HAMDEN, Conn. – After going consecutive games without a goal the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team put on a clinic Saturday afternoon at the High Point Solutions Arena with an 8-3 trouncing of Dartmouth. Sophomore Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) tallied her first career hat trick and added an assist to set a career-high with four points. Kosta wasn't alone as junior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) tied a career high with four assists on her way to a five-point outing in the Bobcat victory. The win moves Quinnipiac to 4-3-1 on the year and claims their first ECAC Hockey victory (1-1-0 conference record) while Dartmouth falls to 1-1-0 in ECAC Hockey play.
Coming into play ranked in the top-10 nationally in assists-per-game, Kosta was the prime goal-scorer in Saturday's game as she picked up the second Quinnipiac hat trick on the season as Babstock claimed a program-record four goals against Maine on Oct. 12. Babstock's four assists also are tied the program-record for helpers in a game, a mark that has been accomplished twice before. The eight Bobcat goals also tied a program-record for most goals scored against an ECAC Hockey opponent, matching their 8-1 victory over Brown on Feb. 20, 2010.
After going six straight periods without a goal, the Bobcats quickly put the scoring draught to rest with a goal just under three minutes into the first period. After a dump in from just outside the blue line, Babstock stole the puck away from a Big Green defender. She sent a quick centering pass in front to Kosta who banged home the goal in the upper right corner.
The second marker came at the 12:48 mark of the first with Babstock contributing her 10th goal of the season. She caralled the loose puck at center ice and skated in on a two-on-one with freshman Nicole Connery (Newmarket, Ontario) on her left. Babstock setup the slap shot that deflected off a Dartmouth defenseman and past goalie Katie Milligan for the 2-0 lead.
The Big Green roared back with a power-play goal in the second period to make it a one-goal game. Lindsey Allen was on the receiving end in front after a nice centering pass from Reagan Fischer. Allen put away the one-timer over Quinnipiac goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) for the capper.
Vigilanti was strong all night in net for the Bobcats as she turned aside 22 Dartmouth shots with perhaps her strongest coming in the second period. After a breakout pass from one blue line to the other, Dartmouth had a breakaway opportunity. Fischer skated in on Vigilanti but after a couple stick moves the senior goaltender prevented the sure goal with a side-to-side save that prevented any rebound opportunity.
The Bobcat offense struck again late in the second as Connery would net her second goal of the year. Babstock took the puck along the right boards and centered with her backhand to Kosta. The sophomore feed over to Connery on the opposite post who skated around Milligan and tucked home the goal for a 3-1 lead. It was Babstock's second assist of the night and Kosta's 11th of the season.
Less than 30 seconds later, a bang-bang play off the Quinnipiac faceoff win in the Dartmouth zone led to another Kosta goal. Babstock won the faceoff back to Connery who fed back down to Babstock whose shot on net was denied by Milligan. The rebound however kicked in front to Kosta who fired a backhander over the Big Green goalie and in for a 4-1 advantage.
A nice combination play in the third increased the Bobcat lead. On the power-play senior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) passed from the blue line over to the faceoff circle to junior Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden). She fired a pass to the middle that deflected off the stick of senior Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) and past Milligan for another Bobcat goal.
The hats started flying over the boards at the 10:22 mark of the third period when Kosta netted her third goal of the game. Junior Shelby Wignall (Hamilton, Ontario) flicked a pass over the Big Green defensive line. Kosta showed some great speed beating Dartmouth to the puck. The breakaway from center ice resulted in a backhand goal over Milligan for her fourth goal of the season and Wignall's second assist.
The string of four straight Bobcat goals came to an end with a rocket shot from Sasha Nanji between the faceoff circles that beat Vigilanti and closed the gap to 6-2.
An amazing individual effort led to the seventh Quinnipiac goal. Dartmouth possessed in their defensive end and attempted a pass up-ice. The pass was blocked by sophomore Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa) back towards Milligan. As Fritz-Ward was tripped from behind, she dove to the ice and flicked a shot on net that beat Milligan underneath the pads. Several Bobcats swarmed Fritz-Ward along the boards as the goal is her first of the season and second career.
Lyons and the Bobcats struck again at the 13:48 mark of the final period. Boulton dumped the puck down to Babstock who one-touched the puck back in front of the crease to an open Lyons. The senior forward one-timed a shot past Milligan for her second of the night and third of the season. It is also the second career multi-goal game for Lyons.
Another Dartmouth goal late in the third period capped the scoring at 8-3 in favor of Quinnipiac. A broken play out in front led to a goal from Camille Dumais who slapped home her first of the season.
The Bobcats will return to action next weekend as they take on Colgate and Cornell on the road. Quinnipiac will face Colgate on Friday at 3 p.m. and Cornell on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com