ITHACA, N.Y. – Three unanswered Bobcat goals in the second period gave the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team the lead against No. 2 nationally-ranked Cornell but they couldn't hold on in the third period, falling 4-3 on Saturday at Lynah Rink. Junior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) continued her thrilling play, assisting on all three Quinnipiac goals to give her 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) for the season and five points for the weekend (one goal, four assists). The loss drops the Bobcats to 5-4-1 (2-2 ECAC Hockey) while the ECAC Hockey's first-place Cornell improves to 6-1 (4-0 ECAC Hockey).
Quinnipiac nearly avenged their ECAC Hockey Semifinal loss to the Big Red from last season as Cornell has dominated the series of late, winning seven-straight matchups. Babstock extends her point-streak against Cornell to five games as she came into Saturday's contest with an assist in four straight affairs against the Big Red. In seven career games against Cornell, Babstock's eight points nearly match the rest of the active Bobcats combined (nine points). The three Quinnipiac goals gave the Big Red all they could handle as they equaled the total allowed by Cornell in their past four games (outscored opponents 14-3 in those games).
Coming into Saturday, scoring the first goal has been vital for Quinnipiac's success as their opponent scored first in all three losses coming into Saturday. Midway through the period, the Big Red offensive pressure finally got to the Bobcats as Jess Brown scored off a transition play from center ice. Cornell found its way around the Bobcat blue line for an odd-man rush that was converted into a 1-0 lead at 13:06 in the first.
Less than a minute later, Fulton struck for the Big Red in impressive fashion. A slap shot from the point was blocked by a Bobcat defender but the loose puck was corralled by Hayleigh Cudmore who passed over to Fulton at the left post. Senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) slid over to deny her low but Fulton roofed the goal over the outstretched Quinnipiac goalie for another score.
The Bobcat offense showed some life just nine seconds into the second with freshman Nicole Connery (Newmarket, Ontario) netting her third of the season. The scoring opportunity came off the stick of Babstock as she carried the puck into the Cornell zone and sent a wrist shot on net from the right boards. The rebound kicked right out in front for Connery who flicked home the goal.
An outstanding individual effort from Babstock led to the equalizer at 1:59 in the second. She skated up ice from center after a dump in against three Cornell defenders. Babstock stole the puck from a Big Red defender behind the visitor's goal. She then centered to Kosta who one-touched the puck and flicked in a wrister through the glove side of Cornell goalie Stefannie Moak.
The feverish Quinnipiac rally was finished off with a showstopper from Kosta. Babstock corralled the loose puck along the right side boards in the Cornell defensive zone. She fed Kosta below the faceoff circle who deeked a couple defenders with several stick moves and lit the lamp with a backhanded shot that squeaked by Moak for the third Bobcat goal. The Kosta goal marked the first time since Jan. 13, 2011 (two games) that the Bobcats have held the lead playing Cornell. Over the last three games, Babstock has either scored or assisted on six straight Quinnipiac goals. Also on the play, Kosta earned her third career multi-goal performance and second this season.
Cornell netted the equalizer 1:25 into the third period. Cassandra Poudrier streaked up ice and beat Vigilanti low as she smashed into the Bobcat goalie. The referees reviewed the play and signaled it was a good goal after a minute reviewing the tape.
The Big Red took the lead on a game-winner from Alyssa Gagliardi. After a couple sprawling saves across the crease from She wrapped around the boards and her wrist shot beat Vigilanti low for the 4-3 lead.
The Bobcat's best chance to net an equalizer came on a 21-second 5-on-3 power-play advantage. A combination play along the outside of the Quinnipiac attack led to a one-timer from senior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) that just missed the net wide.
Another road ECAC Hockey weekend series looms for the Bobcats as they matchup against Union and Rensselaer on Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10, respectively.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com