Women’s Ice Hockey

Elkins continues career in hockey

By Brian Farrell, QBSN Staff Writer

The temperature in Wasilla, Alaska today is hovering around 37 degrees. The temperature tomorrow in Dallas is about 82 degrees and in Hamden, Connecticut it is 61. The distance between the three locations is just a hair over six thousand miles.

After growing up in Alaska, and going to school in Connecticut, Jordan Elkins is ready to move to Texas to continue her life’s journey.

“I grew up in the North, and I’ve lived in the East, so now it’s time to give the South a try,” Elkins said jokingly with a bright smile. “It’s only fair to give that part of the states their due time with me.”

Most of the time a six thousand mile trip is closely related to a mid-life crisis to find out who one is, but for Elkins there is no mid-life crisis or search for inner-self. She knows who she is, and she is hockey.

After a stellar four-year career with Quinnipiac, the senior captain is ready to move on to the next step in her life and like many collegiate athletes she is blessed with the opportunity to continue her life in the sport she loves.

Elkins was recently named the head coach of the Dallas Stars Elite Hockey Club’s U-14 team and U-12 Tournament team, and the assistant coach for the U-19 team.

“I just can’t let hockey go,” Elkins said warmly. “All the people it has led me to meet, all the things I’ve learned and all the places it has led me to across the darn United States, I just couldn’t let it go. So when this opportunity arose. . . I knew I could make a difference.”

The Dallas Stars Elite Hockey Club gives young players, both male and female, a chance to play at a competitive level with plenty of exposure from college scouts.  As a recent NCAA athlete, Elkins knows that on-ice play isn’t the only thing that scouts look at.

“School is a big part of it,” Elkins said. “I know a number of NCAA coaches from helping with camps and clinics and they know if a girl has a good attitude or is good in school and all these factors play in to whether the coaches will select a player.”

In addition to a balance of stressing academics and hockey, Elkins wants to simply fill the gaps she had when she was playing youth hockey.

“Looking back now I wish I had a little bit more fun with it, because hockey gets hard on its own when you get to high school and college,” she said.  “I never had a girl my age or a little bit older than me that had just gone through it and was there telling me exactly what was ahead.”

Elkins never had much of a female hockey figure in her life. From the age of five all the way through high school Elkins played hockey in a boy’s league. The closest girls’ league was located an hour away, but it wasn’t the distance that shied Elkins away from switching leagues. After all we know she isn’t afraid of traveling.

“If I could still play with the boys, why would I play in a girls’ league,” Elkins questioned with another smile.

Elkins’s hockey career started when she was five years old and continued for a couple of years.

“I actually quit playing hockey for a year to figure skate because all the boys were making fun of me.”

Such criticism is exactly what positions Elkins so well for a career in coaching.

“I would never tell someone that they can’t do something … I would love to have just one girl look at me and listen to me and look at how I coach and how I try to help them and say, ‘I can do this’ because you can.”

Luckily for Quinnipiac, and now for Dallas, Elkins eventually decided to lace the black skates up again and hit the ice with a stick, instead of a dress.

It’s clear that the magic of hockey has rubbed off on Elkins.

“If I can just make one girl want to keep playing and like hockey a little bit more, it’ll all be worth it.”

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Women’s hockey breathes strong

By Brian Farrell, QBSN Staff Writer

The snow began falling early Thursday evening about 80 miles southeast of Potsdam, N.Y.  Nearly five hours were already in the books for the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team as it traveled from Hamden to Clarkson University for the ECAC quarterfinals.

It was the same Clarkson team that swept the Bobcats during the regular season. It was the same Clarkson team that had not lost at Cheel Arena since Oct. 29 against Harvard in overtime. A rink that had not seen the Golden Knights lose in regulation since February of 2011.

But as the old adage goes, “that’s why we play the game.”

As the DATTCO bus drudged through the long winding New York roads, signs began to emerge.

“Welcome to Lake Placid: Home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics.” With Disney’s Miracle shining brightly through the bus’s TV screen, players and media personal alike began to wonder.

As the team entered the picturesque upstate New York town, head coach Rick Seeley stood up at the front of the bus and informed the team that the bus was a little ahead of schedule. Next stop: Herb Brooks Arena, the home of the most famous “that’s why we play the game” in American history.

So 32 years and one day removed, the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team stood in awe and excitement watching a pee-wee hockey practice in the very building where “The Miracle on Ice” happened. About 24 hours later, the Bobcats would be on the ice at Cheel Arena.

As the team walked the concourse, one couldn’t help but be inspired. In a winter of nearly no snow, the sight of a moderate flurry blanketing the 400-meter speed skating track outside the arena could do nothing more than send chills down one’s spine.

This is the environment that the game of hockey was meant to be in. The long bus rides, the seemingly endless snow, the hum of the zamboni engine, the smooth cold concrete of the concourse, the ear piercing train whistle, the vocal fans, and that inexplicable smell that every rink possesses.

Was Quinnipiac on the verge of its own miracle on ice? No. The last time the U.S. played the Soviets before the Olympic games the score was 10-3. The last time the Bobcats played Clarkson the score was 3-2 and a goal was disallowed with three seconds left in regulation.

The stop at Herb Brooks Arena was less of a reminder of an incredible moment in American history, but a simple example of why anyone involved with the game is lucky to be there. The quick layover became a momentary mental escape to a time when every hockey player was one of those pee-wee players dreaming of playing in the playoffs.

After scoring three goals in a span of two-minutes and 38-seconds within the first seven minutes of game one, the magic of a classic hockey road trip continued.

A 2-1 loss on Saturday was nothing more than a delay of the inevitable. As more Bobcats fans made the trip for game three, there was an air of confidence. Players and fans alike echoed the words of Confucius, “Take off the Knights’ amour and the Knights stand no chance.”

For many that made the trip on Sunday, there was no surprise that Quinnipiac arrived to the rink and put on a full 60-minute effort in the first elimination game of the season.

Quinnipiac players and fans will get to enjoy another weekend in a town where hockey breathes strong just like in Lake Placid and Potsdam. The puck drops at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

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Bobcats celebrate senior day with win

By: Taylor Massey QBSN Staff Writer

February 18, 2012

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team (17-14-2, 12-8-2 ECAC) celebrated senior day with a 5-1 win over RPI (9-21-4, 6-14-2) in its final regular season game. Three different players scored in the ECAC match-up, including a hat trick by Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario).

RPI and Quinnipiac appeared to match up evenly in an uneventful first period, but halfway through the second frame the Bobcats lit up. Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) was first on the board with a power-play goal six minutes into the period. Frykas caught the rebound off a shot by Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) and flicked it into the net past RPI goalie Brianna Piper.

Next Babstock came through with her first of three goals for the night on another power-play goal. Babstock planted herself in front of the net at the right time to send in a rebound from a shot by Frykas. Minutes later, she broke away for an unassisted goal. Babstock crossed in front of the goal and sent a quick shot over Piper’s shoulder to make it 3-0 at the end of the second.

RPI grabbed its first and only goal of the night with just over five minutes left in the game. Toni Sanders managed to get the puck past Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) with an assist by Eleeza Cox.

Soon after, Babstock achieved her third goal on an empty net to complete her hat trick. Head coach Rick Seeley was happy to see Babstock back in her groove.

“That’s her bread and butter around the net,” said Seeley.  “Her hands are so quick and to pick-up pucks and then create that space and make the goals look easy, that’s what she’s great at.”

The Bobcats’ final goal came off the stick of senior Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.). Dymarczyk scored a short-handed goal on an empty net, but it held a certain sentimental value that only she knew.

“That was my first goal here at home ice and then for my last goal to be that exact same just kind of means a lot more to me than most people would think,” said Dymarczyk.

While Dymarczyk cherished personal moments in the victory, Seeley was looking forward with confidence.

“I think we accomplished what we needed to accomplish. We needed to come out of this weekend feeling good about how we were playing.”

When all is said and done, the Bobcats will be losing six seniors to graduation.

Quinnipiac ends the season with the sixth seed in the ECAC and will hit the road to take on Clarkson in the first round of playoffs starting Feb. 24.

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Third period dramatics not enough for Bobcats

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web-Editor

February 11, 2012

All eyes in the High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center remained on the tunnel as the clock was stopped with three seconds left in the final period of Saturday’s women’s hockey game against ECAC opponent Clarkson.  The Clarkson bench began to cheer as a referee emerged signaling no goal and killing the Bobcats’ hopes of a comeback, leaving the score at 3-2.

The play that led to the third period dramatics involved a pressing offensive force against the sprawled out Knight goalie, Erica Howe who came up with the game salvaging save.  The loss makes for Quinnipiac’s fifth consecutive (15-15-2, 10-9-2 ECAC), while Clarkson (21-7-5, 15-4-2 ECAC) extends its win-streak to six games.

Clarkson never sacrificed its lead, silencing Quinnipiac as it scored three consecutive goals. The Knights wasted no time putting offensive pressure on the Bobcats, resulting in two goals in the first frame. Juana Baribeau hit a shot from pointblank-range past Bobcat keeper Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) into the bottom right corner of the net halfway through the opening period.  Brittany Styner, who assisted the first Knight goal, landed her second point of the period when she put one by Laden six minutes later with help from Hailey Wood.

Momentum carried in to the beginning of the second period for Clarkson when Jamie Lee Rattray took the puck down the ice and shot it right between Laden’s legs for the third Knight goal of the day.

“To beat a team like that any time, you can’t make those kind of mistakes,” head coach Rick Seeley said of Clarkson.

The Bobcats remained shut down until seven minutes into the second period when they utilized their fourth power play of the game. Sophomore Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) continued her post-break hot streak with her seventh goal of the year.  Uden Johansson, Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario), and Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) positioned themselves outside of a clustered group of defenders, passing the puck like a game of monkey-in-the-middle when Uden Johansson shot from the faceoff circle to the near post.

In eerily similar fashion, Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) earned her seventh goal of the season with the helper from Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) as the clock winded downwards from three minutes.  While the goal itself was not during a power play, the offensive pressure of the previous man advantage set Wheeler up for the score.

“The kill was great against a very good power play,” said Seeley.  “Our power play has been looking better and better every week.”

In addition to the power play goal and the set up from the player-advantage, the Bobcats managed to kill a five-on-three situation in the final frame.

“To kill of five-on-three against anyone is pretty impressive, and I think we did it with a lot of confidence,” Seeley said.

Aside from the special teams, Seeley did acknowledge the defensive challenges the Knights presented.

“I thought they did a great job of getting back and pressuring the puck, so I give them a lot of credit,” Seeley said.

As the regular season winds down and only two games remain, both ECAC opponents in Union and Rensselaer on Feb. 17 and 18 respectively, the Bobcats must prepare for the possibility of seeing this strong Clarkson defense again.

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Bobcats can’t finish the comeback

By Thomas Albanese, QBSN Staff Writer

February 10, 2012

After two lead changes in the third period, St. Lawrence came back to defeat the Quinnipiac Bobcats by a final score of 4-3 on Friday night at High Point Solutions Arena in the TD Bank Sports Center.

After being down 2-0, Quinnipiac (15-13-2, 10-7-2 ECAC) scored three straight goals within the first 10 minutes of the final period, off the sticks of centers Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) and Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba). With less than two minutes to go, St. Lawrence (18-8-4, 15-5-2 ECAC) would take back the lead after two back-to-back goals were scored by right wing, Rylee Smith and center, Kelly Sabatine that were only separated by 22-seconds.

Going into the third period, Quinnipiac trailed the Saints by a score of 2-0. Quinnipiac came out of the tunnel fired up in the last twenty minutes of the match. After the first two minutes, Frykas got a good look from the left side of the net after a nice pass from right wing, Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.), and Frykas scored the first goal of the night for the Bobcats.

They continued to put more pressure on St. Lawrence’s defense as four minutes later Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) took a hard slap shot that deflected off St. Lawrence’s goalie, Carmen MacDonald. Lyons factored into giving the assist as Frykas was right in front of the net and she scored her second goal of the night. Frykas goals numbers nine and ten on the season respectively.

After tying up the score, Quinnipiac continued to gain the momentum as St. Lawrence’s Brook Fernandez was penalized for checking. Despite the Bobcats at this time being 0-for-4 on power plays, they managed to get the puck to the back of the net. Boulton was able to push the puck across the goal line along with the assist from Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden).  After being reviewed, the goal was confirmed.  The Bobcats finally solved their power play issues and were now leading the match by a score of 3-2.

Playing strong defense helped keep St. Lawrence off the board until everything changed in the final two minutes of play. St. Lawrence pulled Carmen MacDonald from the net in an attempt to have more offensive power against the Bobcats. It would pay off as right wing Rylee Smith would score her 18th goal of the season for St. Lawrence with the assist from sophomore Mel Desrochers.

Only 22-seconds later, junior Kelly Sebatine scored an unassisted goal as she shot a hard slap shot that bounced off one of Quinnipiac’s defenders and into the net to give St. Lawrence the lead with just over one minute remaining in the match.  The Bobcats were unable to spark another comeback.

“I thought the team played really inspiring hockey for the first nine minutes of the third period to get the lead, then we eased up a little bit, and after the two goals in the end, it all just fell apart,” head coach Rick Seeley said.

With this rough loss, the Bobcats have now lost four consecutive games. If it had capped off this comeback-win, Quinnipiac could have tied St. Lawrence for fifth place in the ECAC.

“This shows that you need to play hard all 60-minutes of a hockey match, otherwise it is very tough to win against any opponent,” Seeley said.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats hope to get back on their winning ways again once they return today at 4 p.m. to High Point Solutions Arena against ECAC opponent Clarkson to get back in the race for a good seed in the division with only three more conference games remaining.

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Bobcats can’t sweep series, fall 3-2

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web Editor

January 28, 2012

In spite of outshooting Syracuse (9-16-3, 0-3-3 CHA) 55-23, the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team (15-10-2, 10-4-2 ECAC) lost the second game of the two-game series by a final score of 3-2.  While the score was tied 2-2 going into the final stretch of the game, Syracuse pulled away with the victory on the stick of Nicole Ferrara.

After the Bobcats shut down the Orange offense completely Friday night, Syracuse put immediate pressure on the Quinnipiac defense scoring two goals in the first period causing head coach Rick Seeley to pull his veteran goaltender, junior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) before the opening frame concluded.  Vigilanti was replaced by freshman Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) after she posted her first career shutout in Friday’s 3-0 victory.

Syracuse netted both goals within the last seven minutes of the period. Margot Scharfe put the first goal in on a solo effort.  After taking an initial shot that was deflected by Vigilanti, Scharfe followed through and pushed the puck to the right corner.  The second Syracuse goal came three and a half minutes later off of the stick of Caitlin Roach.  Assists were credited to Lisa Mullan and Taylor Metcalfe.

Sandwiched a minute after Syracuse’s first goal and just over two minutes before its second, Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) notched a power play goal with the assist from Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) to, at the time, tie the game 1-1.

Despite the quick start by Syracuse, the second period saw Quinnipiac regain its composure, tying the game 2-2.  Senior Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.) took a shot that was deflected by Syracuse goaltender Kallie Billdeau.  Unfortunately for the Syracuse defense, junior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) was skating off the bench into perfect positioning for the rebound and knocked it in for her seventh of the year.  Captain Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Ala.) was also credited a helper on the play.

About halfway through the third period, Ferrara and Holly Carrie-Mattimoe put the pressure on Laden when the two went two-against-one, drawing Laden out of the net.  Carrie-Mattimoe sent a pass to Ferrara who took no mercy, sending a laser behind Laden.  Scharfe skated away with her second point of the day, as she was also credited with the assist.

Despite their efforts, the Bobcats failed in their search for an equalizer.  However, it was not the offensive efforts that proved to be the issue.

“Scoring doesn’t matter if you don’t pay attention to defense,” Seeley said.

As the Bobcats head into a major ECAC run that could define their season, taking on six different conference opponents to close out the season, one of the most daunting problems is who will start between the pipes.

“I thought all three goals were pretty weak, so we have to figure out the goaltending situation.  We’ve got a real important conference stretch coming up,” Seeley said.  “I’d say at this point Laden’s won the starting job.”

Billadeau managed to put away 53 saves.  Vigilanti had three saves in her 17 minutes of action, and Laden had 17 stops of her own.

Quinnipiac begins this stretch when the head to Harvard and Dartmouth on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. respectively.

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Uden Johansson leads Bobcats to 3-0 win

By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer

January 27, 2012

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team (15-9-2, 10-4-2 ECAC) defeated the Syracuse Orange (8-16-3, 0-3-3 CHA) 3-0 Friday night at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in a non-conference match-up.

Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) carried the offense factoring in on all three of the Bobcats’ goals with a goal and two assists. Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) and Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) each added goals in the third period to seal the win. Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) and Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) also added assists and Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) made 18 saves for the shutout.

The Bobcats dominated the puck in the first period, outshooting Syracuse 12-4 and controlling play in the offensive zone. Uden Johansson netted her fifth goal of the season with the assist coming from Frykas. Uden Johansson now has points in five of the last six games. The team went into the locker room with the 1-0 lead after the opening frame.

“She’s really picked up where she left off from last season,” head coach Rick Seeley said of Uden Johansson’s recent play.  “Since coming back from injury she has played really well for us, and she is getting better and better every game. Two weeks ago, there were elements of her game she wanted to improve upon, and she did it in two weeks.”

The two teams skated in a scoreless second period and each put seven shots on goal. Both net-minders Laden and Jenesica Drinkwater made key saves in the period to keep the score 1-0.

Kosta extended the Bobcats’ lead with her fourth goal of the season just over five minutes into the third period. Uden Johansson assisted on the play as she hit an open Kosta in the high slot before Kosta ripped a shot passed Drinkwater for the goal.

Wheeler rounded up the scoring putting the Bobcats up 3-0 just over four minutes later with her fifth goal of the season assisted by Babstock and Uden Johansson. Babstock threw the puck towards the net and it deflected right onto the stick of Wheeler who quickly capitalized on the opportunity, putting a shot high glove side passed Drinkwater. The Bobcats outshot Syracuse 14-7 in the final frame.

The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. with the second game of the weekend series against Syracuse at High Point Solutions Arena.

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Bobcats return to winning ways

By Kevin Noonan, QBSN Staff Writer

January 14, 2012

The Quinnipiac University women’s ice hockey team finally earned its first victory of the 2012 calendar year.  The Bobcats (14-9-2, 10-4-2 ECAC) soundly defeated the Colgate Raiders (8-14-1, 3-8-1 ECAC) 4-1 at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y.

Bobcats head coach Rick Seeley changed goaltenders for the first time since Dec. 3, 2011.  Freshman Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) took over the duties in net for struggling junior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario).  Vigilanti had given up 10 goals in three January games to this point.

Quinnipiac used a first period offensive attack to score three goals on Colgate.  Once gaining this strong lead the Bobcats never looked back.

Junior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) started the Bobcats off on the right foot scoring her fifth goal of the season from the top of the offensive zone.  Sophomores Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) and Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) were each credited with assists, their third and 16th respectively.

Nearing the end of the first period, the Bobcats scored their second goal of the game.  Uden Johansson netted her fourth goal of the season.  Freshman Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) delivered her with a beautiful pass into the slot to earn her 14th assist of the season.

Quinnipiac still wasn’t done scoring either.  Less than two minutes later, freshman Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa) notched her first career goal in a Bobcat uniform.  Fritz-Ward dove to slap in the rebound of the shot from senior Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska).  Elkins was awarded her second assist of the year while sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) got her fifth.

The end of the first period also brought an early exit for Colgate goaltender Kimberly Sass.  After giving up the three goals on eight shots, she was taken out for freshman Susan Allen.

The Raiders finally got on the scoreboard in the second period when junior Brittany Phillips scored a power-play goal.  Teammates Jenna Klynstra and Taylor Volpe were credited with assists on the play for Colgate.

The Bobcats scored the final goal of the game early in the third period.  Boulton scored her second goal of the game after rocketing a shot past Allen during the 4-4 time of offsetting penalties.  The goal was Boulton’s sixth of the season, and Kosta was credited with her second helper of the game and 15th of the season.

Quinnipiac played great defense all game long, which was crucial to earning the victory over the Raiders.  The defense had somewhat disappeared since the seven-game winning streak to close out the first half of the season.

Stepping up to hold Colgate to only one goal allowed Quinnipiac to avoid the multiple goal meltdowns that harmed them against Dartmouth, Harvard, and Cornell.

Laden matched her career-high for saves with 32 on 33 shots.  Kimberly Sass stopped five of the eight shots she faced while her replacement stopped 13 of Quinnipiac’s 14 shots.

Quinnipiac has next weekend off before returning to action for a weekend series at the High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center against the Syracuse Orange.  Games are Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 28 at 4 p.m.

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Bobcats get claws clipped

By Pete Rossi, QBSN Staff Writer

January 13, 2012

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team (13-9-2, 9-4-2 ECAC) lost a hard fought battle to No. 3/3 nationally ranked Cornell (14-2-0, 10-1-0 ECAC), 4-1, on Friday evening at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. The Bobcats and Big Red now share first-place in ECAC Hockey standings with 20 points apiece.

Quinnipiac came out with a vengeance in the first period, seeking retribution for a 7-1 loss the last time the two teams met in November. Just 21 seconds into the first period, sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) had a wide-open shot from the crease which was initially saved by Big Red goaltender Lauren Slebodnik. The rebound however slid right to assistant senior captain Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) who backhanded it to the back of the net for her fourth of the year. Babstock was credited with her team-leading 15th helper of the season.

The Bobcats held down the fort defensively as they held Cornell to just three shots on goal. It looked as if things were going to go the Bobcats’ way for the night. It seemed all they did was awaken a sleeping giant.

Cornell tied things up with a point slap shot from freshman Jillian Saulnier early in the second period. It came right off of a successful Bobcats penalty kill, but Quinnipiac could not get out of its own zone.

Cornell got its second goal of the night when junior defender Lauriane Rougeau received a fast pass from senior Catherine White and one-timed it past Bobcat goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario). Just over two minutes later, the Big Red struck again as Brianne Jenner found room coming down the wing, fired a quick wrist shot on goal, and buried her eighth goal of the season. The period would end 3-1 in favor of the Big Red.

The third period went along with the Quinnipiac playing evenly with Cornell, but with another power play opportunity, Cornell scored their fourth and final goal off the stick of Campbell for her second point of the night. Overall, Quinnipiac held Cornell to just 1-for-7 on its power-play chances. The Bobcats failed to convert in their five extra skater opportunities.

In the contest overall, the shots were deadlocked at 21 apiece, as Vigilanti turned away 17 shots in net for Quinnipiac, while Slebodnick made 20 saves for Cornell.

Quinnipiac looks to bounce back tomorrow afternoon on Saturday, Jan. 14 when it travels to face ECAC Hockey opponent Colgate at 4 p.m.

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Women’s hockey drops ECAC game

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web-Editor

January 6, 2012

The Quinnipiac Bobcats’ hockey team could not bounce back after giving up two quick goals in Friday’s matchup as they played host to the Dartmouth Big Green.  Despite goals from both senior Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) and sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.), the Bobcats still fell, losing 3-2.  The ECAC loss brings the Bobcats to 13-8-1 overall and 9-3-1 in conference play, while the Big Green bring their record up to 8-5-1 overall and 5-3-1 in the ECAC.

Before the Bobcats had time to lace their skates, Dartmouth had already struck – twice.  An inconceivable 37 seconds after the puck was dropped, junior Camille Dumais came up with an unassisted score.  To make matters for Quinnipiac worse, Dartmouth senior Erica Dobos took a mere 27 seconds after to come up with her own unassisted goal.

Despite feeling pressure early on, the Bobcats managed to hold off the rest of Dartmouth’s offensive attacks until the third period when Jenna Hobeika scored a power play goal in the opening two minutes.

Quinnipiac also came up with its own power play goal off the stick of Wheeler in the second period.  The goal makes for her second of the season.  Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) took the initial shot, but the Dartmouth keeper Lindsay Holdcroft could not control the puck.  Wheeler followed up on the shot and knocked it in.  Boulton was credited with her sixth assist on the year and sophomore Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) earned her second assist of the season.

Colin added in an unassisted goal of her own in the waning minutes of the third period, but in the end, Dartmouth held on for the win, denying attempts to tie up the game.

Both goaltenders saw almost equal amounts of offensive pressure.  Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) came up with 26 saves while Holdcroft made 25 stops of her own.

The Bobcats must quickly put this loss behind them as they host No. 8/10 Harvard in yet another ECAC contest on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center.

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Women’s hockey readies to fight post-break slump

By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer

Preview of Second Half:

The Bobcats have key games at home against Dartmouth and Harvard coming out of the break. Recently the team has struggled to come out of the break motivated and with a strong effort, so the team needs to remain focused and ready to continue the win streak following the long lay off.

Following the home stand, the Bobcats head to Ithaca, N.Y. for a statement game against Cornell. The Big Red cruised to a 7-1 win at High Point Solutions Rink on Nov. 19, so the Bobcats seek revenge in a match-up that could likely decide the top seed in the ECAC.

The team battles Colgate before heading home for a weekend series against Syracuse. The Bobcats head to Harvard and Dartmouth for their final road trip of the season before heading back to Hamden for its final four games of the regular season.

Improving on home-ice is vital for the Bobcats in the second half, and this final home stand would be the best to do it. The team welcomes St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Union, and Rensselaer to the High Point Solutions Arena. In the case that the Bobcats own the top-seed in the Conference heading into these four games, they will have the opportunity to clinch the ECAC regular season championship on home ice in front of the Bobcat faithful.

What Needs to Be Continued:

The Bobcats sit atop the ECAC Conference with a 9-2-1 record and own a six-point lead over second-place Clarkson. The current seven-game winning streak the team is on has also made the miserable start to the season a distant memory. The Bobcats are 0-2-1 in their first game coming off the break since head coach Rick Seeley took over, so the team needs to break away from this tendency to continue its winning streak. The Bobcats have played well on the road this season with an 8-4 record. The team needs to continue its road warrior mentality with pivotal games in the second half away from High Point Solutions Rink.

Timely goal scoring has been the Bobcats’ most lethal weapon all season. The team is scoring goals at the most important times, and it has contributed to the team’s success. The team is 6-2 in one-goal games and an astonishing 8-2-1 in games when the opponent nets the first goal. Falling behind in games is never something teams base their game plans around, but it has seemed to motivate the Bobcats as a wake-up call.

Two capable goaltenders between the pipes are also what make this team so dangerous. Junior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) has played in 19 of the team’s 21 games, but freshman Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) has played well when she has been called upon. This welcomes a healthy competition between both goaltenders and motivates each one of them to always be giving their best effort. Both goaltenders will need to come up big for the Bobcats if the team wants to remain at the top of the ECAC Conference.

What Needs to Be Improved:

The Bobcats have developed the habit of giving up the first goal in the majority of their contests during the first half. With an 8-1-2 record in these games, this habit hasn’t hurt the team to this point, but with key games down the stretch, the Bobcats need to focus on getting early leads in games. Playing with the lead will only make life that much easier for the team and potentially make it that much more dangerous. If the Bobcats want to be atop the ECAC at the end of the season, this habit will need to be broken.

The Bobcats have enjoyed the majority of their success on the road in the first half with an 8-4 road record. However, the team is only 4-3-1 on home ice. The team will need to improve its play at home with an important four game home stand to close out the season in February. This will especially be important in the likely scenario of the team clinching home ice in the first round of the ECAC playoffs. Getting momentum at home will set the team up for a long postseason run in the ECAC tournament.

The power play hasn’t been a huge problem for the Bobcats in the first half. However, in ECAC games the power play is only operating at 11.4 percent, which is seventh best in the Conference. With the offensive skill the team possesses, the power play should be one of the most feared in the Conference and not at the middle of the pack. Timely goals have defined the team to this point, but it’s time for the team to start adding timely power play goals to the equation.

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State of the Bobcats, Pt. 2: Women’s ice hockey

By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer

Recap of First Half:

The Bobcats (13-7-1, 9-2-1) were ranked No. 9 nationally in USCHO.com preseason poll heading into the season. A slow start, however, with a pair of devastating home loses to Maine dropped the Bobcats out of the national polls. Heading into ECAC Conference play with a 1-5-0 record was not what the Bobcats had hoped, and the team knew it had to turn its play around.

The Bobcats started conference play in late October with a pair of wins on the road at Rensselaer and Union and carried momentum into November. Wins against Yale, St. Lawrence, and Colgate highlighted the month in conference play but loses to conference powerhouses Clarkson and Cornell were a cause for some concern. However, since the 7-1 loss at the hands of Cornell on home ice, the Bobcats have seemed to play with a purpose. A come-from-behind overtime victory against nationally ranked Boston College was the turning point in the team’s season to this point. The Bobcats closed out the month of November by winning the Nutmeg Classic with wins over Connecticut and Robert Morris.

The team seemed determined to get back to its winning ways before the winter break by going 4-0-0 in December with wins at Brown and Yale before sweeping a weekend set against Princeton. The Bobcats go into the break riding a seven-game winning streak and sit atop the ECAC with a 9-2-1 record.

Following the 3-0 win against Princeton, head coach Rick Seeley commented on the up-coming break.

“I think it’s a real focus of ours, because the last three years we’ve come back and had a weak first week in January,” said Seeley. “I think they’re really committed to staying in shape during exam week and really focusing while they’re at home.”

Trends/Streaks/Performances/Milestones:

Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) became the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team’s all-time point leader on Nov. 18 with a four-point night in a 6-2 win over Colgate. In just her 50th career game, her four points gave her 75 points in her career, breaking Vicki Graham’s previous record of 73 points set in 2007. Babstock currently leads the team with 11 goals and 13 assists in 21 games.

Goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) leads the nation with six shutouts going into the break. In the final weekend before the break, Vigilanti led the Bobcats by posting two shutouts on the way to a two-game sweep of the Princeton Tigers. Vigilanti is 11-6-1 on the season with an average of 2.02 goals against and .913 save percentage.

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Women’s hockey stays hot, Vigilanti’s sixth shutout

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web-Editor

December 10, 2011

After its 1-0 win over Princeton on Friday in which junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) recorded her league-leading fifth shutout of the season, the women’s ice hockey team again shut out the Tigers, 3-0.  With this win, the Bobcats have swept yet another ECAC weekend and extended their winning-streak to seven games.  On the way to seven straight, Vigilanti nabbed her 20th shutout of her career and sixth of the season, which leads the NCAA.  The Bobcats now have an overall record of 13-7-1 and 9-2-1 in ECAC Hockey to lead the conference.

Even though the first period ended with no score, Quinnipiac, outshooting Princeton 16-5, dominated it.  The Bobcats were applying offensive pressure as if the Tiger defense had a fatal wound, but Princeton goalie Rachel Weber denied every attempt.

“We just talked about it in between periods to just assume that [Weber] was going to leave rebounds, and I think that helped us,” said head coach Rick Seeley.

It did not take long into the second period for the in-between-play talks to pay off and the offensive efforts to explode.  Junior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) landed a power play goal only five minutes and 24 seconds into the period.  Her shot from between the faceoff circles stayed low, into right side of the net past Weber.  The go-ahead goal makes for Boulton’s fourth score of the season.  The assist was credited to sophomore Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden).

A little over three minutes later, junior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) and senior Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) made their way down the ice with a series of quick back-and-forth passes.  When Lyons’s pass hit the right boards, Wheeler quickly regained control and sent a pass in front of the Princeton goal.  Lyons knocked it in for her sixth goal of the season.  Along with Wheeler, who earned her first of two assists of the period, senior Chelsea Illchuk also earned a point on the helper.

The Bobcats waited until the third period to strike again, this time junior Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) came up with the second power play goal of the game.  Wheeler and sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) assisted Frykas on the play.

Quinnipiac would hold off the Princeton offense for the remainder of the game with much thanks to Vigilanti, making 21 total saves.

“My rebound control could have been a bit better, but the defense was there to clear the loose pucks away, so they got the job done,” said Vigilanti of her performance.

In spite of the rebounding, the Tigers could not get it past her, particularly when she is playing to the best of her ability, according to Seeley.

“She’s challenging, and that’s when she’s at her best,” said Seeley.  “She’s getting on her feet, she’s getting up, she’s challenging. I thought she made a few great saves through screens where her legs just came out of nowhere, but when she’s confident, she’s one of the best goalies around.”

While the Bobcats are on a hot-streak, they have not reached where they want to be.

“The best thing about the streak is that we continue to get better,” said Seeley.  “We’re not satisfied; we’re learning from our mistakes.”

Even though Bobcat fans must wait nearly a month to see if their team can continue its success, when the Bobcats get back in action, they will be immediately tested.  Quinnipiac plays host to Dartmouth on Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. and Harvard the following day at 4 p.m.  Both are ECAC games.

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Women’s hockey sweeps weekend set

By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer

December 3, 2012

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team improved to 11-7-1 on the season and 7-2-1 in ECAC Hockey play with wins over Brown University and Yale University on the weekend.  On Friday, the Bobcats shutout the Brown Bears 3-0 behind 16 saves from Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario). The Bobcats defeated the Yale Bulldogs in overtime by a score of 3-2 on Saturday on a goal by Chelsea Illchuk (Lockport, Manitoba). The Bobcats now ride a five-game win streak and sit atop the ECAC Hockey Conference.

On Friday, Vigilanti turned in her fourth shutout of the season and 18th of her career. Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario), Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.), and Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) all scored for the Bobcats in the victory.

The Bobcats came out firing on all cylinders in the first period, outshooting Brown 17-6 in the period. Brown goaltender Aubree Moore stood strong between the pipes to keep the game scoreless through the first period.

The Bobcats continued their attack in the second period and were able to break through when Babstock scored her 11th goal of the season.  Babstock was able to pick up a loose puck and backhand a shot over the pad of Moore for the goal. Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) recorded the lone assist on the goal. The Bobcats continued the offensive attack, outshooting the Bears 16-5 in the second period.

Quinnipiac added to the lead with two goals late in the third period to cruise to a 3-0 win. Dymarczyk scored on a slap shot from the point, coming off an assist from Shelby Wignall (Hamilton, Ontario). Lyons closed out the scoring in the game with her third goal of the season as she skated into the offensive zone and wristed a shot right by Moore. Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) was credited with the assist on the play.

On Saturday, the win came with far more difficulty for the Bobcats. Illchuk was the difference for the Bobcats in the win recording a game-tying assist and the game-winning goal in overtime.

The Bobcats fell behind early in the game on a goal by Yale’s Heather Grant. Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) tied the game minutes later when she snapped a shot passed Yale goaltender Genny Ladiges after receiving a pass from Melissa Perry (Champion, Mich.). Dymarczyk also recorded an assist on the play.

Yale regained the lead in the second period on a goal by Lynn Kennedy.

Quinnipiac turned up the intensity in the third period and was able to tie the score, 2-2 with fewer than five minutes remaining in regulation play. On a delayed penalty call, Illchuk stepped onto the ice as an extra-attacker and was able to keep the play alive in the offensive zone. She picked the puck up and passed it to Frykas who fed the puck to Boulton who drilled a shot over the shoulder of Ladiges to even the score.

After assisting on the game-tying goal, Illchuk won the game with a goal on her own two minutes and 49-seconds into the extra frame. The win gave Quinnipiac a season sweep over Yale.

Quinnipiac returns to action on Dec. 9 when it travels to Princeton for an ECAC Conference matchup at 7 p.m.

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Record win for Bobcat coach: Seeley gets 200th

By Brian Farrell, QBSN Staff Writer

Sometimes a win is not just a win. On Saturday evening, a non-conference game against Robert Morris may have seemed to be just another win for anyone outside the shadow of the Sleeping Giant.

The win marked the ninth of the season for the Bobcats and their third in a row. The win kept the Nutmeg Championship in Connecticut and more importantly, kept it in Hamden. It was the program’s 100th win and for head coach Rick Seeley it was his 200th career win.

Quinnipiac players chanted ‘speech’ to Seeley after the game, who replied with a sarcastic smile before giving his team what they were asking for.

“Well I had no idea,” Seeley said still smiling. “I guess these things are important at the end of your career, but what makes it great right now and you know that I am tough, and you know that I love this group, and I’m so glad I get to share it with you guys.”

After the game in true humble fashion, Seeley continued to try to downplay the importance of the record.

“It’s a number…but the only great thing about it is that I got to share it with this team,” he said.

This team is the first in which the entire roster contained Seeley recruits.

“Being a part of Coach’s 200th win milestone is something none of us probably ever thought about happening,” senior captain Jordan Elkins said. “Our class started at Quinnipiac the same year Coach Seeley and his staff did so we naturally have a special connection, and I was proud to be able to help Coach achieve a goal like he is always helping us.”

Before coaching at Quinnipiac, Seeley compiled a 54-16-4 record with Manhattanville and a trip to the NCAA Division III finals in 2001-2002. That same season Manhattanville went undefeated in conference play.

At Clarkson University, his Golden Knights produced a 93-67-18 record. With Seeley at the helm, Clarkson reached the ECAC playoffs each year it was eligible. Year in and year out, Seeley recruited some of the top players in North America, most notably in the Ontario region. His success on the college level with Clarkson and now Quinnipiac has earned him a high status in the Ontario region.

What is most impressive about the 200 wins are the teams Seeley won with. In his first seasons at Manhattanville and Clarkson, the teams were not yet active. His second season with those teams they were independent of any leagues. When he arrived at Quinnipiac, the Bobcats had won just five games the previous season and averaged a mere six wins in the previous seven seasons.

At each university he coached at, it took just two seasons before his squads would win 20 plus games.

The Bobcats will look to add to their win total as they travel to Brown and Yale this weekend. This weekend’s games also hold more water as the Bobcats are back in the national ranking discussions after receiving a vote in yesterday’s poll.

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Bobcats split ECAC weekend

By Peter Rossi, QBSN Staff Writer

November 13, 2012

This past weekend, the women’s ice hockey team (5-6-1, 4-1-1 ECAC) split two ECAC games, suffering a 3-0 loss to Clarkson (7-3-4, 3-2-1 ECAC) Friday night and hanging on to a 3-2 win yesterday afternoon against St. Lawrence (5-4-3, 2-3-1 ECAC).

Friday’s loss makes for the Bobcats’ first ECAC loss of the season. Quinnipiac outplayed Clarkson for much of the first period, but the Knights managed to get one past junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) with just 51 seconds remaining in the period.  Sophomore forward Brittany Styner collected a loose puck in Quinnipiac’s defensive zone, skated across the crease, and backhanded the puck past Vigilanti for her first of the season to give Clarkson the 1-0 lead.

Quinnipiac continued strong play in the second and forced Clarkson commit three penalties, but the Bobcats could not cash in on any of their man-advantages. Freshman Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) led most of the charge for the Bobcats in the period, as she nearly tied the game in the final seconds of the frame and ended the game with eight shots on net.

At the start of the third period, it was clear Clarkson took over control of play, and senior forward Juana Baribeau put Clarkson up 2-0 with her second of the season. Clarkson’s forwards Shelby Nisbet and Hailey Wood were each credited with an assist on the score.

With just under three minutes left in the third, Clarkson added their third and final tally as Baribeau redirected a shot from fellow senior Danielle Bourdreau,and netted her second score of the game and third of the season.

The Bobcats owned a slight 27-22 overall shot advantage. Each team went scoreless on its power-play opportunities, as Quinnipiac went had four chances and Clarkson three.

On Saturday, the Bobcats looked to rebound against St. Lawrence, and they did so putting three on the board in the first period and weathered a comeback attempt by the Saints.

St. Lawrence found the back of the net first as a power-play goal from junior Kelly Sabatine gave St. Lawrence the 1-0 lead in the first period. Sabatine would later take a penalty in the period, leading to Quinnipiac’s first score of the afternoon off of the stick of junior transfer Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba), who is certainly growing into her new role on the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac remained steadfast and aggressive, as sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) scored her sixth goal of the season in the first period and give the Bobcats the 2-1 lead. Senior Melissa Perry (Champion, Mich.) and sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) each earned an assist on the score.

With under a minute and a half remaining in the first period, sophomore Megan Hagg (Ajax, Ontario) capped off the big first period as she scored her first Bobcat goal, giving Quinnipiac the 3-1 lead with assists being handed out to Kosta and Babstock.

St. Lawrence closed Quinnipiac’s lead to 3-2 with its second power-play goal of the in the second period. Junior Brooke Fernandez’s slap shot from the point beat Vigilanti who was screened on the play. Senior Alley Bero and Sabatine earned assists on the goal. The score would prove to be the final tally for either squad in the contest, as the teams skated to a scoreless third period of action.

Both teams kept their respective seats in the penalty box warm, as 13 total penalties were whistled in the game. Quinnipiac went 1-for-6 on its chances, while St. Lawrence went 2-for-6 on its extra skater opportunities.

Quinnipiac returns home next weekend when it hosts Colgate and No. 2 Cornell on Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19. Friday’s game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start, while Saturday’s game will begin at 4 p.m.

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Women’s ice hockey ties Brown in ECAC game

By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web Editor

After taking all three of its ECAC games thus far this season, including Friday’s 3-0 victory over Yale, the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team could only pull off a tie against conference opponent Brown University.  The 2-2, overtime contest brings the Bobcats’ ECAC record to 3-0-1 and 4-5-1 overall.

The first period saw Quinnipiac outshoot Brown 14-6, but remained scoreless.  The first goal did not hit the back of the net until halfway through the second period when Brown’s Shannon Flately ripped a Jennifer Nedow offering to the upper left corner past the Bobcat keeper, junior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario).

Quinnipiac immediately re-energized to seek the equalizer, eventually succeeding through Kelly Babstock, snagging her fifth goal of the year off an assist from sophomore Shelby Wignall (Hamilton, Ontario) and senior Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.).

“Kelly can change the game by herself like she did tonight.  We were down by one and she scored a great goal,” head coach Rick Seeley said.  “She did have numerous opportunities in the third.  They’re her bread-and-butter plays, and they were just sliding off her stick tonight.”

Despite Babstock’s many opportunities in the final period of regulation, it was another Bobcat who would come through after giving up another goal to Brown’s Brittany Moorehead.  Having just recently made the switch from defender to forward, Wignall knocked in her first goal of the year midway through the third period.  Junior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) lined a power-shot in front of the goal, and Wignall just “had [her] stick down for once,” she said.

“I don’t think anyone realized it was my goal,” Wignall said with a laugh.  “I was just happy to be in the right place at the right time.”

Even though the personal achievements added for a bit of optimism after the game, the Bobcats know this performance needs to be learned from, having taken 50 shots on goal and capitalizing only twice.

“It’s tough to dominate possession that much and come out with the tie,” Seeley said. “I’ve got to give them credit; they were great around the net, so we weren’t getting any rebounds.  The open nets we had, they were jamming us up.  They did a great job.”

With all of the clear offensive pressure in the game, the Bobcats really sprung back to life when they were on the hunt for an equalizer.  However, when momentum only comes after being struck against, the game became offensive as a reaction.  According to Seeley, the Bobcats should be showing up already in the playing state of mind.

“I think the days of Vince Lombardi motivating teams are long gone,” Seeley said.  “If you don’t show up ready to play, I don’t think a coach can do it.  Our job is to get them ready during the week, prepare them the best we can.”

Motivation aside, the team has an idea of where it has been and where it needs to be in terms of conference competition.

“We’ve started out with, traditionally, four weak teams in conference play.  Even though we’re 3-0-1, we’ve had lapses that if we have those kinds of lapses against Clarkson and St. Lawrence will probably end up in our net,” Seeley said.  “We just have to tighten up our game, and work hard to play a full 60 minutes instead of 58 or 55.”

The Bobcats continue ECAC play as they take head to Clarkson on Nov. 11.

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Women’s hockey sweeps ECAC weekend competition

By Peter Rossi, QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s ice hockey team entered this past weekend with an overall record of 1-4-1 and looked to start ECAC conference play against two tough Rensselaer and Union teams. With that challenge ahead of them, head coach Rick Seeley knew that changes had to be made. He started off by moving assistant captain and defenseman Bethany Demarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) to forward and putting Wisconsin transfer Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) to defense. A move some questioned, but now it seems to be paying dividends as the Bobcats had their first ECAC sweep of the season, defeating Rensselaer 2-0 and Union 5-1.

The Bobcats enjoyed early success with a shutout of Rensselaer on Friday night. Quinnipiac displayed much of the tight for checking and defensive play that it was without throughout its five-game losing streak early on in the first period. The Bobcats were able to keep Rensselaer’s attack at bay throughout the first and found their scoring in the second.

Sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) notched her third goal of the season in the second period after she collected her own rebound and fired it over the glove of Rensselaer’s freshman net minder Kelly O’ Brian. The Bobcats managed to keep Rensselaer scoreless for the rest of the period.

Then in the third period, captain and senior defenseman Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Ala.) fired one of her patented slap shots for her first goal of the season off a pass from sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.).

Junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) seemed to have found her game as she denied all 21 Rensselaer shots she faced. It was Vigilanti’s second shutout of the season and the 16th of her career. Quinnipiac also went 0-5 on the power play, and the Bobcats penalty kill was strong, killing off all four Engineers opportunities.

The Bobcats continued their early ECAC success on Saturday afternoon as they skated to a big victory against Union. The Bobcats took no time in jumping onto the score sheet just minutes into the first period on Frykas’s first goal of the season and first as a Bobcat. Assists on the goal were credited to sophomore Olivia Brackett (Coopersville, Mich.) and senior forward Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario).

With the minutes winding down in the first period, sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) found the back of the net for her first of the season.  Freshman standout Nicole Costa (Mississauga, Ontario) made a clever pass right to Colin’s stick for an easy tap in by Colin. Junior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) also was credited with an assist on the goal, her fourth of the season.

The Bobcats kept control of play and extended their lead with Babstock’s team-high fourth goal of the season. Sophomore Shelby Wignall (Hamilton, Ontario) shot a pass to junior Felicia Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) who then flicked the puck to Babstock. Babstock weaved around the Union defense and took a wrist shot to put it behind Union’s junior goalie Alana Marcinko.

Entering the third period, the Bobcats kept a tight fore-check and were rewarded with two goals 30-seconds apart to start the frame, which put them ahead 5-0. Junior Kristin Eklund (Barrington, R.I.) scored her first of the season just one minute the period with a great individual effort to strip the puck from a Union defender, allowing her to skate into the offensive zone unwatched, and then fired it past Marcinko’s shoulder. Elkins followed suit with her second goal of the season and of the weekend. Wheeler was awarded with her second assist of the game.

After the fifth Bobcats goal, Union changed goalies and put in senior Kate Gallagher. Vigilanti followed up her shutout performance from the previous night with another strong showing, turning away 19 Union shots. Union did manage to get one past Vigilanti in the third period off the stick of junior Emma Rambo (Joliet, Ill.) for her first of the season, and bringing the score to 5-1. Marcinko and Gallagher combined for 24 saves. Both teams went 0-2 on the power play.

It might be too early yet to see if the Bobcats can keep up this style of play against ECAC opponents, but if they can, look for the Bobcats to become a favorite in the ECAC.

Quinnipiac returns to action on Friday, Nov. 4 when it hosts rival Yale at High Point Solutions Arena at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 5 when they host Brown at 4 p.m.

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Bobcats collapse for second straight game

By Dom Lancella, QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s hockey team was scratching its head for the second straight game as it managed to blow another three-goal lead.  The crowd at High Point Solutions at TD Bank Sports Center was stunned when the Maine Black Bears tied the score with just 30-seconds remaining in the game.

The mood went from bad to worse as the Bobcats proceeded to lose the game 5-4 in overtime, as the Black Bears improved to a flawless 4-0 on the season while the Bobcats fell to 1-3.

Brittany Dougherty tied the game in the third after making a move behind Bobcats goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) and sliding the puck in as she was falling to the ice. Dougherty also assisted on a power play goal by Myriam Croussette.

Danielle Ward scored the winning goal on a deflection. Dawn Sullivan centered from behind the net, the puck bounced around and hit a Bobcats defender before Ward deflected it home. Ward had two goals on the game.

The Bobcats let in four unanswered goals to complete the team’s second consecutive collapse at home. Bobcats head coach Rick Seeley had a simple answer for the positive things that QU can take away from this weekend.

“None,” Seeley said.

He described it as a “tale of two games” as the Bobcats had a commanding lead and playing with an aggressive pace. They let up on that pace and allowed the Black Bears to hang around long enough to come back.

Vigilanti made 23 saves as the Black Bears out-shot Quinnipiac 28-24. Brittany Ott started in goal for Maine, but was quickly pulled after giving up the Bobcats first goal just three minutes into the game. She stopped two of the three shots she faced. Kylie Smith relieved her and stopped 18 shots and gave up three goals.

The Bobcats had their opportunities to put the game away, both teams went 2-6 on the power play, but the Bobcats failed to capitalize on their final two that came in the third period.

The only bright spot for the Bobcats was the solid play from the line of sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario), junior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.)  and freshman Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario).

Babstock and Lyons each had a goal and two assists while Kosta had a goal, the first of her career, and an assist, but it was not enough to split the weekend series. Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) also had a goal, the only one that did not come from the Babstock line.

“I’m numb after today’s game,” said Seeley.

The Bobcats were inconsistent on defense. Maine only got two shots on goal in the first 15 minutes of the second period, but they did not come out in the third period with the same defensive intensity. The Bobcats fore-check was excellent for the first half of the game, but fell apart in the third period.

The Bobcats have time to improve before their first conference game on Oct. 28, but the story of the weekend was the Bobcats inability to finish the game.

Things do not get any easier for the Bobcats as they will be on the road for the next three weeks. Their next home game is not until Nov. 4 when they host Yale.

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Bobcats make changes prior to ECAC play

By Brian Farrell, QBSN Staff Writer

When a season doesn’t start the way that a team wants it to, there are only so many changes that a team can make on the collegiate level. There are no trades or free agents, but there are some roster moves that can be made.

Last weekend Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey head coach Rick Seeley and his staff made one of those changes. Senior assistant captain and last year’s top defensive player Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) switched to forward, while junior Wisconsin transfer Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) moved back from forward to play defense.

To any person with average hockey knowledge, this move would raise an eyebrow or two, but Quinnipiac’s coaching staff saw something. So much so that the team decided to add sophomore Shelby Wignall (Hamilton, Ontario) to the list of blue liners that will turn forward this weekend.

“[Dymarczyk and Wignall] are more aggressive playing forward…” Seeley said. “I think there’s less pressure that your mistakes will end up in the back of the net at forward and they’ve got a little bit of that pressure off their backs and they’re just having fun.”

The 5-foot-10 Dymarczyk and 5-foot-9 Wignall bring a whole different look at the forward position.

“They’ve both got such huge wingspans and they’re proving to be pretty good fore-checkers,” Seeley said.

Along with moving two giants, QU has moved forward speedster Frykas to a different spot.

“With Frykas on D it gives us speed on D we just don’t have back there. She gives us the ability to pick off a pass and in two steps be blowing by the forecheck.”

Along with some of these radical changes, the Bobcats are still looking to do what they’ve done in the past: out work the other team. For the skating positions it is easier to judge than with one of Quinnipiac’s usual strengths—goaltending.

In the past two seasons Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) proved to be one of the best between the pipes. This year she is struggling with a 3.42 goals-against average and a save percentage just over .880.

“Vigilanti is her own biggest critic,” Seeley said. “When she isn’t playing well, she knows it. She has worked hard in practice this week on her focus and decision-making. I am sure we’ll see the Viggy we’ve come to expect this weekend”

With these recent changes the team is looking to get back on track with their first conference games this weekend.

“We’ve worked hard this week understanding where we have to improve our game and stepping up our commitment to executing well. We’ve had a pretty spirited week of practice.”

A slow start to the season is not the worst thing that can happen to a team, but to be able to overcome that start can be uplifting as the season progresses. Last season the Bobcats played their best hockey during the playoffs and the good news is that after losing just one regular skater from last year this team has that same potential.

Quinnipiac hits the road this weekend when the travel to RPI on Friday and then to Union on Saturday. Both start times are set for 3 p.m.

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Maine Steals Lead to Defeat Bobcats

By Taylor Massey, QBSN Staff Writer

In its first home game of the season, the Quinnipiac woman’s ice hockey team started with a strong lead, but quickly lost control and let the Maine Black Bears skate past for the 4-3 win. Different players scored the three Quinnipiac goals. Junior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) ended the game with a goal and two assists, but it wasn’t enough to keep Maine from taking the game.

After winning the opening faceoff the Bobcats wasted no time getting to the net. Senior defender Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) slipped the puck past Maine goaltender Brittany Ott for a power-play goal just 18-seconds into the first period. She was assisted by sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) and Lyons. Maine stepped up their defense, pressing the Bobcats and keeping them from extending their lead. However, with 11-seconds left Quinnipiac senior Chelsea Illchuck (Lockport, Manitoba) tossed the puck into Maine’s goal to end the first period leading 2-0.

The second period began as a repeat of the first with Lyons nabbing an unassisted goal just 41-seconds into the period. This time Maine fired back. After fighting for the puck, sophomore Kayla Kaluzny of the Bears swiped a goal past Bobcat’s goaltender junior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) just over seven minutes into the second period. Brianne Kilgour assisted in Maine’s first goal of the game.

The Bobcats still held a 3-1 lead until just six minutes later when Maine scored again. Myriam Croussette passed to Danielle Ward who slapped the puck into the corner of Quinnpiac’s net, barely passing Vigilanti.

The beginning of the third period showed a complete turn around in the game as the Black Bear’s offense came out strong and the Bobcat’s defense faltered. In the first 30-seconds of play, Kaluzny scored her second goal of the game to tie the score 3-3. She was assisted by Jennifer More and Chloe Tinkler.

Only a minute and a half later, Maine took the lead with a goal by Missy Denk. Vigilanti had just deflected a previous shot when the puck went off the stick of Kilgour over to Denk who tapped it into the net.

The Bobcats pushed for another goal the rest of the third period, but the Black Bears’ defense held strong.

During a post-game interview head coach Rick Seeley was asked about goaltender Victoria Vigilanti’s progress from game to game as she gave up four goals last weekend against Mercyhurst and did the same against Maine.

“We’ve been spoiled with Vigilanti and we’ve grown to count on her every night and we’ve had three games and I agree that two of them haven’t been good,” Seeley said.

Vigilanti was recently named ECAC Goaltender of the Week for the 10th time in her career. With a personal-high of nine shutouts last season, she protects the Bobcat net with determination, but she can’t do it alone. The Bobcat defense will need to step it up in order to defeat Maine in the next game.

The Bobcats will play Maine again Saturday at 1 pm. Be sure to listen for live updates at theqbsn.com

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Women’s ice hockey blows out Durham Jr. Lightning

By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team rolled passed the Durham Jr. Lightning Saturday night in its lone exhibition contest, 7-0. Six different players found the back of the net for the Bobcats, with all three goaltenders seeing game time in the shutout of the Lightning. Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) led the way with two goals and an assist, along with freshman Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) who netted a goal and two assists.

The Bobcats had control of the puck from the opening face-off throughout the first period, as they out shot Durham 15-3 in the first. Durham’s three chances were all quality-scoring chances, but Quinnipiac’s Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) made three quality stops, keeping the Lightning off the scoreboard. On the other side, Durham goaltender Jackie Rochefort (Ajax, Ontario) was phenomenal in the first period stopping 13-of-15 shots.

The Bobcats finally beat Rochefort on a goal by Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba). Frykas took the pass from Olivia Brackett (Coopersville, Mich.) and put a shot on the net. Rochefort was screened on the play and never got a good look on the shot, as it beat her under her left pad.

Fifty-seven seconds later, Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) was able to break through the Durham defense and put a point-blank shot on Rochefort, which trickled by her to make it 2-0 Bobcats.

The Bobcats picked up where they left off in the second period, as they were able to extend their lead to 5-0. The Bobcats continued to dominate play as they controlled the puck in both the offensive and defensive zones. Lyons scored to make it 3-0 mark off a great setup from Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) and Colin.

Both teams switched goaltenders at the halfway point of the second period, as Kimberly Keller came into the game for Durham and Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) for the Bobcats. Anna Borgfeldt (Kristianstad, Sweden) got a pass from Kosta in the slot and fired a shot passed Keller to put the Bobcats up 4-0 later in the second.

Kristen Eklund (Barrington, R.I.) concluded the scoring in the second period as she put a shot of her own by Keller. Megan Hagg (Ajax, Ontario) and Chelsea Illchuk (Lockport, Manitoba) got the assists; the goal was the result of a strong shift from that line.

Quinnipiac was able to close out the game on the Lightning in the third period, staying focused and putting out a full 60-minute effort. Lyons netted her second of the game at the halfway through the third period to make it 6-0.

To finish things off, Kosta scored with 8.8 seconds remaining, as she put a wrist shot passed Keller. Kosta had one of the strongest performances for Quinnipiac, and was rewarded with a goal after being setup by Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.) and Frykas.

The No. 9 Bobcats open their season next weekend on the road against No. 8 Mercyhurst. After the two-game set with Mercyhurst next weekend, the Bobcats open their home schedule against Maine on Oct. 7.

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