Women’s ice hockey ties St. Lawrence

Ben Dias

Don’t look now… but the women’s hockey team is putting together a streak of their own. Going into Friday evening’s contest with the St. Lawrence Saints, Quinnipiac was tied in fourth place with 24 points in the ECAC standings. The Bobcats and Saints remained tied in fourth place after the teams played to a 1-1 tie at Appleton Arena.

Great team defense and a strong effort by Victoria Vigilanti, who made 32 saves in net, preserved the tie as St. Lawrence had two power play chances in the final minutes of the third period and overtime. The tie pushes Quinnipiac unbeaten streak to 5-0-2.

With a 6-4 win earlier in the season on Nov. 17, the Bobcats keep hold of the fourth and final home playoff seed as they finish with the season series victory over St. Lawrence.

Vigilanti moves her unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2) as the senior netminder has only allowed four goals during the stretch for the Bobcats. The tie against St. Lawrence is the second in their all-time series history (5-9-2), and Quinnipac has played four straight at Appleton (2-0-2) without suffering a loss.

Quinnipiac (17-9-4, 11-5-3 ECAC) was led by junior Amanda Colin’s power play goal just 6:05 into the first period. Colin scored the Bobcats lone goal and her first of the season.

With less than 30 seconds remaining on the power-play, Cydney Roesler one timed a shot from the left faceoff circle.  Roesler’s shot sailed wide but was corralled by Nicole Connery behind the net and centered to Colin in front of the net. Colin deposited a one-timer past St. Lawrence goaltender Carmen MacDonald. Connery’s assist is her eighth of the season while Roesler also recorded her eighth helper.

St. Lawrence tied the game at one, when leading scorer Kelly Sabatine blasted a slap shot past Vigilanti.  The Saints pushed the puck along the right boards before Sabatine drew back her stick and fired a shot top shelf to beat the senior goalie.

St. Lawrence held a 23-11 advantage in shots-on-goal after two periods, but Vigilanti made some keys save to keep the score deadlocked.  With just under 10 seconds remaining Sabatine’s faceoff win in the Bobcat defensive end was ripped to Vigilanti’s glove side but she caught the puck out of midair to prevent a goal.

After both sides battled throughout the third period, Quinnipiac’s Nicole Brown was called for body checking with 1:30 left in regulation. The Bobcat defense and Vigilanti kept their composure throughout with several block shots and hustle plays to clear the puck and send the game into overtime.

In overtime, both sides had a power play opportunity but neither could capitalize. Just 32 seconds into the extra stanza, St. Lawrence was called for hooking, while Connery was sent to the box two minutes later for interference. With both teams back skating five-on-five, the Saints decided to pull their goalie with 37 seconds remaining to try and come up with the much-needed victory. Quinnipiac was up to the task one more time as the Bobcats held the Saints without a shot-on-net.  Kelly Babstock had another chance at an empty-net after scoring two last week vs. Cornell. However, St. Lawrence defender Brooke Fernandez came flying in to separate Babstock from the puck and send both teams home with a tie.

Quinnipiac will look to push their unbeaten streak to eight games when take on No. 6 Clarkson from Cheel Arena tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.