HAMDEN, Conn. – Just one day removed from tying their highest ranking ever in the USCHO.com weekly poll, the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team did one better as they earned the No. 8 ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. The Bobcats' No. 8 national ranking is their highest ever in any poll in program history. Quinnipiac earned 40 points in the poll, also a program record, as they now look ahead to a tough weekend road slate against ECAC Hockey perennial powers in No. 7 Harvard and Dartmouth.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's College Hockey Poll (Oct. 22, 2013)
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Others receiving votes: Minnesota-Duluth 22, Boston University 17, New Hampshire 2.
Quinnipiac (5-0-1) enters this weekend as one of only three unbeaten teams in the country along with No. 1 Minnesota and No. 3/4 Cornell. The Bobcats are off to their best start in program history, surpassing the 2010-11 team that started the year with a 5-1 record. Senior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) and freshman Emma Woods (Burford, Ontario) each were recognized with ECAC Hockey Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week awards, respectively. Both have anchored the offensive attack as they lead the team with 10 points (four goals, six assists) for Babstock while Woods was compiled nine points (four goals, five assists) through the team's first six games.
After recording a 0-0 tie at St. Cloud State in their first game this season, Quinnipiac has reeled off a five-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 21-4 in that stretch. The backbone of the team so far has been junior goalie Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) who continues to lead the nation in goals against average (0.52), save percentage (.974) and shutouts (3). Coming into this season with just 18 career appearances, Laden has certainly made a name for herself highlighted by her 189:09 scoreless streak that came to an end on Saturday against Maine.
Rounding out the remainder of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine weekly poll is No. 1 Minnesota, who continued their NCAA record winning streak with a sweep of Minnesota-Duluth this past weekend. Wisconsin follows at No. 2 and then Boston College earned the No. 3 ranking. A couple ECAC Hockey schools follow in No. 4 Cornell, No. 5 Clarkson and No. 7 Harvard with North Dakota squeezed in the middle at No. 6. Mercyhurst and Ohio State finish up the Top-10 ranking behind the Bobcats heading into week four of the regular season.
The No. 8/9 Bobcats will put their undefeated record to the test this weekend as they look for their first-ever victory at Harvard (0-8 all-time) followed by a tough game at Dartmouth, a place where Quinnipiac lost 5-2 last season.
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