October 6, 2012

Ferocious Last-Minute Rally Comes Up Short, Kosta Breaks Record in Women's Ice Hockey 4-3 Loss to No. 9 Mercyhurst

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Box Score vs. Mercyhurst

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HAMDEN, Conn. – A furious last minute Bobcat comeback from 4-1 down was thwarted by the Lakers as Quinnipiac fell to No. 9-ranked Mercyhurst 4-3, at the High Point Solutions Arena on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore forward Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) rewrote Quinnipiac record books after compiling three points (one goal, two assists) on Saturday, she extends her point scoring streak to nine games, breaking junior forward Kelly Babstock's previous record of eight consecutive games. Babstock also followed her three-point performance on Friday with another three points (one goal, two assists) on Saturday. The loss drops the Bobcats to 0-1-1 while the Lakers improve to 3-0-1 on the season.

The Lakers dominated play throughout much of the first two periods, owning a 32-12 shot advantage against the Bobcats, but a late furry by the top offensive line for Quinnipiac closed the gap and nearly led to another thrilling overtime affair. With the team down three and less than four minutes showing on the clock, the top offensive line of Kosta, Babstock, and junior forward Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) sprung to life with a goal at 16:43. Kosta's initial shot on Laker goaltender Stephanie Ciampa was kicked out to Babstock who took the rebound and buried it into the back of the net.

Less than 30 seconds later, Mercyhurst took an elbowing penalty and followed with a cross-checking call with a little over two minutes remaining to give Quinnipiac a two-man advantage. They would make the most of the opportunity, netting another goal at 18:47 to close the deficit to one. Babstock found herself in front of the net and passed off to Kosta. She controlled the pass and fed the puck to senior defender Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) at the point whose slap shot dinged off the crossbar and down across the line for another Bobcat goal.

With a little over a minute still on the power-play the Bobcats had several more opportunities but couldn't find the equalizer. Mercyhurst finished the game with a commanding lead in shots, 39-23 but the Bobcats had more in the third period, 11-7. Quinnipiac also induced another five Laker penalties after drawing five the previous night while only committing one for the game.

Mercyhurst fired shots from all across the ice on sophomore goaltender Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) for much of the first two periods. The Lakers finally broke through at the 10:49 mark of the first period with a two-on-one with freshman Jenna Dingeldein passing through the legs of Bobcat defender Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) leaving sophomore Kristine Grenier alone with Laden. She deked a forehand and beat Laden with a backhander for the game's first goal.

Quinnipiac responded early in the second period as Kosta would break Bobcat's point scoring streak record on the play. Babstock possessed the puck in the middle of the ice and passed off to Kosta on the right side faceoff circle. She sniped a shot above the glove of Ciampa, hit off the post, crossbar, and landed across the line for a goal. The play was reviewed by the referees and stood as a goal. The goal is Kosta's second of the season and resulted in her ninth straight game with a point. While the assist was Babstock's first of two for the game.

Mercyhurst then rattled off three consecutive goals between the second and third period to give them a 4-1 lead. The first goal came as senior Stephanie Desutter skated in from the blue line unchecked and fired a backhander under the glove of Laden for a goal. It was the first on the year for Desutter and picking up assists were sophomore Shelby Bram and Lauren Jones.

Bram picked up her second assist of the night at the 15:00 mark of the second period as the puck was played around the outside before being sent in front. The puck deflected several times in the air before Grenier landed a shot that beat Laden for a 3-1 Mercyhurst lead. It was Grenier's third goal of the season and senior Jenna Hendrikx was also credited with a helper on the play.

Finally the leading scorer for Mercyhurst, junior Christine Bestland, landed her first point of the game with a goal less than a minute later in the third period. She found the puck after a scramble in front of Laden and slid it past the diving goaltender for the fourth Laker goal and her fourth of the season.

Ciampa made 20 stops in net for the Lakers and moves to 2-0-0 on the season.

Laden bested her previous career high of 33 saves against Boston College on Nov. 22, 2011 with 35 against Mercyhurst on Saturday. The sophomore moves to 0-1-0 on the year in defeat.

The Bobcats return to action with a pair of home games on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 at the High Point Solutions Arena against the Maine Black Bears.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu