ITHACA, N.Y. – An incredible display of defense and skill helped keep the game close before senior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) did what she's done her entire career and made the plays when her team needed them the most. Trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, the No. 9/10 Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team stormed back for one of their biggest wins in program history over No. 3 Cornell, 2-1, in front of a packed crowd at Lynah Rink on Friday.
The No. 3 ranked Cornell represent the highest-ranked opponent Quinnipiac has ever beaten and it also represents their first victory at Lynah Rink since Nov. 18, 2006. The Bobcats' record breaking victory bumps their record up to 19-5-9 (10-4-7 ECAC Hockey) while they snap the nation's second-longest winning streak at six games as the Big Red fall to 20-4-4 (15-3-3 ECAC Hockey).
Quinnipiac's stellar play started with junior goalie Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) who played one of the best games of her career, making 27 saves on the evening to limit the nation's third-highest scoring offense coming into the weekend. She stymied the lethal tandem of Jillian Saulnier and Emily Fulton, who came in as the third-highest scoring duo in the nation at just under three points per game, to only one assist combined on the evening.
The Bobcats have feasted off the third period all season and Friday was no different as their two goals in the final frame gives them a 38-14 advantage over their opponents for the season. Their two goals also moves them into first place for the highest-scoring team in the nation in the third period alone.
Babstock was the offensive star for the Bobcats with her second straight multi-point game (one goal, one assist) as Quinnipiac remains undefeated this season when their star forward registers at least one point (18-0-5). Babstock also bumps her career total up to 199 points (94 goals, 105 assists) as she moves just one point shy of becoming the first player in Quinnipiac women's hockey history and just the third player in Quinnipiac history (male or female) to reach 200 points.
Freshman Emma Woods (Burford, Ontario) banged home the equalizer early in the third period for her 12th goal of the season as she continues to lead all ECAC Hockey rookies in that category. Junior Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich.) assisted on Woods' goal to give her 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the last eight games.
Cornell's Jessica Campbell banged home the game's first goal midway through the first period as an Emily Fulton slap shot from the point caromed off the boards behind Laden's net out to the far post where Campbell was waiting for to wrist home the tally.
Both goalies dominated a scoreless second period as Laden (13 saves) and Cornell's goalie Paula Voorheis (9 saves) each made multiple saves on prime scoring opportunities for the opposition. Laden starred throughout the first half of the period with her biggest save coming on a streak up-ice from Jillian Saulnier at the near post. Saulnier wristed a backhander on Laden that was kicked out wide where Campbell was waiting once again but this time was met by the glove of Laden on a rebound attempt from point-blank range.
The Bobcats' third period domination began with a beautiful series of passes back-and-forth between Babstock, Darkangelo and Woods that eventually led to a wrister from Woods in the slot that beat Voorheis. Babstock started the play with a pass to Darkangelo along the far side boards who shielded off the Cornell defense to wait for Woods to enter the offensive zone. Just leaping out of the bench on a line change, the Big Red didn't pick up Woods as she entered the zone in the slot. Woods received the pass from Darkangelo and wristed home the equalizer just 2:03 into the third.
Quinnipiac's pressure continued throughout the next five minutes but Laden continued to make save-after-save to stymie the Cornell offense. After making several sprawling saves, including a pair where she dove out from her crease to cover the puck, Babstock was able to pick up the game-winner for the Bobcats.
The play started with a nice breaking from the defensive line up to the neutral zone. Darkangelo carried the puck into the Big Red's defensive zone and flicked a shot on-net that was stopped initially by Voorheis but not covered. Babstock wasn't picked up as she carried a ton of speed into the crease area where she managed to locate the loose puck and bang the rebound home before the Cornell defense could recover.
Laden and the Bobcat defense continued their incredible play down the stretch as they held Cornell scoreless for the final 49:14 of the game including over a minute with the Big Red skating with an extra attacker after pulling their goalie. Babstock managed to pick up a loose puck along the near side boards and flick it out of the zone late to ice the game for Quinnipiac as the entire contingent of Bobcats leapt off the bench to mob their goalie Laden who played one of her best games throughout in net.
With the victory, the Bobcats pick up two points in the conference standings to remain ahead of St. Lawrence for the No. 4 seed. A victory over the Colgate Raiders in the regular season finale would guarantee Quinnipiac the No. 4 seed and home ice in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals against St. Lawrence. Quinnipiac defeated the Raiders, 6-0, earlier this season from their home ice and have won six straight overall against Colgate dating back to 2010 as the puck will drop at 4:05 pm on Saturday.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com