October 3, 2013

2013-14 Season Opens This Weekend for Women's Ice Hockey at St. Cloud State from Herb Brooks National Hockey Center

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) @
St. Cloud State Huskies (0-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Friday – Saturday, October 4-5,  2013 – 7:00 pm, 4:00 pm
Herb Brooks National Hockey Center – St. Cloud, Minn.
 

Start of Something New
Building off last season's success, the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team continues to make strides and rise to the top of college hockey. The new year brings back some familiar faces and eight new ones as the Bobcats will start their 2013-14 season this weekend at St. Cloud State. The two game series between the two teams marks the beginning of the regular season for both squads in addition to the grand opening of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, home of the Huskies. The 5,763 seat arena recently underwent a renovation and was newly renamed in April 2013 in honor of former St. Cloud State and U.S. Olympic coach Herb Brooks.  

Multimedia (via St. Cloud State Athletics Website)

LIVE STATS: Hockey fans, there will be live stats available for the game on Wednesday. To view live stats, visit the St. Cloud State Athletics website at www.scsuhuskies.com

LIVE VIDEO: There will be live video available as well for those that are unable to make it to the game. To view live in-game footage, visit http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/scsu.portal#

LIVE AUDIO: KVSC will be broadcasting the game live on their online sports stream. To listen to the game through KVSC, visit their stream at http://kvsc.org/listen/sports.m3u  

All-Time Against the Huskies
This marks the fourth and fifth all-time meeting between the Bobcats and Huskies with St. Cloud State holding a 3-0 advantage over Quinnipiac in their three prior meetings. They last met in 2008 for a two game series in Hamden where the Huskies earned a sweep of the series winning 7-0 and 5-3. The only other time both teams met was on Jan. 7, 2003 in St. Cloud for a one game series where the Huskies were victorious, 4-3. 

Scouting St. Cloud State
The 2012-13 campaign was a disappointing season for the St. Cloud State Huskies as they went 9-24-3 with a 5-21-2 mark in WCHA competition. They made the most of their meetings with Bemidji State and Minnesota State as all five of their conference wins came against the two lowest ranked teams in the WCHA. The Huskies had all sorts of trouble dealing with the likes of North Dakota, Ohio State, Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin and the reigning NCAA Champ Minnesota as they were a combined 0-21-1 against the powerhouse WCHA teams. St. Cloud State however is looking to move beyond last season and begin to make strides with an experienced group of players that includes 12 upperclassmen but also young and talented with eight freshmen. The Bobcats will need to keep their eyes open for senior forward Molli Mott as she is coming off a career year in which she was the highest-scoring Huskies all of last season. Mott appeared in 35 games and tied for first on the team with 22 points and tied for second in goals (9) and assists (13). She also led the Huskies in power-play goals (7) and game-winning goals (3). Supporting Mott on the defensive end will be senior Cari Coen who played in all 36 games for the Huskies last season, tallying one goal with three assists. She put up 29 shots-on-goal last season and posted 60 blocked shots to lead the team. A definite area where Quinnipiac will need to take advantage is on the offensive end as the Huskie goalies are both coming off sub-par seasons. Junior Julie Friend (5-14-3, 2.99 GAA, .911 SV %) and sophomore Katie Fitzgerald (4-10-0, 3.07 GAA, .912 SV %) both split time in net a year ago and managed just a 3.15 GAA as a team, ranked among the worst in the country. Their offense as well, scoring just an average of 1.58 goals per game last season, was the fifth-worst in the entire country.

Last Time Out
The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team took down Guelph in an exhibition game on Saturday with a 3-1 victory. The Bobcats were playing without their top two forwards Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta as well as assistant captain Shelby Wignall, thus creating some vital playing time opportunities early in the season for newcomers and veterans alike. Junior Shiann Darkangelo, a transfer from Syracuse University, compiled two points (one goal, one assist) in her first appearance in a Bobcat jersey while sophomore defenders Cydney Roesler and Kristen Tamberg each chipped in a pair of assists in the victory. Junior Morgan Fritz-Ward deflected home the game-winning power-play goal in the third period while sophomore Nicole Connery scored the Bobcats' first goal on a nifty that was elevated over the awaiting Guelph goaltender.

Prolonged Success
The 2012-13 season was yet another successful campaign as the Bobcats finished 20-12-4 overall and 13-6-3 in ECAC Hockey competition. The 13 wins in conference action was the most in the history of the program and the 20 total wins gives the team 80 victories over a four-year span, a claim only 10 other teams in Division I can hold.

Preseason Polls
The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team received recognition in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com Preseason Polls this week. The Bobcats picked up two points in the USA Today Poll and four in the USCHO.com Division I Women's Poll. This marks the fourth straight season in which the Bobcats have received points in both women's hockey Preseason Polls. 

Third Times a Charm
For the third consecutive season, Quinnipiac women's ice hockey senior forward Kelly Babstock was honored with a ECAC Hockey Preseason All-League selection. An ECAC Hockey First-Team honoree at the end of the 2012-13 season, Babstock returns looking to lead her team back to the postseason for the fifth straight season. She is joined by three Clarkson skaters, including goalie Erica Howe, defenseman Erin Ambrose and forward Jamie Lee-Rattray, as well as Harvard defenseman Sarah Edney and Cornell forward Jillian Saulnier. 

ECAC Hockey Coaches' Poll
As chosen by the league's coaches, the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team was selected to finish fourth in the ECAC Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Bobcats totaled 94 points after finishing the 2012-13 with a 20-12-4 overall record (13-6-3 ECAC Hockey) and advanced to the ECAC Hockey Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.

2013-14 ECAC Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rank

Team (First place votes)

Points

1

CLARKSON (7)

119

2

CORNELL (5)

111

3

HARVARD

99

4

QUINNIPIAC

94

5

ST. LAWRENCE

78

6

DARTMOUTH

75

7

PRINCETON

56

8

RENSSELAER

46

9

COLGATE

43

10

YALE

36

11

BROWN

26

12

UNION

16

 

International Stardom
Quinnipiac women's ice hockey's junior forward Nicole Kosta wrapped up her time with Team Canada as she finished with two assists in the three-game Red-White series. Kosta was selected to join the 27 players already chosen for the Canadian National Women's Team in preparation for the intrasquad Red-White series from Aug. 21-24. Kosta was one of 13 players chosen out of 40 who attended Canada's National Women's Development Team selection camp earlier this month. The selected players joined the 27 who are currently centralized with Canada's National Women's Team. As a part of the National Team's training for the upcoming 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the Red-White exhibition series splits the players into teams for an exciting three-game set.

Red-White Series Wrapup
For the series, Kosta finished in a tie with Haley Irwin for the most assists on Red with two and also finished in a tie for third place for the most points of any Red player. Despite losing the series, Kosta and the Red squad outscored White 8-7 in the three-game set.

Record-Setting Season
Despite the disparaging loss to end the season, the 2012-13 season will be remembered for the incredible wins, moments and records broken throughout the year. Kelly Babstock started the year in style, becoming the first player in program history to amass 100 career points and just a week later set a program record for most goals scored in a game with four 

More Records
Babstock continued her record-setting ways with four assists, matching the single-game record, in an 8-3 win over Dartmouth. Nicole Kosta stretched her point scoring streak to 11 games early in the season, passing her linemate Babstock for the all-time mark. Head coach Rick Seeley earned his 225th career game on Feb. 1 as his team took down Brown, 5-0. 

Breakthrough Moment
Perhaps the greatest team victory for the year came on Feb. 8 as the entire team smothered the winning goalie Victoria Vigilanti at the far side boards when the horn sounded on the Bobcats' 4-1 win over No. 4 ranked Cornell. The victory was the first for Quinnipiac over Cornell since 2006 (14 meetings), first ever over the Big Red at home and tied for the highest-ranked opponent the Bobcats have ever defeated. 

She's in a League of Her Own
At the pace Babstock is currently on, it will be quite some time before anyone is to ever come close to approaching her career numbers. The senior forward stands alone as the only 100 point scorer in Quinnipiac women's ice hockey history and finished her junior year with 154 career points. Her stat line for 2012-13 included 28 goals and 27 assists for 55 points which led to a nomination for the Patty Kazmaier Award and an ECAC Hockey First Team distinction. 

Active Career Leader
Babstock enters her senior season behind only Mercyhurst's Christine Bestland as the active career leader in points among all Division I players but has the most career goals (76) of any returning player in Division I.

Most career goals among active Division I women's hockey players

Rank Player                      School              Goals
1 Kelly Babstock QU 76
2 Christine Bestland MERCYHURST 71
3 Jamie Lee Rattray CLARKSON 49
4 Lindsay Fry HARVARD 44
5 Kourtney Kunichika RIT 44


Partner in Crime
Nicole Kosta went toe-for-toe with Babstock at times throughout the season as she finished with 11 goals and a team-leading 28 assists for 39 points. Kosta's ability to find open teammates has always been her calling card as she enters her junior season with 72 career points (19 goals, 53 assists), good for third on the all-time scoring list. Her inspired play in 2012-13 earned her an ECAC Hockey Third Team award as well as being named a finalist for the Best Defensive Forward award. 

Duty Calls
The dynamic duo will miss Erica Uden Johansson in 2013-14 as she will delay her senior year after earning a spot on the Swedish National Team who are in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Uden Johansson's 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) from last season will look to be replaced by a combination of up-and-coming sophomores as well as an incoming junior transfer.                                    

3 > 2
Throughout the 2012-13 season, no team had more ECAC Hockey Player of the Week winners than Quinnipiac. Kelly Babstock (four), Nicole Kosta (one) and Erica Uden Johansson (one) all combined for six weekly honors throughout the season. In addition, the Bobcats have more players who've won the award this season (three) than any other team in the ECAC Hockey. 

Seeing Double
Nicole Connery and Nicole Brown made some noise in their first seasons with Quinnipiac as the pair of sophomore forwards will look to make a name for themselves amongst the talent-laden roster. Both appeared in all 36 games of their rookie campaigns and continued to see more ice time as the season went on.

Freshman Leader
Nicole Connery led all Bobcat freshman with 19 points (10 goals, 9 assists) and saw considerable time on the ice for the Bobcats' special team units. 

Brownie Points
Nicole Brown meanwhile registered 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) and posted a remarkable streak as the team went 13-0-1 in the 14 games she posted at least one point.

Transfer Incoming
Another dynamic athlete to add to the mix is incoming junior transfer Shiann Darkangelo who comes to the Bobcats after playing two years at Syracuse University. Darkangelo compiled 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists) in 70 career games and led the Orange in goals (16) last season. Darkangelo compiled one hat trick in each of her first two seasons of college hockey and immediately vaults up to second on the team, behind only Babstock, in career hat tricks.

Captain Colin
The remaining group of returning forwards includes the senior captain Amanda Colin, who was named the 10th captain in the history of the program at the annual banquet in May. She tallied eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 2012-13 and continued to display toughness and determination as she continued her streak of 110 consecutive games played

Finally Healthy
Health and improved play earned junior Morgan Fritz-Ward considerable playing time last year and she took advance with seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 33 games. Fritz-Ward played in only 16 games her freshman year due to injury and came back to breakout with a much-improved sophomore season.

Departing Cornerstones
The back line will certainly miss the longtime standouts Regan Boulton and Felica Vieweg as both signed professional contracts this summer after finishing stellar four-year careers with the Bobcats. Boulton, the senior captain a year ago, finished with a career high 30 points and leaves Quinnipiac as the second-highest scoring player in the history of the program. Vieweg was as durable as ever, appearing in all 147 possible games for the Bobcats which represents a record for the most career games played.

Filling the Holes
The loss of such cornerstones will be difficult but made easier with the returns of senior Shelby Wignall and sophomores Cydney Roesler and Kristen Tamberg.

Wiggling Her Way Into the Spotlight
A converted forward, Shelby Wignall blossomed into a consistent, steady presence along the blue line last season. She finished with five points and a +6 plus/minus rating, the fourth-highest among Bobcat defenders. Wignall's leadership is also unquestioned as she was named the team's assistant captain for the 2013-14 season.

Roesler's Rundown
In just her first season with the team, Cydney Roesler started alongside Boulton in all 36 games and owned the best plus/minus rating among all defenders on the team at +11. Her heady play resulted in just three penalties in 22 ECAC Hockey games last season and she also finished with nine assists, the second highest total among the blue-liners

Tamberg's Timeline
Much like her fellow classmate, Kristen Tamberg stepped right in and earned significant minutes in her first season. She posted great all-around numbers with five assist, +8 plus/minus rating and just 10 penalty minutes scattered across the 36-game season.

Saying Goodbye to a Legend
Victoria Vigilanti's departure to graduation closes the doors on the greatest career for a goaltender in the history of the program. An All-ECAC Hockey performer three out of her four years, Vigilanti goes down with the most wins (71), saves (3257), games played (133), goals against average (1.68), save percentage (.931) and shutouts (25) of any goalie in Quinnipiac history.

Laden Lying in the Wings
Vigilanti's departure however creates an opening for the up-and-coming junior Chelsea Laden. A sought-after recruit two years ago, Laden has had to wait her turn behind Vigilanti the past two seasons and looks to make the most of her chance this year. She has accumulated seven career wins in 15 starts to go along with a 2.58 goals against average and .905 save percentage. Laden has one career shutout to her name as she recorded 19 saves against Syracuse in her freshman year and also was the team's winning goalie in a 2-1 overtime victory over then-No. 4 ranked Boston College earlier that season.

Rossman Riding the Wave
The loss of Vigilanti also creates an opportunity for incoming freshman Sydney Rossman, another highly-touted recruit whose notoriety spread across the country in her senior season at Minnetonka High School. She was named the 2013 Let's Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year, presented to the top Minnesota senior goalie in girls' high school hockey. Also a three-time USA Hockey National Development Camp Selection, Rossman earned an invite to the United States National Women's U-18 Team Selection Camp in Aug. 2012 as one of only three goalies.

Space For Rent
The Bobcats finished the 2012-13 season as the least-penalized team in the nation (5.9 penalty minutes per game average) for the fourth consecutive season. Head Coach Rick Seeley and his staff have successfully instilled a disciplined mindset in his teams since first taking the job in 2008.

Extra Attacker Goals
One of the biggest strengths for the Bobcats last season was their 22.4 percent clip (30-for-134) on the power play, good for sixth-best in the nation. Of the 103 Quinnipiac goals last season, 30 (29 percent) of them have come off the power play. The Bobcats' 20.5 percent clip in ECAC Hockey games this season also places them first in the conference standings on the man advantage.

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 36 games, respectively. They held the second and fifth spots in the ECAC Hockey standings as Babstock sits behind Harvard's Jillian Dempsey for first place while Kosta is tied for fifth with Harvard's Michelle Picard.

She Shoots…She Scores…Again
With 28 goals and 27 assists in 33 games this season, Kelly Babstock has either scored or assisted on 55 of the team's 103 goals thus far in the season. She had a hand in an astonishing 54 percent of the team's goals, which was the second-highest percentage of any player in the nation with North Dakota's Jocelyne Lamoureux finishing as the leader at 56.3 percent.

Points Galore
Since her first game freshman year, not counting exhibitions, Kelly Babstock has recorded at least one point in 78 of the 98 games that Quinnipiac has not been shutout.

2010-11: 28-of-33
2011-12: 25-of-36
2012-13: 25-of-29 

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-22 in points-per-game in the nation, each have contributed at least 39 points, with Babstock's 55 (28 goals, 27 assists) and Kosta's 39 (11 goals, 28 assists) leading the way for the Bobcats. They rank as the fifth-highest scoring duo in the country.

Percent Difference
The combination of Kelly Bastock and Nicole Kosta ranks as the top scoring tandem in the nation when considering their team's total production. Of the team's 260 combined points for the Bobcats this season, Babstock and Kosta have accumulated 94 of those 260 for 35.0 percent. That percentage ranks as the second-highest of any pairing in the nation behind the Lamoureux twins at North Dakota.

Right Behind
Kelly Babstock comes into the 2013-14 with 154 points which stands second among active Division I players. With all the graduations from last season, in addition to this being an Olympic season help Babstock vault up the rankings and move into second place among active players.

Most career points among active Division I women's hockey players (at least 100 points)

Rank Player                       School                 Points                   
1 Christine Bestland MERCYHURST 175 (71 G, 104 A)
2 Kelly Babstock QUINNIPIAC 154 (76 G, 78 A)
3 Jamie Lee Rattray CLARKSON 118 (49 G, 69 A)
4 Kourtney Kunichika RIT 112 (44 G, 68 A)
5 Michelle Karvinen NORTH DAKOTA 108 (42 G, 66 A)
6 Carly Mercer CLARKSON 107 (40 G, 67 A)
7 Rylee Smith ST. LAWRENCE 103 (43 G, 60 A)
8 Kelly Terry MINNESOTA 101 (35 G, 66 A)

 

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