HAMDEN, Conn. - Two goals in the final minute of regulation helped the Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team to a 3-3 tie with No. 7 Cornell Saturday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center. Freshman Heather Hughes (Stouffville, Ontario) and senior Janine Duffy (Toronto, Ontario) scored just eight seconds apart to force overtime where the Bobcats earned a point for the seventh time in their last eight games. Quinnipiac's record now stands at 4-1-3 in ECAC Hockey and 6-4-4 overall. The Big Red's record is now 6-1-1 in conference play and 6-3-1 overall.
"The game was back-and-forth and I thought our team battled," said head coach Rick Seeley. "We could've packed it in when they went up 3-1 with a power-play and shorthanded goal, but I give our kids credit because they kept battling to keep us in the game and give us a shot there at the end."
Hughes gave the Bobcats the 1-0 lead 15:04 into the first period. The freshman forward intercepted a clearing pass from Cornel goaltender Amanda Mazzotta from just below the slot. Knocking it down with the shaft of her stick, Hughes corralled the loose puck and slipped it into the open net for the unassisted goal. The tally was her sixth of the season.
Cornell answered back just 2:50 later, evening the score on a Catherine White goal from in front of the net. White deflected a Kelly McGinty shot from the point past Quinnipiac netminder Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) just inside the right post.
Quinnipiac tried to hold off a second-period surge by Cornell, but the Big Red scored twice in the middle session to put them up 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. Chelsea Karpenko and Karlee Overguard netted goals eight minutes apart in the second period as Cornell outshot the Bobcats, 11-3.
Hughes netted her second of the game with 29 seconds remaining. Sophomore Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska) fired a shot on goal that was deflected down by a Cornell defender in front to the waiting Hughes at the bottom of the circle. The first-year Bobcat lifted a backhanded shot high over the shoulder of Mazzotta to pull her team to within one, 3-2.
Off the faceoff, Hughes pushed the puck up to Duffy on the left side. The senior forward beat a Big Red defender at the blueline and cut toward the goal. Firing a high shot to the top left corner, Duffy's wrister hit the shoulder of Mazzotta and landed in the back of the net tying the game, 3-3, just eight seconds after Hughes' second goal. Duffy's sixth goal of the season forced the second overtime game of the weekend for the Bobcats.
Hughes and senior captain Kallie Flor (Farmington, Minn.) had the two best scoring opportunities in the overtime period for either team, but were turned aside. Vigilanti's play in goal kept the Bobcats in the game all afternoon. Quinnipiac's freshman goalie turned aside 32 shots in the contest, her third highest total of the season.Quinnipiac returns to the ice on Friday, Nov. 27 in the first game of the 2009 Nutmeg Classic at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn. The Bobcats will take on the UConn Huskies at 7 p.m., in the second game of the afternoon. The hosts from Yale will play Sacred Heart in an earlier matchup.