HAMDEN, Conn. – Both goalies were on their game on Friday as the No. 5/6 nationally-ranked Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team and St. Lawrence played to a 1-1 tie from High Point Solutions Arena. In their first meeting since the Saints knocked the Bobcats out of the 2013 ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals, play was up-and-down at a furious pace but each team's goalie was up to the task throughout. The Bobcats put 47 shots on the Saints' goalie Carmen MacDonald but only one snuck through while junior goalie Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) stonewalled 24-of-25 shots to help Quinnipiac walk away with one point. Quinnipiac extends their unbeaten streak to eight games, improving their record to 10-1-4 (3-1-3 ECAC Hockey) while St. Lawrence moves to 5-7-1 (4-2-1 ECAC Hockey).
Laden was a pivotal player for the Bobcats as the Saints made her work hard for all 24 of her saves on Friday. The nation's leader in goals against average lowered her season total to 0.94, allowing just 14 goals in 15 appearances this season. Her pads were busy on the evening, especially in the overtime period where she turned away five brilliant scoring opportunities for the Saints.
The Bobcat faithful had some flashbacks to last year's ECAC Hockey Tournament matchup when MacDonald allowed just two goals through a little under 13 periods of action counting all the overtime frames. Time and time again she made some great saves on the doorstep and it took a wicked one-timer from senior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) to beat her and make it a tie for both sides. This continues a trend that dates all the way back to Feb. 13, 2009 as these two teams have played to a result decided by two goals or less in 12 straight meetings.
St. Lawrence was able to get on the board first with a goal at 6:43 in the second period, two seconds after the Bobcats had just killed off a two minute penalty. The Saints' Mel Desrochers picked up the puck along the far side boards after a clearing attempt failed to make it out of the Quinnipiac defensive zone. Desrochers just twirled around and shot the puck into the crease that found the stick of Rylee Smith. The Saints' active leader in goals flicked home her 47th career tally to beat Laden blocker side.
The Bobcats were quick to respond, however, with a power-play goal less than three minutes later. Quinnipiac held the puck in the St. Lawrence defensive end for an extended period as freshmen Taryn Baumgardt (Innisfail, Alberta) crossed over to sophomore Cydney Roesler (Stittsville, Ontario) at the point. Roesler carried the puck and found an opening in the Saints' defensive zoning. Her crossing pass made it all the way to the far post and was banged home by Babstock who beat MacDonald low and to the stick side. The goal was Babstock's fifth power-play goal of the year which currently leads the nation.
Quinnipiac returns to High Point Solutions Arena tomorrow for a Top 10 matchup against the No. 8 ranked Clarkson Golden Knights at 3:00 pm.
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