The Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team will play host to Yale and Brown University for their final two games of the regular season this weekend at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats will take on the Bulldogs on Friday night at 7 p.m., and will face off against the Bears on Saturday at 4 p.m. Saturday's game will also serve as Senior Day for the four graduating seniors on the team. The outcome of the weekend series will also determine the playoff destination for the Bobcats, as they are in contention for an ECAC Hockey Tournament host position. In their last outing, Quinnipiac tied the No. 4-ranked Clarkson, 1-1, at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Yale currently posts a 10-14-3 overall record with an 8-11-1 mark in ECAC Hockey. The Bulldogs are tied in eighth place with Dartmouth as each team has earned 17 points in league play. Yale needs to stay at least one point ahead of Dartmouth (who plays Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend) to secure the final berth into postseason play. Junior forward Bray Ketchum leads the team offensively, tallying 12 goals and 11 assists on the year for 23 total points. Junior goaltender Jackee Snikeris has seen the most time in net for the Bulldogs, playing in 23 games and posting a .928 save percentage and a 2.46 goals-against average.
Scouting the Bears
Brown holds a 2-20-4 overall record this season, with a 0-17-3 record in the ECAC. The Bears have just three points in conference play, and are not in contention for postseason play. Freshmen forwards Alena Polenska and Laurie Jolin currently lead the team in points, as they have each tallied 10 on the year. Polenska has scored five goals and added five assists, while Jolin has scored three goals this year with seven helpers. Freshman goaltender Katie Jamieson has seen the most time in net for the Bears, playing in 25 games and posting a .913 save percentage with a 3.12 goals-against average.
Farewell to the Fab Four
The Bobcats are graduating four seniors from this year's squad in Kallie Flor (Farmington, Minn.), Evelina Husar (Eskilstuna, Sweden), Janine Duffy (Toronto, Ontario) and Breana Burton (Surrey, British Columbia). The four have combined to play in 508 games, and have tallied a collective 64 goals and 92 assists for a total of 156 combined points.
For the first time in program history, the Bobcats have secured a postseason berth in the ECAC Playoffs. Quinnipiac earned the position after last week's victory against St. Lawrence, tallying enough points in conference play to remain amongst the top eight teams who move into the postseason. The Bobcats are currently in fifth place with 25 points in league play, just one point behind RPI and Harvard who are tied in fourth with 26 points apiece. Quinnipiac needs to finish one point ahead of the Engineers and the Crimson after this weekend's Yale/Brown series to secure a hosting position. The top eight teams go on to play in the postseason, with the top four teams hosting. Cornell and Clarkson have already secured home ice in the playoffs, as the two teams are currently tied in first with 30 points each.
Quinnipiac Playoff History
This is just the third time in program history that Quinnipiac has made it to the playoffs, as the team played in the ECAC Eastern League Quarterfinal against Niagara in the inaugural season and took on Mercyhurst in the College Hockey America Semifinal in the 2004-05 season. The team lost in the first round in both efforts.
For the second consecutive week, freshman goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) was named the ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week. Vigilanti allowed just two goals last weekend against St. Lawrence and Clarkson, playing all 125 minutes between the pipes and stopping 55 total saves on the weekend. The rookie picked up her 15th win of the season on Feb. 12 against St. Lawrence, holding the Saints scoreless until they earned a six-on-four advantage and scored with 53 seconds remaining in regulation. The following day, Vigilanti turned 37 shots by the No. 4-ranked Clarkson, a season-high record she set the week before against Cornell. After her weekend performance, Vigilanti boosted her save percentage to .946 overall, solidifying her ranking as first in the conference in the category. She also ranks second in the conference in goals against average, with a 1.36 mark.
Bevy of Votes
The Bobcats received votes in the USCHO.com Division I Women's Poll for the fifth consecutive week after recording the win against St. Lawrence on Feb. 12, and the tie against the No. 4-ranked Clarkson on Feb. 13. Quinnipiac received five votes in the weekly poll, which is the highest number of votes they have received this season.
Two Bobcat defensemen scored in the 2-1 victory against St. Lawrence last Friday. Sophomore Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) sparked the Quinnipiac offense early in the third period with her fifth goal of the season just 23 seconds into the stanza. Eight minutes later, freshman Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) notched her second goal of the year and the game-winner with a blast from the slot to earn the 2-1 win.
Freshman forward Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) scored her fourth goal of the year in the 1-1 tie with Clarkson on Feb. 13. Junior forward Kelley Davies (Chesapeake, Va.) found Lyons in the slot where the freshman forward snuck the puck to the left of the goaltender for the 1-0 lead.
After allowing just two goals in the weekend series against St. Lawrence and Clarkson, Quinnipiac moved up to rank first nationally in the Scoring Defense category. The Bobcats have allowed just 46 goals in 32 games for an average of 1.44 goals per game.
Freshman Heather Hughes (Stouffville, Ontario) picked up two assists in the victory against St. Lawrence to boost her season total to 11 on the year. It was the third time this season that Hughes has dished out two assists in a game, as she now ties to lead the team in points with 23.