CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team was defeated, 3-2, by ECAC Hockey opponent Harvard on Saturday afternoon at Bright Hockey Center. The loss drops Quinnipiac's ECAC Hockey record to 10-8-0 and its overall record to 18-10-1, while Harvard improves to 13-8-2 overall and 12-4-2 in ECAC Hockey action.
Despite gaining a 2-0 advantage heading into the third period, the Bobcats were unable to quell Harvard's momentum in the frame as the Crimson netted all three goals in the final stanza. Harvard peppered the net in the period, taking 23 shots against sophomore goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario), whose season-high 41 saves were not enough to lead Quinnipiac to victory. Overall, Harvard outshot Quinnipiac, 44 to 32, in the contest.
Quinnipiac grabbed the first goal of the contest on a goal from freshman forward Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) just 39 seconds into the second period on a beautiful unassisted tally. The freshman, who stripped the puck from the Harvard defense in the corner of the offensive zone, exploded to the net and placed the puck near post, by Harvard's sophomore goaltender Laura Bellamy. The goal for Babstock was her league leading 25th goal of the season.
The Bobcats capitalized on its fifth power-play opportunity of the afternoon at the 6:14 mark into the second period to take the 2-0 lead. A good piece of forechecking by Babstock provided the scoring opportunity, as she darted a cross-crease pass to fellow freshman forward Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden). Uden Johansson found line mate, freshman forward Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.), who had parked herself on the crease, and buried her fifth goal of the season. Uden Johansson and Babstock each were awarded with her 14th and 22nd respective assist of the season on the score.
Harvard came to life in the third period and netted its first two goals of the contest just three minutes apart from each other to begin the stanza. On Harvard's first goal at the 2:08 mark, senior forward Kate Buesser found an open teammate, freshman forward Kalley Armstrong, with a cross ice pass. The freshman forward took a slap shot and beat a screened Vigilanti for her third goal of the season.
Harvard continued to press the issue and netted its second goal to tie the score, 2-2, at the 5:05 mark into the frame. Sophomore defender Josephine Pucci, who netted her seventh goal of the contest, was assisted by junior forward Alisa Baumgartner and senior defender Leanna Coskren on the play.
The Crimson grabbed the 3-2 lead just under five minutes later at the 9:51 mark into the third period, as Armstrong buried the game-winning goal on a shot located right in front of the net. She was assisted by sophomore defender Kaitlin Spurling on the score.
In the contest overall, Quinnipiac took advantage of the second worst penalty kill unit in ECAC Hockey only once, going 1 for 6 on its power play chances. The Bobcats shut down Harvard's power play unit, as it went 0 for 3 on its extra skater advantages.
Quinnipiac did well to withstand early pressure from Harvard in the first period, as the Crimson came out firing with nine shots through the first 12 minutes of play. Harvard then crippled its own efforts by committing three straight penalties in the 12th, 13th and 15th minute of play, giving the Bobcats two separate five on three advantages. Quinnipiac's power play unit took six shots on Bellamy, but was unable to slip one by the sophomore goaltender. Overall, Quinnipiac outshot Harvard 12 to 11 in the period.
The Bobcats return to the ice on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. when it hosts non-conference opponent New Hampshire at the TD Bank Sports Center.