Women's Ice Hockey Home For Weekend Series Against Surging No. 3 Clarkson and Red Hot St. Lawrence

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (6-4-2, 3-2-1 ECAC Hockey)
vs. No. 3 Clarkson Green Knights (10-2-0, 4-0-0 ECAC Hockey)
Friday, November 16, 2012 – 7 p.m.
High Point Solutions Arena – Hamden, Conn.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (6-4-2, 3-2-1 ECAC Hockey)
vs. St. Lawrence Saints (6-5-0, 4-0-0 ECAC Hockey)
Saturday, November 17, 2012 – 4 p.m.
High Point Solutions Arena – Hamden, Conn.

Weekend Preview

A tough weekend test looms for the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team as they welcome two of the hottest teams in the nation, No. 3 Clarkson and St. Lawrence, to High Point Solutions Arena. The Green Knights currently stand 10-2 (4-0 ECAC) with their only losses this season coming at the hands of No. 4 Mercyhurst and No. 10 North Dakota by a combined two goals. The No. 3 ranking in the USCHO.com poll is the highest in program-history as the team is loaded with offensive and defensive talent, making the task a difficult one for the Bobcats on Friday night at 7 p.m. The following game features St. Lawrence, a team that has rattled off six straight victories after starting the season 0-5. Despite the shaky start, St. Lawrence played the top three ranked teams in the nation in those first five games and have since gone on to outscore their opponents 23-7 during the six-game winning streak.

Multimedia

Live stats, audio and video for this weekend's games can be accessed by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com

All-Time Against the Green Knights

The Bobcat's success against Clarkson includes a recent upturn despite a lackluster 5-14-2 all-time mark. Just last season, Quinnipiac entered the ECAC Hockey Tournament First Round as the No. 6 seed playing against the No. 3 seeded Green Knights. Traveling up to Potsdam, N.Y. for the best-of-three game series, the Bobcats prevailed in three games. Quinnipiac dominated game one, 4-1, behind multi-point nights from Nicole Kosta (two goals, one assist), Erica Uden Johansson (one goal, two assists) and Kelly Babstock (one goal, one assist). Despite falling, 2-1, in the second game, the Bobcats roared back with a 2-0 series-clinching victory in the third game behind a stellar performance from goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (23 saves) and Kosta's game-winning power-play goal to seal the victory. Game three was the fifth meeting of the season between the two teams as the Bobcats came into the postseason losing their first two contests. Even though Quinnipiac has had varying success of late (3-4-1) over their last eight matchups, the series history has been dominated by the Green Knights, evidence by Quinnipiac's 1-6-1 home record against Clarkson. The Bobcat's only win at home came in their first ever meeting against Clarkson on Nov. 15, 2002 as the team came away with a 5-3 victory. Over 10 years and seven games have gone by without a home victory as Quinnipiac looks to climb over the hill on Friday.

Clarkson Women's Hockey History

Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley guided the Green Knights to a 93-67-18overall record in five seasons holding the head coaching position at Clarkson before taking the job at Quinnipiac. The team became the first in women's college hockey to dawn co-head coaches as Shannon and Matt Desrosiers have led the team to a 85-55-22 overall record in just over four seasons, including their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 where the Green Knights fell to Minnesota, 3-2, in overtime. The 2009-10 team finished with their best conference record in program-history (14-5-3) and received the program's highest ranking in the USCHO.com poll at No. 4. They have since surpassed that ranking this season with the team entering the weekend ranked No. 3 after beginning the year with their best record (10-2) through 12 games in their history. The program has made the ECAC Hockey Playoffs every year since 2004-05 (eight consecutive trips).

Scouting the Green Knights
Selected to finish third in the ECAC Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll, Clarkson has overachieved thus far in the 2012-13 season, earning a No. 3 ranking in the weekly USCHO.com national poll. This year's team is loaded with talent as at least one of their players has taken home an ECAC Hockey Weekly award every week to start the season. Junior goaltender Erica Howe has been one of the nation's best goalies as the three-time ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week and Preseason All-League selection sports a 9-2 record, 1.37 goals-against-average, and .941 save percentage. Their offensive scoring talent is also ranks among the best in the nation as the team ranks eighth in scoring offense (3.50 goals-per-game) and features the second-best power-play at 34 percent (18-for-53). Their dependency on the power-play is evident by the fact that 18 of their 42 goals (42.3 percent) scored on the season have come with the man advantage. Their penalty-kill also isn't too shabby at 90 percent (54-for-60) putting them at third in the nation on combined special teams play. Looking at their roster, the Bobcats will certainly need to focus on junior forward Jaime Lee Rattray who enters the weekend with nine goals and 11 assists to lead the team with 20 points. Rattray certainly has plenty of help as Carly Mercer (four goals, 13 assists), Erin Ambrose (two goals, 14 assists), Danielle Skirrow (seven goals, four assists), and Brittany Styner (three goals, eight assists) all enter Friday with at least 11 points.

All-Time Against the Saints

Since the team's first meeting in 2005, the Saints own the overall advantage as the Bobcats stand 4-9-1 all-time against their conference opponent. However, the Bobcats certainly have recent history on their side as all four of their wins have come in the last five games played. Expect a close game though as the previous six matchups have been decided by one goal four times including one tie and one two-goal victory. Breann Frykas scored twice in a 4-3 loss to St. Lawrence on Feb. 10 of last season while Kelly Babstock dominated the first meeting in a 3-2 win, registering three points (one goal, two assists) on the afternoon.

St. Lawrence Women's Hockey History

The Skating Saints have one of the most stories women's hockey histories of any program in the country. In 2001, St. Lawrence participated in the inaugural NCAA Championship tournament. Beginning as a club team, the women's program has experienced great success since entering Division I in 1997. Currently, the team has made four Frozen Four appearances and was the first school to have both their men and women's programs in the NCAA Division I ice hockey tournament in the same year. The women's team also recorded the first win ever in the history of the NCAA Women's Frozen Four. Just last season the Saints pulled off an improbable run through the ECAC Hockey playoffs as they pulled off three straight upsets to win their first ever ECAC Hockey Tournament Championship. Coming into the playoffs as the No. 5 seed, they ran through No. 4 Dartmouth, No. 2 Harvard, and No. 1 Cornell to claim the title.

Scouting the Saints

St. Lawrence enters the weekend as quite a phenomenon. They lost the first five games of the season by a combined score of 20-3facing the three best teams in the nation in No. 1 Minnesota, No. 2 Cornell, and No. 3 Clarkson. Since then however, they have reeled off six straight victories including a perfect 4-0 mark in ECAC Hockey play as the Saints are back on track and have combined to outscore their opponents 23-7 in those six games. The Saints are led by senior forward Kelly Sabatine who comes into the weekend with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) to lead the team while sophomore goaltender Carmen MacDonald has been on a tear of late, winning six straight decisions and lowering her goals-against-average to 2.29 and save percentage to .912. Sophomore defenseman Amanda Boulier has been one of the best in the conference with one goal and 11 assists after 11 games as she spearheads a Saints defense that has allowed just one goal in five straight games.

Unbeaten Weekend

The goaltenders shined last weekend for the Bobcats as sophomore Chelsea Laden and senior Victoria Vigilanti each posted great results in ECAC Hockey competition. On Friday, Laden posted 16 saves but none bigger than on a two-on-one breakaway attempt for Union. After the puck was passed over at the point, the Dutchwoman skated in on Laden without a Bobcat defender in sight but the Bobcat goalie stonewalled the potential game-winner to preserve the 2-2 tie on Friday night. The following day, Vigilanti denied 30-of-32 Rensselaer shots to come away with her fifth victory of the season. She made several sprawling saves, most impressive of which came with seven seconds to go as she made a save and snagged the puck out of midair to deny any rebound attempt. Kelly Babstock had another outstanding weekend with three points (two goals, one assists) including the game-winner against Rensselaer on Saturday.

Nowhere Near Finished

The two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Week and reigning ECAC Hockey Player of the Month 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 rode a six-goal point streak where she either scored or assisted on six straight Quinnipiac goals, a program-record.

Caution: Hot Surface Do Not Touch

Opponents haven't been able to touch Nicole Kosta of late as she 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 six in her past five games including her first career hat trick on Oct. 27 against Dartmouth.

She Shoots…She Scores…Again

With 13 goals and 15 assists in 12 games this season, Kelly Babstock has either scored or assisted on 28 of the team's 39 goals thus far in the season. She has had a hand in an astonishing 71.8 percent of the team's goals, which is by far the highest percentage of any player in the nation with Mercyhurst's Christine Bestland the next-closest competitor at 52.5 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 along with top defenders Regan Boulton and Cydney Roesler have combined for 25 goals and 48 assists in 12 games to start the season. The 73 points between the five players represents 73.7 percent of the total points for Quinnipiac (99 as a team).

Koasting Right Along

Always pegged as an assist-first player, Nicole Kosta has been one of the primary goal scorers for Quinnipiac in the last few contests. She tallied her first career hat trick in the 8-3 win over Dartmouth, scored two goals against Cornell (tied for the most of any player in a game against the Big Red all season), and scored the first goal in the team's 3-2 win over Rensselaer last Saturday.

Whoever's First Wins

Scoring the game's first goal has been critical all season for the Bobcats as they extended their unbeaten record to 4-0-1 when scoring first whereas they currently stand 2-4-1 when their opponent breaks through with the game's first goal.

Dynamite Ability

Quinnipiac's Kelly Babstock has been found near the top of the nation's statistical leaderboard all season. She currently ranks tied for fifth in points-per-game (2.33), fifth in goals-per-game (1.08), tied for seventh in assists-per-game (1.25), 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 average), joining No. 1 Minnesota's Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessel.

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. Both rank in the top-10 in points-per-game in the nation, each have contributed at least 21 points, with Babstock's 28 (13 goals, 15 assists) and Kosta's 21 (seven goals, 14 assists) leading the way for the Bobcats. They rank as the third-highest scoring duo in the country behind Minnesota's Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessell.

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

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

    Kelly Babstock               Quinnipiac             JR F       12   13-15-28      2.33

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

  8 Marie-Philip Poulin      Boston University   JR F        9     4-12-16        1.78

  9 Sarah Edney                    Harvard                     SO D       4      1- 6- 7           1.75

    Nicole Kosta                    Quinnipiac              SO F      12    7-14-21       1.75

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 99 combined points for the Bobcats this season, Babstock and Kosta have accumulated 49 of those 99 for 49.5 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 impressive passing ability as they both rank in the top-10 nationally in assists-per-game. The two have combined to have a hand on 29-of-39 goals for the team on the season. Babstock has assisted on 38.5 percent (15-of-39) of the team's 39 goals while Kosta is right behind at 35.9 percent (14-of-39) to begin this season. The percentages places them atop the nation's leaderboard in that category.

Assists Per Game:                                                              GP       A       A/GM
  1 Christine Bestland         Mercyhurst           JR F             12      22       1.83
  2 Hannah Brandt               Minnesota             FR F            12      21       1.75
  3 Amanda Kessel               Minnesota              JR F            11      17       1.55
  4 Sarah Edney                     Harvard                  SO D           4        6         1.50
  5 Erin Ambrose                  Clarkson                 FR D          10       14       1.40
  6 Marie-Philip Poulin       Boston University JR F           9        12       1.33

7 Kelly Babstock              Quinnipiac             JR F         12      15       1.25
    Mary Parker                       Harvard                   FR F         4          5        1.25

9 Nicole Kosta                    Quinnipiac            SO F        12      14       1.17
 10 Corey Stearns                  Princeton                SR F         8         9         1.12

Senior Saves the Day

Victoria Vigilanti and the Bobcat defense had one of their best games of the season against Rensselaer. The senior denied the Engineers and her defense in front blocked multiple shots on the way to a 3-2 victory. Her 30 saves are the second-most for any Bobcat goaltender on the season.

Brownie Points

Quinnipiac freshman Nicole Brown had a standout weekend for the Bobcats, scoring one goal in both games including the first of her career on Friday against Union. The shot came off an odd-man rush up ice as she unleashed a rocket slap shot from the point that deflected off the post and in.

Sid the Kid is Feldting Good

In Saturday's 3-2 win over Rensselaer, freshman defender Cydney Roseler and sophomore forward Anna Borgfeldt combined with the assists on a Nicole Brown goal less than five minutes into the first period. For Roseler, it was her third of the season and Borgfeldt's second career after entering this season without registering any career points.

Lethal Power-Play

Of the 39 Quinnipiac goals in the 2012-13 season, 14 (35.9 percent) of them have come off the power-play. With the mark at 25.9 percent (14-of-54) throughout the season the Bobcats rank sixth in the nation on the man advantage and their proficiency when it comes to their total team production ranks among the best 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 sixth among the ECAC Hockey's defensemen in points-per-game (0.83).

Two-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 11th-best scoring offense in the nation (3.25 goals per-game).

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