Eklund's Hat Trick Leads Women's Ice Hockey To 11-1 Win Against Sacred Heart

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Freshman forward Kristen Eklund (Barrington, R.I.) tallied a season-high four points as the Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team defeated Sacred Heart, 11-1, in the Nutmeg Classic Consolation Game Saturday afternoon. Forwards Janine Duffy (Toronto, Ontario) and Heather Hughes (Stouffville, Ontario) also picked up four points apiece on the day as the Bobcats improve to 7-5-4 on the year. The Pioneers' record drops to 1-9-0 with the loss. This is the first time that Quinnipiac has scored 11 goals in program history, while it is the second time the team has won by a ten-goal margin.

The Bobcats jumped on the board at the 16:13 mark with freshman Eklund's first collegiate goal and point. Duffy took the initial shot from inside the right faceoff circle, where the puck rebounded off the left pad of the goaltender for Eklund to scoop up and poke into the upper right corner of the net. Hughes picked up her first point of the game as she also assisted on the play.

Quinnipiac struck again minutes later with back-to-back goals at the 17:56 and 18:58 markers of the first. Senior defender Breana Burton (Surrey, British Columbia) gave the Bobcats the 2-0 lead with her first goal of the season on a power play opportunity. Senior Kallie Flor (Farmington, Minn.) found Burton at the left point where she fired a low shot into the right corner for the goal. Sophomore Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) picked up her first of the year one minute later when she collected a rebound at the right goal post and lifted it over the goaltender for the 3-0 lead. Sophomore Melissa Perry (Chelsea, Mich.) was credited with the assist on the play.

The Pioneers capitalized on a power play opportunity of their own scoring their lone goal of the game at the 7:30 mark of the second period. Junior forward Kristina Hankins dished to fellow junior Lauren Fontaine just outside the left faceoff circle, where Fontaine ripped a shot high that ricocheted off the crossbar into the net. Nicole Palazzo also assisted on the play.

The Bobcats boosted their lead to four scoring two goals within seven seconds of one another at the 10:00 and 10:07 marks of the second period. Senior forward Evelina Husar notched her first of the season on a two-on-one attack with freshman Breehan Polci (London, Ontario). Polci skated up the right lane and dished a quick pass to Husar at the left post who roofed the puck into the upper right corner for the goal. Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) also recorded an assist on the play.

Hughes notched her eighth goal of the year seven seconds later on a power play opportunity. After Fontaine was called for tripping on the faceoff, the Bobcats took control in their offensive zone. In the left faceoff circle, Duffy won the draw and pushed the puck back to Dymarczyk at the point. The defender fired a shot on net that bounced off the right pad of the goaltender where Hughes collected the loose puck and tucked it into the left corner for the 5-1 lead.

Eklund scored her second of the game with seven seconds remaining in the second period to give Quinnipiac a five-goal lead. Husar picked up her third assist of the year as her initial shot on goal bounced to Eklund at the right post where she flicked it into the lower left corner of the net. Flor also picked up her second assist of the year on the play.

Polci opened the third period with her second goal of the year at the 1:42 marker. The freshman gathered the puck in the slot and fired a shot between the pads of Sacred Heart goaltender Emily Siira for the Bobcats' seventh goal. Wheeler scored her second of the game minutes later at the 5:33 mark of the third. Burton dished to Wheeler inside the left hash marks where she leveled the puck into the lower right corner for the goal. The assist was Burton's first of the season.

Quinnipiac scored three more in the third period to finalize the 11-1 victory over the Pioneers. Flor connected at the 10:28 marker on the fly down the right lane where she fired the puck over the left shoulder of the goaltender for her third of the year. Hughes notched her second of the day at the 16:33 mark when she collected a pass from Eklund and pushed the puck into the lower right corner for the tenth Bobcat goal.

Eklund completed her hat trick with 1:28 remaining in the game. Hughes took the original shot from the right side where the puck rebounded to Eklund at the left post. The freshman took two quick shots before finishing the play into the back of the net. Duffy earned her career-high in points on the play, dishing out her fourth assist of the game.

Quinnipiac commanded a 65-11 shot advantage over Sacred Heart, as Bobcat goaltenders Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) and Amanda Nagel (Greenwood, Minn.) split time in net. Each net minder stopped five shots by the Pioneers. Sacred Heart goaltenders Siira and Raelene Sydor also split time in net, with Siira earning the loss and recording 34 saves. Sydor made 20 saves during her time in net.

The Bobcats returns to ECAC Hockey action on Dec. 4 when they travel to Potsdam, N.Y. to take on Clarkson University. That game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.