HAMDEN, Conn. - Freshman forward Kelly Babstock's (Mississauga, Ontario) two goals and three assists paved the way for a decisive 5-1 victory for the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team, as the Bobcats defeated ECAC Hockey opponent Rensselaer on Friday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. In addition to Babstock's heroics, junior defender Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.) and junior forward Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) added a combined five assists on the nightcap, as the Bobcats improved its ECAC Hockey record to 11-8-0 and its overall record to 19-10-2. Rensselaer falls to 8-9-2 in ECAC Hockey action and is now 10-13-7 overall.
Babstock cracked the 50 point mark on the season with style, tallying five points and increasing her league-high season totals to 27 goals and 26 assists. The 53 points has Babstock tied for fourth place among all NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey skaters, while her 1.71 has her ranked 12th overall. She grabs sole possession of fourth place in goals and is tied for eighth in the country in assists.
The Bobcats sent an early message to Rensselaer in the first period, netting three in the frame to take a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the locker rooms at the first intermission. Junior defender Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska) started the scoring early for the Bobcats, netting her fifth goal of the season on a power-play score at the 4:32 mark into the first period. Elkins took a slap shot from just outside the faceoff circle, beating Rensselaer's senior goaltender Sonja van der Bliek. Wheeler and Babstock were each credited with an assist on the score.
Quinnipiac pulled ahead, 2-0, at the 10:26 mark into the stanza, as freshman forward Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.) backhanded in her seventh goal of the year. After Babstock pulled the puck from away from the congestion in front of the net, Colin eyed the lonely puck and buried her opportunity. Babstock and Wheeler were once again rewarded with each skater's second assist of the contest.
The Mississauga native extended the Bobcats' lead to 3-0 just under 3 minutes later on Quinnipiac's second power-play goal of the frame. Babstock was denied on her first shot, but remained unguarded as she corralled the rebound and wristed in the puck from just outside the goaltender's crease. Sophomore defender Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) earned her seventh assist on the score, while Dymarczyk picked up her 14th helper of the year.
Quinnipiac continued to apply pressure on the Engineers defense in the second period, and pulled ahead, 4-0, on Babstock's second goal of the contest. Babstock skated in with the puck and crossed the crease, dumping it in under the pads of van der Bleik. Wheeler earned her 16th assist of the season, while Dymarczyk was credited with her second assist of the contest and 15th overall.
Sophomore forward Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) scored the fifth goal for the Bobcats at the 2:55 mark into the third period. Upon being released from the penalty box for a two minute interference penalty, Lyons hit the ice in top gear, as she and Babstock skated in on a two-on-one counter attack. Babstock hesitated until the precise moment before gliding a perfect pass over to Lyons who lifted the puck over the left shoulder of van der Bliek for her ninth goal of the season.
Rensselaer refused to be held scoreless, as it netted its first goal of the contest at the 8:16 mark into the third stanza. Freshman forward Jordan Smelker redirected a crisp pass from junior forward Alisa Harrison for her 10th goal of the season. Sophomore forward Taylor Horton was also credited with an assist on the score, her 10th on the year.
The Bobcats went a perfect two-for-two on its power-play chances on the evening, while it held Rensselaer scoreless on its three extra skater opportunities. This marks the seventh-straight game in which the Bobcats have held the opposition scoreless on its power-play chances. Teams have gone a hopeless 0-for 23 during that time span.
Sophomore goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) had a relatively quite night in net, turning away 13 shots on the nightcap. Her counterpart, van der Bliek, made 27 saves on the evening.
Quinnipiac returns to action tomorrow night when it hosts ECAC Hockey opponent Union at 4 p.m. Prior to puck drop, Quinnipiac will honor its three senior members of the ice hockey team with an on ice rose ceremony.