Connery, Bobcats snap Saints women's hockey win streak
The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team saw its seven-game win streak come to an end on Saturday afternoon, as Quinnipiac University scored three unanswered goals in the third period to earn a 6-4 ECAC Hockey victory in Hamden, CT. Nicole Connery led the Bobcats with a pair of goals, while captain Kelly Sabatine had a goal and an assist for the Saints.
The win moves Quinnipiac to 7-5-2 (4-3-1), while the Saints fall to 7-6-0 (5-1-0)."Quinnipiac did a good job on us early. I was really happy about the way we responded and kept our poise all night," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "We had some great chances, but (Victoria) Vigilanti kept the puck out of their net."
Quinnipiac built a 2-1 lead after 20:00 minutes of hockey thanks to a 13-5 advantage in shots on goal. Kelly Babstock's 14th goal of the season gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 5:28, but Jenna Marks' third goal of the weekend tied the score at 12:55 for St. Lawrence. However, Nicole Brown would answer for the Bobcats only 24 seconds later, beating Saints' goaltender Carmen MacDonald for the 2-1 lead.
Sabatine would start the second period off in style, scoring her seventh goal of the year from Jackie Wand and Dayle Wilkinson only 58 seconds into the stanza. However, that would be all the scoring the Saints would muster in the period, as Vigilanti turned back 10 shots.
Quinnipiac would regain the lead on Connery's first of the game at the 15:46 mark of the second, with assists going to Morgan Fritz-Ward and Regan Boulton. Connery's fourth of the year gave the home team a 3-2 lead going into the final frame.
The Saints would strike twice early, taking the lead for the first time thanks to back-to-back goals only 1:20 seconds apart. Brooke Fernandez would net her third goal of the year only 21 seconds into the third, tying the score at 3-3 with an assist going to Wand. The goal also moved the senior into second place on the University's all-time list for goals by a defenseman (21).
Sophomore Kayla Raniwsky would beat Vigilanti at 1:41 of the third with her second goal as a Saint, with helpers going to Ellie Williams and Abbey McRae.
Though the Saints seemed to have the momentum, Quinnipiac would rebound with three goals in a span of 8:21 to steal two points in the conference standings. Breann Frykas tied the score at 4-4 at 6:29 of the third, while Erica Uden Johansson's power play goal at 13:42 gave the Bobcats back their lead at 5-4. Connery would then put the game away only 1:08 later with her second of the game, beating MacDonald off a pass from Brittany Lyons.
"Quinnipiac worked very hard and really deserved the late goals," added Coach Wells. "The right people had the puck in the right spots down the stretch."
The Saints would pull MacDonald in the final minutes in favor of the extra skater, but Vigilanti turned back each shot she faced to ensure the 6-4 win. The Bobcat netminder closed with 24 saves in the game, while MacDonald had 28 stops.
Quinnipiac finished 1-of-2 on the power play, while the Saints closed with a 0-for-1 mark.
St. Lawrence will complete a three-game road trip tomorrow when the Saints head to Storrs, CT to square off in a non-conference contest with UConn at 2:00pm. It will be the first time since the 2001-02 season that St. Lawrence plays three consecutive games in the regular season.