Kelly Babstock averaged a goal per period in two conference games over the weekend at the TD Bank Sports Center, giving her the national lead in goals and points. However her stellar individual performance was only good enough for one team win.
The freshman forward’s hat trick against Harvard (2-2-2, 2-2-2 ECAC) Friday – plus junior forward Chelsea Illchuk’s first goal of the season – gave the Bobcats (8-5-1, 3-4 ECAC) a 4-1 victory. Babstock chimed in with another hat trick against Dartmouth (5-1, 5-1 ECAC) Saturday, but the Big Green’s leading goal-scorer Sasha Nanji delivered a game-winner on a power play 1:04 into overtime for a 4-3 win.
“We proved to ourselves we could win [Friday] night. We’re just doubting ourselves,” Babstock said.
Babstock surpassed Wisconsin’s Hilary Knight and Ohio State’s Natalie Spooner for the national lead in goals (13) and holds a two-point lead over Ohio State’s Laura McIntosh, 27-25.
The Bobcats and the Big Green exchanged goals in the first and second periods, but both netminders shut out their opponents in the third.
Quinnipiac fired just nine shots in the final two periods and an abbreviated overtime compared to Dartmouth’s 17. Of Quinnipiac’s two second-period shots, one completed Babstock’s hat trick.
“She showed up,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley said. “We need everyone showing up like she does.”
Seeley offered plenty of respect for Nanji, who had beaten Princeton in identical fashion Friday night – an overtime game-winner, on a power play, on a slap shot from the blue line.
“She’s a player,” Seeley said of Nanji. “Part of our game plan was not to give her any room – even on the power play. When you give her a clear shot on the power play, bad things happen.”
The Bobcats received votes in the latest U.S. College Hockey Online poll, but have not cracked the top 10 this season. This weekend they will face Colgate and No. 2 Cornell, two teams the Bobcats lost to at home on Halloween weekend.