HAMDEN, Conn. - With less than a minute remaining and her team trailing by one goal, Quinnipiac junior forward Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) fired the puck from just outside the crease and into the back of the net for the equalizer in a 4-4 draw against No.9-ranked Mercyhurst at the High Point Solutions Arena on Friday night. The goal was the 50th of Babstock's illustrious career and with three points (two goals, one assist) on the evening she eclipsed 100 points in just 75 games to become the first ever Quinnipiac women's ice hockey player to reach the milestone. Another Quinnipiac record was matched Friday night as sophomore forward Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) extended her point streak to eight games with two assists against Mercyhurst, tying Babstock's program record of eight games set in the 2010-11 season. The Bobcats move to 0-0-1 after their home and season opener while the Lakers remain undefeated at 2-0-1.
Babstock's goal, her second of the night, developed with the Bobcats on the power-play and the senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) on the bench for a two-man Quinnipiac advantage. With the clock ticking under 50 seconds remaining in the third period, senior defenseman Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) possessed the puck near the blue line and fired nearside to Kosta. Her shot was saved initially but the rebound bounced out to Babstock who picked the shot out of the air and over the goalie's shoulder for the deciding goal at the 19:19 mark of the third period. Kosta earned her second assist of the night while Boulton notched her first.
With the game into extra time, the Bobcats dominated the overtime period, controlling possession and nearly came away with an opportune goal from senior forward Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.). Babstock crossed the blue line with the puck, saw the approaching defender and gave off to a wide open Lyons in the center of the Mercyhurst zone. She skated in and ripped a shot that nicked the corner of the crossbar and deflected wide.
The Bobcats dominated the final statistics as they outshoot the Lakers, 31-22, but the scoring was back-and-forth from the beginning. Quinnipiac opened the scoring with a power-play goal from senior defender Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) at the 10:03 mark of the first period. After an initial shot by Lyons led to a scrum in front of the net, the puck was kicked out to sophomore forward Anna Borgfeldt (Kristianstad, Sweden). She passed the puck over to Vieweg at the point who wristed a shot that beat Laker goalie Amanda Makela between the legs for the first Bobcat goal of the season. The assist was the first of Borgfeldt's career.
Mercyhurst responded with a goal of their own less than five minutes later. An initial shot from the right side of the post was saved by Vigilanti but the puck hit the post and trickled across the crease and over to a wide open Kelsey Welch who banged home her second goal of the season.
With the score even at 1-1 entering the second period, Mercyhurst lit the lamp with a power-play goal from Emily Janiga. Emily Bestland dropped a pass to Jenna Hendrikx whose shot was saved by Vigilanti but the rebound kicked to her right and over to a wide open Janiga who banged home her fourth goal of the season.
The Bobcats battled back with Babstock factoring in the goal for her 100th career point. Babstock skated into the Laker zone all alone, went to the far corner, turned and fired a pass to Lyons in the slot. The senior controlled the pass and fired a wrist shot that beat Makela five hole. The assist gave Babstock 48 goals and 52 assists for her career as the 2010-11 ECAC Hockey Player and Rookie of the Year now stands alone in the Quinnipiac record books. The goal was the first of the season for Lyons and 24th of her career.
A little more than two minutes later Quinnipiac would take their second lead of the game as Kosta found a wide open Babstock at center ice. Kosta's pass went blue-line-to-blue-line as it narrowly avoided a pair of Laker sticks and found Babstock on the other end. The breakaway had Babstock one-on-one with Makela who she beat between the legs to give the Bobcats a 3-2 lead. The assist extends Kosta's seven-game point streak to end the 2011-12 season and puts her one game away from breaking Babstock's program record.
It was then the Lakers turn to battle back as they scored with under a minute remaining in the second period on a goal from Gina Buquet. Lauren Kilroy sent a pass to Christie Cicero whose initial shot was blocked in front but eventually found the stick of Buquet who sent a backhander past Vigilanti up high to even the score.
Quinnipiac controlled the third period with a 12-4 advantage in shots but one of the four for Mercyhurst landed in the back of the net to give the Lakers a 4-3 lead. Janiga skated in all alone, into the far corner, turned around and fired a shot that trickled through the pads of Vigilanti and over the line. The goal is Janiga's fifth and Bestland tallied another assist to give her six on the year.
The Bobcats induced a couple of penalties in the third period as they tried to take advantage of a Mercyhurst team coming off a pair of games against RIT where they committed 18 penalties. After an unsuccessful power-play halfway through the third period the Bobcats had one more chance after a checking call at the 17:25 mark gave Quinnipiac the man advantage. With only 14 seconds remaining on the power play, Babstock took advantage and led the Bobcats to the 4-4 decision.
Vigilanti made 18 saves in net and moves her career mark to 53-33-14. Makela made 27 saves for the Lakers. Boulton led the Bobcats with five shots on net and Bestland had six to lead Mercyhurst.
The two teams will hit the ice again at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the High Point Solutions Arena for the final game of the weekend series.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com