PROVIDENCE, R.I. – For just the second time in program history, the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team clinches the No. 4 seed and will host a home ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series against No. 5 St. Lawrence after their 4-0 win over Brown on Saturday from Meeham Auditorium. Senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) and the Bobcat defense continued to dominate as recorded 24 saves for her second consecutive shutout, fourth of the season and 25th of her career. Quinnipiac (19-10-4, 13-6-3 ECAC Hockey) closes out the 2012-13 regular season with their most conference victories in program history while Brown finishes the season 6-20-1 (5-17 ECAC Hockey).
The Bobcats came into Saturday one point behind St. Lawrence in the ECAC Hockey standings and received just the help they needed with a 7-2 Dartmouth win over the Saints from Hanover, N.H. Quinnipiac's victory gives them 29 points compared to the Saints' 28 as the Bobcats will host a ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series for the first time since 2010 and just the second time ever.
Vigilanti posted her second straight shutout, increasing her streak to nine games allowing no more than one goal. The victory was also the 70th in Vigilanti's career as she closes the regular season with a 17-8-3 record. The senior goalie has posted a .975 save percentage (197 saves on 202 shots) and 0.58 goals-against average over the nine-game span.
Four different goal scorers highlighted the Bobcats' effort as junior Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden), senior Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba), junior Shelby Wignall (Hamilton, Ontario) and freshmen Nicole Connery (Newmarket, Ontario) all tallied one goal. Uden Johansson (one goal, one assist) also finished with her second straight multi-point game to give her 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) this season.
The Bobcat power play, the fifth-best in the nation at 23.4 percent, struck for the game's first goal at 14:24 in the first period. Less than one minute into the man advantage, Babstock possessed the puck on a breakout up ice. She initially looked for her shot but spotted an open senior Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) at the point. Her back pass was received by Boulton and immediately passed over to Uden Johansson waiting at the right faceoff dot. The junior forward rifled a shot past the sprawling Brown goalie Katie Jamieson to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. The goal was Uden Johansson's 11th of the season, sixth on the power play, while Babstock and Boulton registered their 27th and 24th assists, respectively. Babstock finishes 2012-13 with a share of the ECAC Hockey scoring title as her 55 points (28 goals, 27 assists) match Cornell's Brianne Jenner.
Another opportunity eight minutes into the period wasn't wasted this time by Quinnipiac as Frykas scored her third goal of the season, 25th of her career and first since Nov. 17, 2012 against St. Lawrence (10 games). The puck was cleared out by Brown but picked up by freshman Cydney Roesler (Stittsville, Ontario). Her pass left went to Frykas who crossed to sophomore Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa). The Fritz-Ward shot bounced through traffic in front of Jamieson before it was knocked home by Frykas streaking in from the blue line. Roesler's assist was her ninth of the season while Fritz-Ward's assist was her fifth.
The second period ended with another Quinnipiac goal that came off a broken play. Freshman Nicole Brown (Oshawa, Ontario) back passed to senior Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) at the point. Vieweg's pass over to Wignall was barely kept in by the junior defender but she kept her composure and skated in for a slap shot. Jamieson was shielded by several players in front and the low line drive beat the unsuspecting Brown goaltender to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead.
Connery's goal at 5:44 in the third period gave the Bobcats a four-goal cushion. Uden Johansson took a pass from freshman Kristen Tamberg (North Toronto, Ontario) and spotted the freshman skating in from the blue line. The centering pass fond Connery's stick and she knew what to do with the puck, scoring her 10th of the season. The assists went to Uden Johansson and Tamberg, their 13th and sixth of the year, respectively.
The Bobcats will now refocus on the playoffs as the team has made their fourth straight postseason appearance. Quinnipiac won the season series against St. Lawrence with a 6-4 win in Hamden and 1-1 tie in Canton, N.Y. and will take on the Saints in a three-game series next weekend. Game one is set for Friday at 7:00 p.m. from High Point Solutions Arena.
ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals (best-of-three series) Friday-Sunday, March 1-3, 2013
No. 8 Colgate (11-19-3, 6-13-3 ECAC Hockey) @ No. 1 Cornell (23-5-1, 18-3-1 ECAC Hockey)
No. 5 St. Lawrence (17-12-5, 12-6-4 ECAC Hockey) @ No. 4 Quinnipiac (19-10-4, 13-6-3 ECAC Hockey)
No. 6 Dartmouth (16-8-5, 11-7-4 ECAC Hockey) @ No. 3 Harvard (20-5-3, 16-3-2 ECAC Hockey)
No. 7 Rensselaer (10-20-4, 8-12-2 ECAC Hockey) @ No. 2 Clarkson (26-8, 18-4 ECAC Hockey)
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com