Crucial ECAC Hockey Points on the Line This Weekend for Women's Ice Hockey; Bobcats Travel to St. Lawrence and No. 6 Clarkson

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (17-9-3, 11-5-2 ECAC Hockey)
@ St. Lawrence Saints (16-11-3, 11-5-2 ECAC Hockey)
Friday, February 15, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
Appleton Arena – Canton, N.Y.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (17-9-3, 11-5-2 ECAC Hockey)
@ No. 6 Clarkson Golden Knights (23-7-0, 15-3-0 ECAC Hockey)
Saturday, February 16, 2013 – 3:00 p.m.
Cheel Arena – Potsdam, N.Y.

On the Road Again

After a pivotal home weekend sweep of No. 4 Cornell and Colgate, the Bobcats (17-9-3, 11-5-2 ECAC Hockey) take to the road for two must-win games against St. Lawrence (16-11-3, 11-5-2 ECAC Hockey) and No. 6 Clarkson (23-7, 15-3 ECAC Hockey) if the team has hopes of hosting their ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal matchup. Currently tied with the Saints for fourth place in the ECAC Hockey point standings with 24 each, a victory over St. Lawrence would give the Bobcats a season sweep and two points over their conference foe. After Friday's contest the Bobcats will hit the road just a couple towns over for a matchup with the No. 6 nationally-ranked Golden Knights. Quinnipiac looks to avenge their 4-1 loss earlier this season to Clarkson and hope to do so at a place, Cheel Arena, where they last defeated the Golden Knights in the 2012 ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals.

All-Time Against the Saints

Since the team's first meeting in 2005, the Saints own the overall advantage as the Bobcats stand 5-9-1 all-time against their conference opponent. However, the Bobcats certainly have recent history on their side as all five wins have come in the last six games played. Expect a close game though as the previous seven matchups have been decided by one goal four times including one tie and two two-goal victories. Five different skaters scored for the Bobcats earlier this season as Quinnipiac took down St. Lawrence at home, 6-4.

St. Lawrence Women's Hockey History

The Saints have one of the most storied 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

The Bobcats need a victory against the Saints to pass them in the ECAC Hockey point standings as both teams enter the weekend with 24 points and tied for the fourth and final spot that determines home ice in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal round. The Saints come into Friday's game with revenge on their mind after falling to the Bobcats, 6-4, earlier this season. Kelly Sabatine spearheads the St. Lawrence offensive attack with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) while their back line is led by the tandem of Amanda Boulier (seven goals, 21 assists) and Brooke Fernandez (six goals, 17 assists) who each are number one and two, respectively, in the ECAC Hockey for goals by a defenseman. Depth of scoring certainly isn't an issue for the Saints as all but three of their regular skaters have scored at least one goal this season. The Saints also play much better from the home confines of Appleton Arena (10-6 mark) than they do on the road (6-5-3 record).

All-Time Against the Golden Knights

The Bobcat's success against Clarkson includes a recent upturn despite a less-than-stellar 5-15-2 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 (3-5-1) over their last nine matchups, the series history has been dominated by the Green Knights, evidence by Quinnipiac's 4-8-1 mark against Clarkson on the road. Before the 2012 ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals, the Bobcats had won just one in their previous eight matchups facing Clarkson in Potsdam.

Clarkson Women's Hockey History

Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley guided the Green Knights to a 93-67-18 overall 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 98-60-22 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 Golden Knights

The first matchup of the season against the two teams went in favor of No. 6 Clarkson, 4-1. Five-time ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week Erica Howe was dominate in net, making 36 saves, while Jaime Lee Rattray scored three of the team's four goals in the victory. Clarkson makes their living on the defensive end as they come into the weekend with the fourth-best scoring defense in the country, allowing just 1.63 goals per-game. Howe has put together five shutouts this season while her goals-against average (1.66), save percentage (.933) and winning percentage (.759) ranks in the top-10 amongst goalies in Division I. The Bobcats also need to contain the Golden Knight's top scorer in Rattray (17 goals, 25 assists) who comes in with seven power-play goals, two shorthanded, seven game-winners and has had a hand in nearly half of her team's goals this season. Freshman defenseman Erin Ambrose (four goals, 25 assists) has been among the top-five defenseman in the country in points per-game average throughout the entire season and demands attention from the blue line. Clarkson has been ranked in the USCHO.com Top-10 all season and come in with the top spot in the ECAC Hockey point standings.

Last Time Out

The Bobcats came away with four points last weekend as they swept their final weekend home series of the season. Quinnipiac made a little program history along the way as they took down No. 4 Cornell, 4-1, on Friday for their first ever home victory over the Big Red. It was also their second win over a Top 5 ranked program as well as their first win over Cornell since Nov. 18, 2006 (14 straight winless). Victoria Vigilanti played big in net with 32 saves while Kelly Babstock's three points (two goals, one assist) led the way on offense. After several postponements and delays due to inclement weather, the Bobcats finally took to the ice against Colgate in what was the Senior Day for the six Quinnipiac upperclassmen. They made the most of what could be their final home game with a 4-1 victory over the Raiders. Vigilanti (21 saves), Babstock (one goal, one assist), Nicole Kosta (one goal, one assist) and Regan Boulton (two assists) helped secure the victory and moving the Bobcats' unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1).

National Recognition

For the first time since Oct. 8, 2012, the Bobcats received votes in the USCHO.com national poll on Monday. Unbeaten (5-0-1) in their last six, the Bobcats received two votes in the USCHO.com poll and the No. 11 ranking in the PairWise is their highest of the season.

There's a First For Everything

The Bobcats took down No. 4 Cornell on Friday, 4-1, for their first win ever over the Big Red at home. Quinnipiac was also winless (0-10-4) against Cornell in their previous 14 meetings until the Bobcats finally scored the elusive victory on Friday.

Upset Alert

The No. 4 Cornell Big Red matches the highest-ranked opponent Quinnipiac has ever beaten. The Bobcats also took down then-No. 4 ranked Boston College, 2-1, in overtime on Nov. 22, 2011. It was the first win in regulation over at Top-5 program in school history.

Two for the Road

For the second time this season, Kelly Babstock and Victoria Vigilanti both won ECAC Hockey Weekly awards in the same week. Babstock took home Player of the Week honors for the fourth time this season, most among all ECAC Hockey players, after recording five points including back-to-back multi-goal games to lead the Bobcat offense. Vigilanti claimed Goaltender of the Week honors after denying 53-of-55 shots over the weekend and limiting both teams to just one goal in each game, including No. 4 Cornell who came in as the third-highest scoring offense in the nation. 

Senior Sendoff

The six Bobcat seniors certainly had their moments on Senior Day Sunday at the High Point Solutions Arena. Following the pregame ceremonies, four of the five senior skaters finished with at least one points while Vigilanti made 21 saves in net to land her the victory. Regan Boulton (two assists), Felica Vieweg (one goal), Kristen Eklund (one assist) and Brittany Lyons (one assist) all got in on the scoring action in their final regular season home game.

Milestone(s) Reached

Sunday's game featured a pair of significant moments for the Bobcats as Regan Boulton moved past Vicky Graham '05 for second place on Quinnipiac's all-time scoring list. Boulton now stands at 75 career points (23 goals, 52 assist) while Graham's 73 (36 goals, 37 assists) is now third on the all-time list. Kelly Babstock also got into the action, scoring her 75th career goal and 150th career point after she netted a power-play goal to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead in the second period against Colgate.

Flashing the Leather

Victoria Vigilanti stood on her head all weekend for Quinnipiac, making big save after big save to finish the weekend with 53 saves on 55 shots (.964 save percentage) and allowing just one goal in each game to help lift her team to the victories. Now unbeaten in her last five appearances (4-0-1), Vigilanti is riding a .970 save percentage and 0.53 goals-against average into the weekend over the unbeaten streak.

I'm Liking the Variety

Kelly Babstock scored three empty-net goals over the weekend including one shorthanded against No. 4 Cornell as well as a power-play goal. Babstock now has 28 total goals on the season including four on the power play, three shorthanded, four game-winners and four game-tying goals.

Picking It Up

In the past five games for the Bobcats, only the ECAC Hockey's second-leading scorer Kelly Babstock has scored more points than senior teammate Regan Boulton. Highlighted by back-to-back games with two assists over the weekend (seven for the season), Boulton has tallied eight points (one goal, seven assists) over the past five game. Sunday's game also featured her jumping past Vicky Graham for second place in the all-time Quinnipiac scoring list.

Moving On Up

Boulton's play of late has sent her surging up the national leaderboard in terms of points per game among defenseman. Her 28 points through 29 games (0.97 points per game average) puts her second among all ECAC Hockey defenders and tied for fourth in the nation among all defensemen behind the likes of North Dakota's Monique Lamoureux, Minnesota's Megan Bozek, Clarkson's Erin Ambrose and tied with Mercyhurst's Molly Byrne.

Space For Rent

The Bobcats finished their weekend home series with only 12 penalty minutes as they continue to rank as the least-penalized team in the nation, a spot they've held for a majority of the season. Quinnipiac averages just 6.1 penalty minutes per-game while their next-closest competitor (Bemidji State) averages 6.8 minutes per-game.

Babs Strikes Again

With another five points (four goals, one assist) over the weekend, junior forward Kelly Babstock moves her  total to 52 points (28 goals, 24 assists) on the season, good for second place in the ECAC Hockey standings behind Cornell's Brianne Jenner. She already bested her point total from last season and is just seven points shy of matching her program record 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists) achieved during her freshman year. 

Helping Hand

The team-leader in assists, sophomore forward Nicole Kosta, has remained in the top-three in the ECAC Hockey in helpers as her season total currently stands at 27. Kosta enters the weekend having already broken her freshman year assist total while she already has established a new career high in goals (11) after totaling eight in 2011-12. 

Blue Line Power

Senior defenseman Regan Boulton has had herself a standout year, posting 28 points (five goals, 23 assists) this season. She already has established a single-season career high in assists and just recently broke her previous single season career high in points (21) established last season where she was named to the All-ECAC Third Team.

And the Winner is...Boulton
Regan Boulton came into the weekend with 71 career points which stood fourth all-time in the Quinnipiac record books while fellow teammate Nicole Kosta was not far behind with 69 career points. They both sat fourth and fifth, respectively, on the career points list in Quinnipiac history. After Boulton's four points outmatched Kosta's two from the weekend series, Boulton now sits in second place on the all-time scoring list while Kosta moved up to fourth.

Points – Career
1.            151         Kelly Babstock (76 goals, 75 assists)
2.            75           Regan Boulton (23 goals, 52 assists)
3.            73           Vicky Graham '05 (36 goals, 37 assists)
4.            72           Elyse Cole '09 (43 goals, 29 assists)
5.            71           Nicole Kosta (19 goals, 52 assists)

Ms. Reliable

Senior defenseman Felica Vieweg has been one of the most durable players the program has ever seen. She has played in every collegiate game since becoming a Bobcat in 2009, giving her 140 consecutive games played. Vieweg already is in the top-five in Quinnipiac history and is a mere five games away from matching Chelsea Illchuk and Bethany Dymarczyk for the most in program history with 145 games played. 

Extra Attacker Goals

One of the biggest strengths for the Bobcats this season has been their 23.5 percent clip (27-for-115) on the power play, good for sixth-best in the nation. Of the 91 Quinnipiac goals this season, 27 (29.7 percent) of them have come off the power play.

On the Plus Side

Quinnipiac's Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta both have been instrumental in the team's success thus far in the season, evidenced by their +32 and +31 plus/minus rating through 29 games, respectively. They hold the second and third spots in the ECAC Hockey standings as Babstock sits behind Harvard's Jillian Dempsey for first place while Kosta is tied for third with Cornell's Brianne Jenner.

Kosting Right Along

Nicole Kosta continues her breakout season as her season total stands at 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) that ranks sixth in the ECAC Hockey. She continues to lead the team with 27 assists on the year. Kosta already bested her numbers from last year as she finished the 2011-12 season with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists) through 34 games.

She Shoots…She Scores…Again

With 28 goals and 24 assists in 29 games this season, Kelly Babstock has either scored or assisted on 52 of the team's 91 goals thus far in the season. She has had a hand in an astonishing 57.1 percent of the team's goals, which is the highest percentage of any player in the nation with Wisconsin's Brianna Decker the next-closest competitor at 53.5 percent.

Points Galore

Since her first game freshman year, not counting exhibitions, Kelly Babstock has recorded at least one point in 76 of the 94 games that Quinnipiac has not been shutout.

2010-11: 28-of-33
2011-12: 25-of-36
2012-13: 23-of-25 (current season)

Top-of-the-Line Production

The Bobcat's top offensive and defensive lines have completely dominated the Quinnipiac scoring throughout the season. The production of top forwards Kelly Babstock, Nicole Kosta, and Erica Uden Johansson along with top defenders Regan Boulton and Cydney Roesler have combined for 53 goals and 92 assists in 29 games throughout the season. The 145 points between the five players represents 63.0 percent of the total points for Quinnipiac (230 as a team).

Dynamite Ability

Kelly Babstock has been found near the top of the nation's statistical leaderboard all season. She currently ranks 9th in points per game (1.79), 6th in goals-per-game (0.97), 20th in assists-per-game (0.83), tied for 11th in game-winning goals (four), and tied for 2nd in shorthanded goals (three). She is one of only six players to own a spot in the nation's top-10 points per game, top-10 goals per game, and top 20 assists per game.

Everything You Can Do I Can Do Better

Teammates Kelly Babstock and Nicole Kosta have combined to be one the most impressive tandems in the country thus far. Both rank in the top-20 in points-per-game in the nation, each have contributed at least 38 points, with Babstock's 52 (28 goals, 24 assists) and Kosta's 38 (11 goals, 27 assists) leading the way for the Bobcats. They rank as the fifth-highest scoring duo in the country.

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 team's 230 combined points for the Bobcats this season, Babstock and Kosta have accumulated 90 of those 230 for 39.1 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 but she and Kelly Babstock have shown impressive passing ability as they rank both in the top-20 nationally in assists-per-game. The two have combined to have a hand on 59-of-91 goals for the team on the season. Kosta has assisted on 29.7 percent (27-of-91) while Babstock has assisted on 26.4 percent (24-of-91) of the team's 91 goals this season. Kosta's percentage places her eighth in the nation's leaderboard in that category while Babstock sits right behind in 12th place.

Right Behind
Kelly Babstock comes into the weekend with 151 points which stands eighth among active Division I players. Babstock's point total is the fourth-most among active juniors and her 76 goals is the second-most behind Minnesota's Amanda Kessel who has posted 91 goals in her three years with the Golden Gophers.

Active Leaders in Points
1.            266         Jocelyne Lamoureux          Sr.           North Dakota
2.            249         Monique Lamoureux          Sr.           North Dakota
3.            233         Brianna Decker                  Sr.           Wisconsin
4.            219         Amanda Kessel                  Jr.            Minnesota
5.            161         Christine Bestland             Jr.            Mercyhurst
6.            161         Brianne Jenner                   Jr.            Cornell
7.            160         Isabel Menard                    Sr.           Boston University
8.           151         Kelly Babstock                  Jr.           Quinnipiac
9.            143         Jillian Dempsey Sr.           Harvard
10.          137         Kelly Sabatine                    Sr.           St. Lawrence      

The Wins Keep on Coming

Victoria Vigilanti already eclipsed the career win total of every Quinnipiac goalie, male or female, in program history. Now she is looking to further her claim as one of the greatest goalies in ECAC Hockey history as she currently ranks third among active goalies throughout Division I in wins (68).

 Active Goalie Leaders in Wins

  1. 104         Noora Raty                     Sr.           Minnesota
  2. 77           Alex Rigsby                     Sr.           Wisconsin
  3. 68          Victoria Vigilanti            Sr.          Quinnipiac
  4. 58           Laura Bellamy                 Sr.           Harvard
  5. 55           Kerrin Sperry                   Jr.            Boston University
  6. 54           Erica Howe                      Jr.            Clarkson
  7. 46           Corinne Boyles                Sr.           Boston College
  8. 44           Lindsay Holdcroft            Jr.            Dartmouth
  9. 44           Lauren Slebodnick          Jr.            Cornell
  10. 38           Laura Chamberlain         Jr.            RIT
 

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