Last season, the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team played a pair of overtime games in its quarterfinal series against RPI. With the score tied at 1 in the third period on Friday night, it looked like Game 1 of this year’s quarterfinal against Princeton was headed for extra hockey as well.
But with five seconds to play in regulation, Quinnipiac’s Brittany Lyons took a beautiful centering feed from Kelly Babstock, put it between the legs of Princeton’s goalie Rachel Weber, and gave the Bobcats a 2-1 victory over the Tigers.
“Babs is always where you need her and she got the puck to me on her knees,” Lyons said. “I was able to get it five-hole.”
Listen in to QBSN’s Corey Hersch and Brian Farrell as Quinnipiac scores the game-winning goal:
The play started with the puck in the Bobcats end on a defensive zone faceoff, but Quinnipiac was able to get up ice and score with time winding down.
“The whole line looked determined even when the faceoff was in our zone with 31 seconds left,” head coach Rick Seeley said. “It was a battle. I was trying to think of what I was going to be saying between periods and then, boom, the game’s over.”
Even though Quinnipiac didn’t have the lead until Lyons’ deciding goal, Seeley was pleased with the team’s effort.
“I think this was maybe the best we’ve forechecked all year on a consistent basis,” Seeley said.
There was little offense to speak of in the first period, with both teams struggling to get any offense going. Quinnipiac outshot the Tigers just 7-5 in the first, with the best chance for either team coming by Babstock. Working in the left-wing corner, she stickhandled to the net, hesitated for a couple seconds, tried to go high on Weber, but just put it off the crossbar.
With the game scoreless headed to the second, Princeton went on the offensive right off the bat. Danielle DiCesare sent a pass to the near post right to the stick of Sasha Sherry, who slipped it past Victoria Vigilianti just 23 seconds into the middle frame.
The Tigers continued their offensive onslaught throughout the early stages of the second, controlling the flow of play. But with eight minutes left in the period, Bethany Dymarczyk came into the Tigers zone on the right wing and fired a slap shot past Weber to tie the game at 1.
The Bobcats opened the third period with 1:48 remaining on a power play, but were unable to generate any offensive chances. The teams battled back and forth until Lyons netted the game-winner.
The two teams will take to the ice at Hobey Baker Rink again at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon with a chance to clinch the series and move on to the ECAC semifinals.
“They’ve forgotten about this win already,” Seeley said. “We have to go after it the same way we have the past few days. It’s a short series and we don’t want to go to game three. So we’re going to come ready.”