A pair of early goals by Quinnipiac's Shiann Darkangelo ignited the Bobcats offense, as they went on to blank St. Lawrence, 5-0, in the first game of the best-of-three quarterfinal series at TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.
Just over four minutes in, senior forward Kelly Babstock intercepted a Saints pass in the neutral zone and skated in one-on-one with sophomore defenseman Dominique Korakianitis. Babstock let go of a shot from the slot and was initially stopped by junior netminder Carmen MacDonald, but the rebound kicked out onto the stick of Darkangelo at the bottom of the circle who one-timed it home to Quinnipiac up 1-0.
Darkangelo added her second of the game at the 7:26 mark, ripping a slapshot just under the crossbar from the top of the left circle off a Babstock faceoff win.
Quinnipiac increased its lead to 3-0 late in the second period off a scramble in front of MacDonald. Cydney Roesler's shot from the right circle ended up tangled in the feet of a cluster of players on the far post and though freshman Brooke Webster laid out in front of the crease while MacDonald sprawled to her right, Nicole Connery was able to lift the puck into the net to send the Bobcats to the locker room with a three-goal cushion.
The Saints had a number of good chances to start the third; including a blast from sophomore Jenna Marks on the power-play that rang off the post and a breakaway by senior co-captain Rylee Smith six minutes into the final frame. Smith created a turnover in the neutral zone, split the defense and skated in on Quinnipiac goaltender Chelsea Laden, but the reigning ECAC Goaltender of the Week stacked the pads to stop Smith and her team picked up the puck and skated into the Saints zone for an offensive rush of their own.
It was Connery who collected the rebound off Smith's attempt and carried along the right wall into the St. Lawrence zone. Coming across the red line towards MacDonald, Connery laid a no-look pass to Amanda Colin who was crashing through the slot. Colin got just enough of the puck to push it passed MacDonald as she fell to the ice to give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead.
With just over two minutes to play in regulation, Emma Woods extended the Quinnipiac lead to 5-0 with a low wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle that squeaked between MacDonald's legs.
MacDonald finished with 24 saves for the Saints, while Laden stopped 28 for the Bobcats.
The Saints will return to TD Bank Sports Center for the second game of the series on Saturday at 4 p.m.