HAMDEN, Conn. – An early deficit on Friday night didn't faze the No. 9 Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team as they rallied back and earned a 3-1 victory over Dartmouth in ECAC Hockey action. The Big Green found the back of the net first, midway through the second period but three unanswered goals helped lift Quinnipiac to their eight conference victory, 17th of the season and 100th in five-plus seasons for the Bobcats' head coach Rick Seeley. He becomes the first head coach in program history to reach the 100-win milestone as his team improves to 17-4-6 (8-3-4 ECAC Hockey) in 2013-14 while Dartmouth falls to 7-14-1 (6-9-1 ECAC Hockey).
The come-from-behind victory helps the Bobcats earn a season sweep over Dartmouth for just the second time in program history and first time since the 2009-10 season, while they also improve to 11-2-3 from the High Point Solutions Arena this season. Freshman Emma Woods (Burford, Ontario) started the comeback with just 43 seconds left in the second period to knot the score at 1-1 before junior Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa) had a flair for the dramatic once again, picking up her team-leading third game-winning goal on the season. Sophomore Nicole Connery (Newmarket, Ontario) added an insurance goal with less than three minutes remaining to put the game out of reach, backing up a solid 15-save night in net for junior goalie Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.).
For the 10th time this season, the Bobcats allowed the game's first goal as the Big Green's Emma Korbs put home the first goal of her career at 11:58 in the second period. Katy Ratty won a battle along the boards out to Karlee Odland who skated around several Quinnipiac defenders before finding Korbs at the point. Her shot made its way through three levels of traffic in front of a screened Laden who didn't see the puck beat her up high.
Trailing 1-0, the Bobcats weren't fazed as they picked up a huge goal at the end of the second period from Woods to give Quinnipiac the momentum heading into the locker rooms. The play developed in the Bobcats' defensive end as junior Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich.) nudged the puck up to senior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) at the opposite blue line. Babstock spotted Woods skating alone in the slot as she sent a backhand saucer pass to Woods who one-timed it past Dartmouth goalie Lindsay Holdcroft to tie the score. The assist for Babstock snapped a career-long four-game scoreless streak while Darkangelo now has recorded an assist in a career-high three straight games.
Quinnipiac didn't wait long to take control in the third as senior Olivia Brackett (Coopersville, Mich.) picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and picked up plenty of speed to earn a two-on-one break. Her wrist shot went low on Holdcroft's right leg pad, leaving a perfect rebound out front for Fritz-Ward who banged home the game-winner at 3:14. The goal for Fritz-Ward is her seventh tally and 12th point as she continues her breakout season.
Connery put a cap on the goal late at 17:43 with her fifth goal of the season and first since Nov. 1, 2013 (13 games). Freshman Meghan Turner (Bedford, N.H.) made the play happen as she forechecked a Big Green defender into a turnover behind Holdcroft's net. She then centered the puck to Connery who wound up a wicked wrister past Holdcroft to seal the 3-1 victory.
The Bobcats outshot Dartmouth 28-16 in the win as Quinnipiac has now outshot all but one opponent in 27 games this season. Quinnipiac also committed just one penalty as they continue to average the fewest penalty minutes of any team in the nation (6.6 per game).
Next up for the Bobcats is the No. 3/5 ranked Harvard Crimson who sit in first place in the ECAC Hockey standing with a 17-2-2 record and 13-2-1 mark in conference play. Saturday's tilt from High Point Solutions Arena is slated for 4:00 p.m.
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