NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The offense and defense was clicking on all cylinders for the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team on Friday night as they posted a 4-0 shutout over Yale from Ingalls Rink. Senior Victoria Vigilanti made 12 saves in net to preserve her 24th career shutout and third of the season while juniors Erica Uden Johansson (one goal, one assist) and Kelly Babstock (two assists) carried the load on the offensive end for Quinnipiac which registered a season-high 52 shots against Yale. With St. Lawrence forcing a 2-2 tie against Harvard on Friday, Quinnipiac (18-10-4, 12-6-3 ECAC Hockey) holds steady in fifth place in the ECAC Hockey standings with 27 points compared to the Saints' 28. Yale's loss drops them to 4-20-3 (3-14-3 ECAC Hockey) on the season.
Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) continues to stand tall in net as her string of games allowing less than one goal now moves to eight straight. Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) landed her first multi-point game in since Nov. 24, 2012 while Babstock's (Mississauga, Ontario) two assists gives her 54 points (28 goals, 26 assists) and moves her past Cornell's Brianne Jenner for first place in the ECAC Hockey points standings. Freshman Nicole Brown (Oshawa, Ontario) and seniors Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) and Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) also scored in the Quinnipiac victory.
Babstock did what she does best in the first period to light the lamp for Quinnipiac. The junior forward pressured Yale in their defensive end as the Bulldogs were on the power play. Her stick deflected an outlet pass and she picked the turnover up near Yale's blue line. She spotted Uden Johansson streaking up ice on her right and dished off to create a breakaway opportunity. Uden Johansson took the puck and capitalized with a stick move to her backhander. The shot beat Yale goalie Jaimie Leonoff high and was met by the resounding cheer from the Quinnipiac faithful who made the trip to Ingalls Rink on Friday.
The Bobcats and Bulldogs played to a scoreless second period but Quinnipiac certainly wasn't short of opportunities. After taking an initial 14-7 lead in shots in the first period, the Bobcats owned an eye-popping 22-1 advantage in the second frame with Leonoff saving all 22 Quinnipiac shots. Pucks were fired from all over the ice high and low on Leonoff but the Yale goalie was up to the task throughout the frame. The best scoring opportunity in the period for the Bobcats had Babstock down at the far side post. With the puck on the opposite end, a shot was fired in from the faceoff dot. Leonoff made the initial save but the puck was loose in front and created a chance for Babstock. As soon as Babstock landed a stick on the puck, Leonoff flipped her left leg out to stonewall the rebound. The 22 shots also represented a season-high for the Bobcats in any period.
The relentless Bobcat attack finally yielded a goal against Leonoff as Babstock once again pressured the defense into a turnover along the boards. She took the puck and crossed over to Brown who was stationed on Leonoff's left. Brown took the Babstock pass and fired a shot that just beat Leonoff glove side to give the Bobcats a much-needed two goal cushion.
Another Quinnipiac goal came at 12:43 in the third period with the Bobcats set up on the power play. Sophomore Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) swung the puck cross ice to Uden Johansson above the faceoff dot. She faked a shot and gave off to Boulton near the point. With a Bulldog defender in front of Boulton, she skated sideways until she had a clear shot on Leonoff. Her slap shot bounced off the goalie's padding and through for the Bobcat goal and 3-0 lead. The goal is Boulton's sixth of the season, all on the man advantage, while Uden Johansson tallied her 12th assist and Kosta added her team-leading 28th helper of the season.
The Bobcats' second-leading goal scorer Lyons added another insurance goal late at 18:36. Freshman Nicole Connery (Newmarket, Ontario) possessed the puck and dumped it into Lyons who was open in the crease. She took the puck and looped around Leonoff and fired home the backhanded goal, her 16th of the season.
Quinnipiac now trails St. Lawrence by one point heading into the final game of the regular season for both teams. The Bobcats travel over to Providence, R.I. to take on Brown while the Saints have a road matchup against Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. as the two will play it out for the fourth and final home seed for the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals on Saturday.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com