November 28, 2009

Women's Ice Hockey Falls, 1-0, To UConn In First Nutmeg Classic Match-Up

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team dropped their first game of the Nutmeg Classic Tournament, 1-0, to the University of Connecticut Friday evening. With the loss, the Bobcats will play in the Classic's consolation game on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Ingalls Rink. Quinnipiac's record drops to 6-5-4 overall on the year, while the Huskies improve to 6-5-3.

UConn connected for the early 1-0 lead at the 15:07 mark of the first period. Right winger Amy Hollstein collected the puck in the neutral zone and passed it up ice to Lisa Stathopulos and Monique Weber who skated in two-on-one on Bobcat goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario). Stathopulos made a quick pass to Weber at her right and Weber one-timed it into the upper right corner of the net for the goal.

Freshman winger Breehan Polci (London, Ontario) saw the Bobcats' best opportunity to score in the first period. The quick forward picked the puck off her defender in the right faceoff circle and snapped a low shot that rebounded off the left pad of UConn goaltender Alexandra Garcia out of play.

The Bobcats saw another opportunity to even the score in the second period on a power play opportunity. Sophomore forward Chelsea Illchuk (Lockport, Manitoba) positioned herself outside the crease and tried to tip a Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) blast from the point into the net, but the tip bounced off the chest of Garcia into her glove to keep Quinnipiac off the board.

With less than two minutes to play in the game, the Bobcats saw one last chance to tie the Huskies when Stathopulos was called for tripping in the neutral zone. The Bobcats pulled Vigilanti for an extra skater in an attempt to score in the final minutes of play. Senior forward Janine Duffy (Toronto, Ontario) came close to connecting with the back of the net when she collected a rebound at the left goal post and tried to lift it over the shoulder of Garcia. The UConn goaltender deflected the shot over the net to maintain the lead for the victory.

Vigilanti recorded 18 saves in net for the Bobcats, while her counterpart, Garcia, turned aside 20 shots in the win.

Quinnipiac returns to action tomorrow afternoon in the Nutmeg Classic consolation game against Sacred Heart. That game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Yale and UConn will play in the championship game at 7 p.m.