bears were undefeated in the league during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. The undefeated streak spanned 49 ECAC Hockey games and the Bears competed in the first AWCHA Division I National Ice Hockey Championship. In 1999-2000, Brown reached its second national championship final in three years, with the team finishing runner-up in both seasons.

Scouting the Bears

The Bobcats will finish their 2012-13 regular season in Providence taking on Brown on Saturday. The Bears come into the weekend with everything to play for as they currently sit two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. They come in on a hot streak as the Bears swept their first weekend series since 2009 as they beat both Rensselaer and Union at home. Saturday's game against the Bobcats will also be the final home game in the careers of several Brown seniors. They also played No. 5 Harvard tough on Tuesday, losing 5-2, but Katie Jamieson stood out in net making 47 saves to keep her team in the game. Jamieson and Aubree Moore have combined for a nice combination in goal for the Bears as Jamieson (3.17 GAA, .901 save percentage) and Moore (2.28 GAA, .921 save percentage) will be hard to beat. The strong goaltending has certainly helped lead to one of the best penalty kills in the nation, coming into the weekend killing off 86.3 percent of their opponent's power play opportunities, which is good for 9th-best in the country. Brown's leading scorer, Alena Polenska, comes into the weekend with eight goals and 10 assists.  

Last Time Out

In a pair of potential playoff matchups, the Bobcats were locked in defensive battles all weekend with the team coming away with one point in games against St. Lawrence and No. 6 Clarkson. In a potential ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal preview, Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence skated to a 1-1 tie from Canton, N.Y. Amanda Colin scored her first goal of the season early in the first period before Kelly Sabatine landed the game-tying goal midway through the second period. Both goalies played outstanding hockey in net as Victoria Vigilanti made 32 saves for the Bobcats and Carmen MacDonald posted 24 for the Saints. The tie helped give the Bobcats the crucial tiebreaker over the Saints due to a 6-4 win earlier this season in Hamden. A win over No. 6 Clarkson would have gave Quinnipiac a chance at securing the third seed in the playoffs and the game played out much like the defensive struggle it predicted to be. Vigilanti (32 saves) and Golden Knight goalie Erica Howe (27 saves) went back-and-forth making dazzling saves to keep the game scoreless for the first 59 minutes-plus. It wasn't until 5.1 seconds showed on the clock before the Golden Knights broke through with a goal from Carly Mercer to give Clarkson the 1-0 victory.

Rounding Into Form

No one has played better for the Bobcats over the past month than senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti. Combined with a strong defensive effort in front of her, the senior has allowed just five goals over her past seven appearances. She has posted 161 saves for a significant .970 save percentage while her goals-against average is a miniscule 0.73 over the past 409 minutes. For the season, Vigilanti owns a 15-8-3 record, 1.98 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and two shutouts in 26 games played.

Breaking Through

Junior Amanda Colin scored her first goal of the season in the first period against St. Lawrence to help ensure the 1-1 result at Canton. Her power-play goal marked the first time the junior forward had scored since Feb. 17, 2012, breaking a streak of 36 consecutive games without a goal.

Playoff Scenario I (QU gains 4th seed)

The range of seeds for the Bobcats to finish the regular season is anywhere from the fourth through sixth position. In order for Quinnipiac to guarantee themselves home ice in the Quarterfinals, the Bobcats need at least two points to tie the Saints' current total of 27. A pair of victories for Quinnipiac would give them a little wiggle room as St. Lawrence would need three points to gain home ice. Three points in two games for Quinnipiac would mean St. Lawrence would have to finish the weekend with a tie and loss for the Bobcats to gain the second seed. Two Quinnipiac points would require no wins for St. Lawrence over the weekend and less than three points from Dartmouth.

Playoff Scenario II (QU Gains 5th seed)

No matter how many points the Bobcats finish with over the weekend, it would become a moot point because St. Lawrence controls their own destiny. Three or more points over the weekend from the Saints would be enough to give them home ice. The Saints could back into their fourth seed with a pair of losses but only if the Bobcats finish with no more than one point over the weekend. Finally, just one victory for the Saints would mean the Bobcats would have to come away with four points to gain home ice.

Playoff Scenario III (QU Gains 6th seed)

Dartmouth has the potential to pass the Bobcats in the standings as they currently stand one point away from matching the Quinnipiac total of 25. The Big Green would have to come away with at least one more point over the weekend than the Bobcats for them to jump Quinnipiac in the standings. The Bobcats control their own destiny for the fifth seed over Dartmouth but just one tie would open the door for the Big Green to jump them and force a potential matchup at Clarkson in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals.

There's a First For Everything

The Bobcats took down No. 4 Cornell on Friday, Feb. 8, 4-1, for their first win ever over the Big Red at home. Quinnipiac was also winless (0-10-4) against Cornell in their previous 14 meetings until the Bobcats finally scored the elusive victory on Friday.

Upset Alert

The No. 4 Cornell Big Red matches the highest-ranked opponent Quinnipiac has ever beaten. The Bobcats also took down then-No. 4 ranked Boston College, 2-1, in overtime on Nov. 22, 2011. It was the first win in regulation over at Top-5 program in school history.

Senior Sendoff

The six Bobcat seniors certainly had their moments on Senior Day, Feb. 10 at the High Point Solutions Arena. Following the pregame ceremonies, four of the five senior skaters finished with at least one points while Vigilanti made 21 saves in net to land her the victory. Regan Boulton (two assists), Felica Vieweg (one goal), Kristen Eklund (one assist) and Brittany Lyons (one assist) all got in on the scoring action in their final regular season home game.

Milestone(s) Reached

The Bobcats' final home game against Colgate featured a pair of significant moments for the Bobcats as Regan Boulton moved past Vicky Graham '05 for second place on Quinnipiac's all-time scoring list. Boulton now stands at 75 career points (23 goals, 52 assist) while Graham's 73 (36 goals, 37 assists) is now third on the all-time list. Kelly Babstock also got into the action, scoring her 75th career goal and 150th career point after she netted a power-play goal to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead in the second period against Colgate.

I'm Liking the Variety

Kelly Babstock scored three empty-net goals against Colgate and Cornell including one shorthanded against No. 4 Big Red as well as a power-play goal. Babstock now has 28 total goals on the season including four on the power play, three shorthanded, four game-winners and four game-tying goals.

Picking It Up

In the past seven games for the Bobcats, only the ECAC Hockey's second-leading scorer Kelly Babstock has scored more points than senior teammate Regan Boulton. Highlighted by back-to-back games with two assists against Cornell and Colgate (seven for the season), Boulton has tallied eight points (one goal, seven assists) over the past seven games.

Moving On Up

Boulton's play of late has sent her surging up the national leaderboard in terms of points per game among defenseman. Her 28 points through 31 games (0.90 points per game average) puts her third among all ECAC Hockey defenders and sixth in the nation among all defensemen behind the likes of North Dakota's Monique Lamoureux, Minnesota's Megan Bozek, Clarkson's Erin Ambrose, Mercyhurst's Molly Byrne and St. Lawrence's Amanda Boulier.

Space For Rent

The Bobcats finished their weekend road series with only 14 penalty minutes as they continue to rank as the least-penalized team in the nation, a spot they've held for a majority of the season. Quinnipiac averages just 6.2 penalty minutes per-game while their next-closest competitor (Union) averages 6.8 minutes per-game.

Player of the Year??

Despite her first scoreless weekend of the season, junior forward Kelly Babstock has accumulated 52 points (28 goals, 24 assists) on the season, good for second place in the ECAC Hockey standings behind Cornell's Brianne Jenner. She already bested her point total from last season and is just seven points shy of matching her program record 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists) achieved during her freshman year. 

Helping Hand

The team-leader in assists, sophomore forward Nicole Kosta, has remained in the top-three in the ECAC Hockey in helpers as her season total currently stands at 27. Kosta enters the weekend having already broken her freshman year assist total while she already has established a new career high in goals (11) after totaling eight in 2011-12. 

Blue Line Power

Senior defenseman Regan Boulton has had herself a standout year, posting 28 points (five goals, 23 assists) this season. She already has established a single-season career high in assists and just recently broke her previous single season career high in points (21) established last season where she was named to the All-ECAC Third Team.

And the Winner is...Boulton

Regan Boulton comes into the weekend with 75 career points which stands second all-time in the Quinnipiac record books while fellow teammate Nicole Kosta is not far behind with 71 career points. Kosta is just three points away from jumping into the top-three scorers in program history.

Points – Career
1.            151         Kelly Babstock (76 goals, 75 assists)
2.            75           Regan Boulton (23 goals, 52 assists)
3.            73           Vicky Graham '05 (36 goals, 37 assists)
4.            72           Elyse Cole '09 (43 goals, 29 assists)
5.            71           Nicole Kosta (19 goals, 52 assists)

Ms. Reliable

Senior defenseman Felica Vieweg has been one of the most durable players the program has ever seen. She has played in every collegiate game since becoming a Bobcat in 2009, giving her 142 consecutive games played. Vieweg already is in the top-five in Quinnipiac history and is a mere three games away from matching Chelsea Illchuk and Bethany Dymarczyk for the most in program history with 145 games played. 

Extra Attacker Goals

One of the biggest strengths for the Bobcats this season has been their 23.1 percent clip (28-for-121) on the power play, good for sixth-best in the nation. Of the 92 Quinnipiac goals this season, 28 (30.4 percent) of them have come off the power play.

On the Plus Side

Quinnipiac's Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta both have been instrumental in the team's success thus far in the season, evidenced by their +32 and +31 plus/minus rating through 31 games, respectively. They hold the third and fourth spots in the ECAC Hockey standings as Babstock sits behind Harvard's Jillian Dempsey and Michelle Picard for first place while Kosta is tied for fourth with Cornell's Brianne Jenner.

Kosting Right Along

Nicole Kosta continues her breakout season as her season total stands at 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) that ranks sixth in the ECAC Hockey. She continues to lead the team with 27 assists on the year. Kosta already bested her numbers from last year as she finished the 2011-12 season with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists) through 34 games.

She Shoots…She Scores…Again

With 28 goals and 24 assists in 31 games this season, Kelly Babstock has either scored or assisted on 52 of the team's 92 goals thus far in the season. She has had a hand in an astonishing 56.5 percent of the team's goals, which is the highest percentage of any player in the nation with Wisconsin's Brianna Decker the next-closest competitor at 54.5 percent.

Points Galore

Since her first game freshman year, not counting exhibitions, Kelly Babstock has recorded at least one point in 76 of the 95 games that Quinnipiac has not been shutout.

2010-11: 28-of-33
2011-12: 25-of-36
2012-13: 23-of-26 (current season)

Top-of-the-Line Production

The Bobcat's top offensive and defensive lines have completely dominated the Quinnipiac scoring throughout 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 53 goals and 93 assists in 31 games throughout the season. The 146 points between the five players represents 62.7 percent of the total points for Quinnipiac (233 as a team).

Dynamite Ability

Kelly Babstock has been found near the top of the nation's statistical leaderboard all season. She currently ranks 10th in points per game (1.68), 6th in goals-per-game (0.90), 18th in assists-per-game (0.77), tied for 11th in game-winning goals (four), and tied for 2nd in shorthanded goals (three). 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 20 assists per game.

Everything You Can Do I Can Do Better

Teammates Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta have combined to be one 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 38 points, with Babstock's 52 (28 goals, 24 assists) and Kosta's 38 (11 goals, 27 assists) leading the way for the Bobcats. They rank as the fifth-highest scoring duo in the country.

Percent Difference

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 233 combined points for the Bobcats this season, Babstock and Kosta have accumulated 90 of those 233 for 38.6 percent. That percentage ranks as the highest of any pairing in the nation.

Magic Touch

Nicole Kosta had her program-record 11 game point scoring streak come to an end earlier this season but she and Kelly Babstock have shown impressive passing ability as they rank both in the top-20 nationally in assists-per-game. The two have combined to have a hand on 59-of-92 goals for the team on the season. Kosta has assisted on 29.3 percent (27-of-92) while Babstock has assisted on 26.1 percent (24-of-92) of the team's 92 goals this season. Kosta's percentage places her eighth in the nation's leaderboard in that category while Babstock sits right behind in 12th place.

Right Behind


Kelly Babstock comes into the weekend with 151 points which stands eighth among active Division I players. Babstock's point total is the fourth-most among active juniors and her 76 goals is the second-most behind Minnesota's Amanda Kessel who has posted 91 goals in her three years with the Golden Gophers.

Active Leaders in Points
1.            271         Jocelyne Lamoureux          Sr.           North Dakota
2.            255         Monique Lamoureux          Sr.           North Dakota
3.            237         Brianna Decker                   Sr.           Wisconsin
4.            223         Amanda Kessel                   Jr.            Minnesota
5.            163         Christine Bestland             Jr.            Mercyhurst
6.            163         Isabel Menard                    Sr.            Boston University
7.            161         Brianne Jenner                    Jr.           Cornell
8.           151         Kelly Babstock                  Jr.           Quinnipiac
9.            145         Jillian Dempsey                       Sr.           Harvard
10.          139         Kelly Sabatine                     Sr.           St. Lawrence

The Wins Keep on Coming

Victoria Vigilanti already eclipsed the career win total of every Quinnipiac goalie, male or female, in program history. Now she is looking to further her claim as one of the greatest goalies in ECAC Hockey history as she currently ranks third among active goalies throughout Division I in wins (68).

 Active Goalie Leaders in Wins

  1. 106         Noora Raty                     Sr.           Minnesota
  2. 79           Alex Rigsby                     Sr.           Wisconsin
  3. 68          Victoria Vigilanti            Sr.          Quinnipiac
  4. 59           Laura Bellamy                 Sr.           Harvard
  5. 57           Kerrin Sperry                   Jr.            Boston University
  6. 55           Erica Howe                      Jr.            Clarkson
  7. 48           Corinne Boyles                Sr.           Boston College
  8. 46           Lindsay Holdcroft            Jr.            Dartmouth
  9. 45           Lauren Slebodnick          Jr.            Cornell
  10. 40           Laura Chamberlain         Jr.            RIT

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