Women's Ice Hockey Plays In Nutmeg Classic At Yale This Weekend

The Nutmeg State
The Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team heads to Yale University this weekend to play in the Nutmeg Classic Tournament for the fifth consecutive season. The Bulldogs will serve as tournament host with all games being played at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn. The Bobcats will play their first game on Friday night against the University of Connecticut at 7 p.m. Depending on the outcome of Friday's game, Quinnipiac will take on Yale or Sacred Heart in the consolation or championship game on Saturday. The Bobcats most recently tied No. 7 Cornell, 3-3, on Nov. 21 at the TD Bank Sports Center.

Nutmeg Classic 101
The Bobcats have won the Nutmeg Classic just once in their five-year tenure playing in the tournament. That victory came in the 2005-06 season when Quinnipiac defeated UConn, 3-2, in the championship game on the Huskies home ice. UConn has taken the Nutmeg Classic trophy home the past two seasons. The Bobcats have not faced the Huskies since the 2007 Classic, where they lost, 3-2. Quinnipiac has already matched up against Yale and Sacred Heart this season, picking up wins against both Connecticut teams.

Scouting the Huskies
UConn currently posts a 5-5-3 overall record, with a 1-3-3 Hockey East conference record. The Huskies have not played since Nov. 15 where they lost to Boston College, 4-0. UConn is collectively led by senior defender Cristin Allen and freshman forward Elisabeth Stathopulos as each have recorded nine points on the year. Sophomore goaltender Alexandra Garcia has seen the most time between the pipes for the Huskies, playing in ten games and posting a .903 save percentage.

Scouting the Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have accumulated a 1-7-1 record thus far on the 2009-10 season, most recently losing to Dartmouth, 6-2, on Nov. 21. Senior forward Caroline Murphy leads the team offensively with four points (3 goals, 1 assist). Junior goaltender Jackee Snikeris has played seven games in net for Yale, and posts a .892 save percentage with a 3.30 goals-against average. The Bobcats defeated the Bulldogs, 2-1, in their last outing on Nov. 7. Sophomore Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) dished out both assists to senior Janine Duffy (Toronto, Ontario) and Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) in the win.

Scouting the Pioneers
Sacred Heart has not hit the ice since Nov. 18, where they lost, 5-3, to Holy Cross. The Pioneers currently post a 1-7-0 record on the season. Junior forward Lauren Fontaine leads the team with four goals and three assists on the year. Netminders Emily Siira and Raelene Sydor have split time in goal this season, with freshman Siira holding a .868 save percentage and sophomore Sydor posting a .822 percentage. Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart last met on Oct. 3, where the Bobcats earned the 4-1 victory.

Don't Blink!
After going down 3-1 to Cornell last Saturday, the Bobcats regrouped towards the end of the third period, scoring two goals in the final 30 seconds to send the game into overtime. The back-to-back goals scored by Duffy and freshman Heather Hughes (Stouffville, Ontario) were just eight seconds apart, earning Quinnipiac the point against the No. 7 ranked Big Red.

Hughes notched her third multiple-point game of the season in the Bobcats tie with Cornell. The forward had a hand in all three goals against the Big Red, scoring the first two, and assisting on the third. Her season-high in points and goals came against Rensselaer on Oct. 31 when the freshman tallied three goals and an assist against the Engineers. Hughes also dished out two assists in Quinnipiac's 2-1 victory against Dartmouth on Nov. 14. She currently leads the team in points (11), goals (7), and ranks second on the team in assists (4).

Worthy Recognition
After two solid performances in net last weekend, freshman goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) earned ECAC Goaltender of the Week honors for the second time this season. The first-year goalie recorded 60 saves in 130 minutes of action between the pipes. The highlight of the two-point weekend came when Vigilanti turned aside 32 shots by Cornell on Nov. 21, holding them scoreless in the third period where the Bobcats came back to tie the game in the final 30 seconds. The freshman continues to rank atop the ECAC goaltending leader boards; ranking second in saves (323) and third in save percentage (.939), and goals-against average (1.62).

First Timer
After notching eight assists in her first year with the Bobcats, and one so far in her second season, sophomore Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.) found the back of the net for her first collegiate goal against Colgate Friday night. At the 11:39 mark of the third period, Perry stole the puck from a Raiders' defender behind the Colgate net and put a centering feed into the crease that deflected off a defender's skate and into the open goal. Last year, Perry led all rookies in points with eight.

Going Rogue
Sophomore defender Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska) picked up her third assist of the season in the Bobcats' 3-3 tie with Cornell on Saturday night. The tally boosts her career assist count to seven. Elkins' blast from the right point with thirty seconds remaining in the game was tipped in by Hughes to pull the Bobcats within one.