Another New York ECAC Hockey Road Weekend For Women's Ice Hockey; Union on Friday, Rensselaer on Saturday

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (5-4-1, 2-2 ECAC Hockey)
@ Union Dutchwomen (3-5, 0-2 ECAC Hockey)
Friday, November 9, 2012 – 7 p.m.
Messa Rink – Schenectady, N.Y.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (5-4-1, 2-2 ECAC Hockey)
@ Rensselaer Engineers (2-5-1, 0-2 ECAC Hockey)
Saturday, November 10, 2012 – 4 p.m.
Houston Field House – Troy, N.Y.

This Weekend's Matchups
 
For the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team, after facing several of the ECAC Hockey's top contenders, this weekend they will look to take advantage of Union and Rensselaer, who are both ranked at the bottom of the conference standings. The Bobcats made it through some challenging opponents to start the year such as Dartmouth, Harvard, and Cornell, all of which were ranked or received votes in the USCHO.com poll at the times the teams played. Quinnipiac played very well despite a 1-2 overall mark against the squads as they dismantled the Big Green, 8-3, and lost by only two goals to Harvard, 2-0, and nearly pulled out the biggest upset in program history over the No. 2 ranked Cornell, 4-3. Now the team must refocus and prepare for another ECAC Hockey road trip to New York to take on the Dutchwomen of Union and Engineers of Rensselaer.

Multimedia

Live stats, audio and video can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com

All-Time Against Union

The Bobcats could not come in with a better mark against the Dutchwomen as the team currently stands 18-0-3 all-time against Union, their best mark against any opponent in program-history. Quinnipiac thoroughly dominated the Dutchwomen last season as the team won their only two matchups by a combined score of 11-3. Overall, the Bobcats come in with a six-game winning streak and have won those games scoring 24 goals (four per-game average) while allowing just six total (one per-game average). Focusing on last year's results, the two played to a 6-2 decision at the High Point Solutions Arena on Feb. 17, the second to last game of the regular season. Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta each tallied three-point games while the team roared back from a 1-0 deficit to score five unanswered. Four of the six Bobcat goals came off the power-play as they finished 4-for-8 on the afternoon. The earlier contest from last season, played at Schenectady, wasn't much of a contest as five different Quinnipiac players scored (five unanswered) in beating Union, 5-1. Victoria Vigilanti stopped 19 shots in goal to preserve the victory.

Union Hockey History

The Dutchwomen have notoriously been at the bottom of the ECAC Hockey standings since joining the conference. Their most wins conference victories in one season is two while their first ECAC Hockey victory came on Nov. 4, 2011. Emilie Arseneault scored a short-handed goal late in the second period to give the Dutchwomen a 2-1 conference victory over the Clarkson Green Knights women's ice hockey program. It was the Dutchwomen's first ECAC Hockey win since the 2009-10 season and only their second ECAC Hockey win since 2004. From 1999 to 2003 Union competed in Division III hockey until joining the ECAC Hockey. Their most successful season in program-history came in 2002-03 when the team finished 11-14-1, since then the team has not finished a season with more than five wins overall and no more than two in conference play. This season, however, the team has shown signs of life as they enter Friday's game with a 3-5 overall mark, defeating a quality opponent in Syracuse on their way to the strong start.

Scouting the Dutchwomen

The Bobcats need to be concerned with this squad as they are a dangerous opponent, entering the weekend with a 3-5 overall record (0-2 ECAC Hockey). They managed a victory over UConn in their season opener before losing to national powers Northeastern, 4-1, and Boston University, 6-2. They followed with a win over crosstown rival Rensselaer, 3-2, before losing their fist conference contests of the season on the road to Clarkson and St. Lawrence, a pair of teams that are ranked nationally. Just this past weekend, they dominated play against a quality opponent in Syracuse, splitting a weekend series but owning the combined score advantage, 5-3. The Dutchwomen are led by a threesome of Courtney Turner (three goals, three assists), Jessica Kaminsky (two goals, four assists), and Stefanie Thomson (two goals, four assists) who all enter the weekend with six points this season. Their power-play sits at a respectable 21.1% as eight of their 15 goals (53.3%) have come off the man-advantage. The Dutchwomen tend to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders as they have scored six goals while allowing only six in the opening stanza. If the Bobcats can withstand the early pressure on the road, they can then take advantage of the Dutchwomen's lackluster play in the second and third periods where they have been outscored 24-9 after eight games this season.

All-Time Against Rensselaer

Quinnipiac needs to forget the past if they wish to get by the Engineers as there are still memories attached to the 2010 ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series, the first home playoff series for the Bobcats in program-history. After winning the first game of the three-game set, 2-1 in double overtime, Quinnipiac lost the second game, 1-0, and finally the heartbreaking finale where the Bobcats lost, 2-1, after playing a record five overtime periods. Since then, Quinnipiac has recovered with a 3-0 mark in their last four meetings, but the Engineers own a 6-11-1 all-time series record playing the Bobcats. Victoria Vigilanti posted an incredible 57 saves in the five-overtime battle but it wasn't good enough as the Engineers scored on a transition play 4:32 into the eighth period of action. It was a brutal way to end the season as Quinnipiac had just finished their most successful season in program-history at 18-8-8 (11-4-7 ECAC Hockey) and made the playoffs for the first time in their history as well.

Rensselaer Hockey History

The Engineers have a long and storied hockey history. The women's ice hockey program began in the 1995-96 season, playing at the Division III level in ECAC East. In their final season in Division III, the 2004-05 season, the Engineers qualified to the championship game of the ECAC East Tournament. It was their second consecutive season in the championship. That season, RPI had 21 wins, compared to only six losses and league record of 17-2. In 2005-06, RPI was a Division I independent but the club won 18 games, lost six, and tied two. Rensselaer joined the ECAC Hockey for the 2006-07 season and has since gone on to become a respectable program within the conference. The record for most wins at the NCAA Division I level in one season is 19, which was set in 2008-09 (19-14-4). The overall program record is 21, set in 2004-05, the team's last year in Division III. The Engineers made NCAA history on Feb. 28, 2010, beating Quinnipiac 2-1 in five overtime periods. It is now the second longest college hockey game in NCAA history, surpassed a few weeks later on March 12, 2010 in a men's hockey contest between Quinnipiac and Union.

Scouting the Engineers

The team began the year with tie and victory against UConn before putting a scare in national powers Boston University and Northeastern, losing by one goal in each game to a pair of teams who were ranked nationally. They followed with three more losses including their ECAC Hockey openers with St. Lawrence and Clarkson and they just recently defeated Vermont, 5-1, on Oct. 31 in their last game played. Even though they come into the weekend 2-5-1 (0-2 ECAC Hockey), four of their losses have come by only one goal. The Bobcats need to take advantage of the Engineer's special teams play as Rensselaer comes into the weekend ranked 27th nationally (of 34 teams) on the power-play (11.8 percent, four-for-34) and the worst penalty-kill in the nation as they kill off a lackluster 68.6 percent (24-for-35) of their opponent's opportunities on the man-advantage. Rensselaer's top scorer is freshman forward Alexa Gruschow who comes into the weekend with six goals and four assists (10 points). Gruschow ranks in the top-20 nationally in goals-per-game average (.75) and their goaltender Kelly O'Brien has posted a 2.91 goals-against-average thus far in the season.

Last Time Out

The Bobcats salvaged a split in their weekend matchup against ECAC Hockey opponents Colgate and No. 2 Cornell. The tandem of Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta were clicking on all cylinders throughout the weekend as they each posted five-point performances, chipping in on every Quinnipiac goal scored in the two games series. The Bobcats took on Colgate on Friday night and managed a 2-1 victory on the road. Babstock tallied the game-winner, the 15th of her career, late in the second period. Victoria Vigilanti and the Bobcat defense preserved the victory, allowing only two shots-on-goal in the final period. They followed with their arch nemesis in Cornell, whom the Bobcats have lost to seven-consecutive games. The Bobcats didn't go down without a fight however, as they even took the lead in the second period on the back of Babstock and Kosta. Babstock had the primary assist on all three Bobcat goals while Kosta posted a pair of goals and an assist. Despite taking the lead and scoring three goals against the mighty opponent, the Big Red stormed back in the third period and managed a 4-3 victory. The three goals allowed by Cornell equal the amount scored by their opponent in the previous four games combined.

Nowhere Near Finished

The two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Week Kelly Babstock has broken numerous records to start the 2012-13 season. With three points against Mercyhurst she became the first player in program-history to reach 100 career points. She broke the program-record for goals in a game with four in a 6-1 victory over Maine. She tied the program-record for assists in a game with four against Dartmouth and also finished with the highest plus/minus (+5) of any Bobcat in a game in the program's history. Finally, she is currently riding a six-goal point streak where she has either scored or assisted on six straight Quinnipiac goals, a program-record.

She's Hot

Nicole Kosta posted a five-point weekend against Colgate and Cornell to help her earn her first career ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honor. Always noted for her gifted passing skills, Kosta has picked up her goal-scoring of late with five in her past three games including two against Cornell on Saturday. The most impressive of which gave the Bobcats a 3-2 lead in the second period as she took the puck, deeked out a pair of defenders, and lit the lamp with a backhander through the goalie.

She Shoots…She Scores

With 11 goals and 14 assists in 10 games this season, Kelly Babstock has either scored or assisted on 25 of the team's 34 goals thus far in the season. She has had a hand in an astonishing 73.5 percent of the team's goals, which is by far the highest percentage of any player in the nation with Northeastern's Kendall Coye the next-closest competitor at 60 percent.

Top-of-the-Line Production

The Bobcat's top offensive and defensive lines have completely dominated the Quinnipiac scoring to start the season. The production of top-forwards Kelly Babstock, Nicole Kosta, and Nicole Connery and top-defenders Regan Boulton and Cydney Roesler have combined for 22 goals and 41 assists in 10 games to start this season. The 63 points between the five players represents 70 percent of the total points for Quinnipiac (90 points as a team).

Record-Breaking Saturday

Several Quinnipiac individual and team single-game records fell in their 8-3 win over Dartmouth. The eight Bobcat goals tied a program-record for most goals scored against an ECAC Hockey opponent, matching their 8-1 victory over Brown on Feb. 20, 2010. Kelly Babstock's four assists tied a program-record for helpers in a game, a mark that has been accomplished twice before. She also recorded a program-record +5 plus/minus rating, the highest a player has achieved in Quinnipiac history.

Koasting Right Along

Always pegged as an assist-first player, Nicole Kosta has been the primary goal scorer for Quinnipiac in their last few contests. She tallied her first career hat trick in the 8-3 win over Dartmouth and scored two goals against Cornell this past Saturday, tied for the most of any player in a game against the Big Red all season.

Dynamite Ability

Quinnipiac's Kelly Babstock has been found near the top of the nation's statistical leaderboard all season. She currently ranks sixth in points-per-game (2.50), tied for fourth in goals-per-game (1.10), tied for fifth in assists-per-game (1.40), and tied for 11th in power-play goals (three). She is currently one of only three players ranked in the top-10 nationally in all three major offensive statistical categories (points, goals, assists per-game), joining No. 1 Minnesota's Amanda Kessel and Hannah Brandt.

Everything You Can Do I Can Do Better

Teammates Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta have teamed up this season for one of the most impressive tandems in the country thus far. Each have contributed at least 20 points, with Babstock's 25 (11 goals, 14 assists) and Kosta's 20 (six goals, 14 assists) leading the way for the Bobcats. They rank tied for the second-highest scoring tandem in the country behind Minnesota's Amanda Kessel and Hannah Brandt and tied with Harvard's Jillian Dempsey and Lyndsey Fry.

Points Per Game:                                 GP    G- A- P    P/GM

  1 Amanda Kessel      Minnesota      JR F       11   15-17-32    2.91

  2 Hannah Brandt      Minnesota      FR F       12   12-21-33    2.75

  3 Christine Bestland Mercyhurst     JR F       12    9-22-31    2.58

  4 Jillian Dempsey    Harvard        SR F        4    6- 4-10    2.50

    Kelly Babstock     Quinnipiac     JR F       10   11-14-25    2.50

  6 Kendall Coyne      Northeastern   SO F        9   12- 9-21    2.33

  7 Lyndsey Fry        Harvard        JR F        4    4- 4- 8    2.00

    Nicole Kosta       Quinnipiac     SO F       10    6-14-20    2.00

  9 Jamie Lee Rattray  Clarkson       JR F       10    9-10-19    1.90

 10 Alex Carpenter     Boston College SO F/C      7    6- 7-13    1.86

Percent Difference

The combination of Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta ranks as the top scoring tandem in the nation when considering their team's total production. Of the 90 combined points for the Bobcats this season, Babstock and Kosta have accumulated 45 of those 90 for 50 percent. That percentage ranks as the highest of any pairing in the nation.

Magic Touch

Nicole Kosta had her program-record 11 game point scoring streak come to an end earlier this season at Syracuse but she and Kelly Babstock have shown an impressive passing ability as they both rank fifth in the nation in assists-per-game (1.40). They each have assisted on 41.2 percent (14-of-34) of the team's 34 goals to begin this season. That percentage placed them in a tie with one another for the tops in the country.

Lethal Power-Play

Of the 34 Bobcat goals in the 2012-13 season, 13 (38.2%) of them have come off the power-play. Their proficiency ranks in the top-five among teams in the nation.

Power Player

Senior Brittany Lyons has been the main beneficiary on the Quinnipiac power-play as she has scored four of her five goals on the year on the man-advantage. She is in a tie for fifth among players in the nation in power-play goals and is the third-leading goal scorer from Quinnipiac behind Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta.

Snipe Shot From the Point

Senior defender Regan Boulton has put together another solid season in her fourth year with the Bobcats. She currently ranks third on the team in points (two goals, eight assists) and tied for sixth among the nation's defensemen in points-per-game (1.00).

Points Per Game (Defensemen):                   GP    G- A- P    P/GM
  1 Sarah Edney       Harvard        SO D        4    1- 6- 7    1.75
  2 Erin Ambrose      Clarkson       FR D       10    2-14-16    1.60
  3 Megan Bozek       Minnesota      SR D       12    6-12-18    1.50
  4 Molly Byrne       Mercyhurst     SO D       12    6-10-16    1.33
  5 Blake Bolden      Boston College SR D        7    2- 7- 9    1.29
  6 Alyssa Gagliardi  Cornell        JR D        7    2- 5- 7    1.00
    Francesca Panarelli Holy Cross   SO D        3    0- 3- 3    1.00
    Vaila Higson      Mercyhurst     SO D       12    3- 9-12    1.00
    Mira Jalosuo      Minnesota      SR D       12    3- 9-12    1.00
    Milica McMillen   Minnesota      FR D       12    5- 7-12    1.00
    Regan Boulton     Quinnipiac     SR D       10    2- 8-10    1.00

Senior Saves the Day

Victoria Vigilanti had one of her best games this season against Colgate on Friday afternoon. The senior denied the Raiders and her defense in front blocked multiple shots on the way to a 2-1 victory, tied for the fewest goals allowed in a game all season.

Three-Pronged Attack

The Bobcat offense has consistently been one of the team's strengths to open up the season. Excluding their two shutout losses to Syracuse and Harvard, Quinnipiac has scored at least two goals in every game this season and holds the 10th-best scoring offense in the nation (3.40 goals-per-game average). 

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