Women's Ice Hockey Falls To RPI, 2-1, In Fifth OT
HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team fell to Rensselaer, 2-1, in the deciding game of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals this afternoon. The game was the second-longest NCAA Division I History, as the teams played 144:32 minutes of hockey into the fifth overtime period. The game was the longest since women's ice hockey became an NCAA sport in 2001. Freshman goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) recorded a season-high 57 saves in net as the Bobcats' most successful season in program history ends with an overall record 19-10-8.
RPI sophomore Alisa Harrison scored her second goal of the series to put the Engineers up, 1-0, at the 12:31 mark of the first period. Harrison received a pass from linemate Allison Wright at the right goal post and waved at the puck twice before connecting with a shot into the back of the net, good for her 12th goal of the season. Freshman Andie Le Donne also picked up an assist on the play.
Forward Kallie Flor (Farmington, Minn.) saw the closest scoring opportunity for the Bobcats in the second period. The senior collected the puck of a faceoff in the Quinnipiac offensive zone and ripped a shot that ricocheted off the inner left post and out of play.
Sophomore defenseman Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) notched the equalizer on a Bobcat power play opportunity with 5:22 remaining in the third period to force overtime. Flor found Dymarczyk at the right point from the opposite side and Dymarczyk blasted the puck into the left corner of the net to tie the game at one. Freshman Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) was also credited with an assist on Dymarcyk's seventh goal of the season.
Vigilanti stopped ten shots by the Engineers in the first overtime period, making four clutch saves to maintain the tie. During an RPI power-play opportunity, Vigilanti stopped back-to-back shots coming from two different players, stretching her pad out wide to deflect a rebound attempt and fell on the puck to stop play. With seconds to play in the period, Harrison and Wright attacked on net in similar fashion, with Wright's shot slipping through Vigilanti's pads, but the goaltender whipped around and pulled the puck away from the red line to prevent the goal.
After three more overtime periods of back-and-forth scoreless action, RPI senior Laura Gersten scored the game-winner at the 4:32 mark of the fifth overtime. Gersten skated the puck into the Bobcats' defensive zone, pulled up atop the right faceoff circle and fired a shot that snuck in beneath the upper right crossbar for the goal. Whitney Naslund was credited with the assist on the play.
Quinnipiac concludes its best season in the program's nine-year history. The ECAC Quarterfinal bid was the first time the program ever hosted a playoff game, and they also picked up the program's first-ever postseason victory when they defeated RPI on Friday. The Bobcats finish the year with the program's best overall record (19-10-8) and best conference record (11-4-7).