HAMDEN, Conn. – In what amounts to a game of inches, the No. 4 seed Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team couldn't get the breaks to fall their way as they were eliminated from the ECAC Hockey playoffs after a 2-0 loss to No. 5 St. Lawrence on Sunday from High Point Solutions Arena. After coming through with a dramatic 3-2 victory in three overtimes the night before to force a Game Three in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals, the Saints were able to withstand the initial Bobcat rush and their two first period goals held up in regulation for the series-clinching victory. The Bobcats finish the season 20-12-4 in what was the final home game in the careers of six illustrious Quinnipiac seniors.
Senior Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario), who was playing in her 133rd career game, took the hard luck loss after a 19-save performance. She closes out her career as the all-time Quinnipiac leader in every statistical category including wins (71), saves (3257), goals-against average (1.68), save percentage (.931) and shutouts (25).
Five more seniors also finished up illustrious careers on Sunday as this core group helped lift the team to their first playoff appearance back in 2010 and closed out with four straight postseason trips. Senior captain Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba) finishes with the second-most points (77) of any skater to lace it up as a Bobcat after totaling a career-high 30 (six goals, 24 assists) in what was a stellar senior year. Senior forward Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) closed out her career with a career-high 16 goals this season and the third-most career tallies (39) of any player in program history. Senior assistant captain Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) won a national championship in her sophomore season at Wisconsin before transfering to Quinnipiac and scoring 14 goals in two seasons with the team. Senior forward Kristen Eklund (Barrington, R.I.) was the vocal leader throughout her four seasons with the team and supplied her team with much needed speed and energy. Finally, senior defenseman Felica Vieweg (Port Orange, Fla.) was the pinnacle of consistency as she leaves with the most games-played (147) of any Bobcat in program history.
The Bobcats played the Saints tough throughout but a few timely goals from St. Lawrence were enough to dispatch Quinnipiac. Vigilanti and the Bobcat defense were up to the task in the early going as they staved off multiple scoring chances before the St. Lawrence power play had their first opportunity of the game. A little over 12 minutes into the first stanza, Saint forward Rylee Smith slapped the puck up to Michelle Ng near the blue line. Ng carried the puck in and after a couple passes back-and-forth, Brooke Fernandez unleashed a rocket slap shot from the point that found the back of the net to give her team a 1-0 lead.
The Saints struck again less than six minutes later with a fortuitous goal at 18:27. With the puck loose at center ice, Fernandez slapped the puck up to Kayla Sullivan. She moved in on the defense, stopped at the left faceoff dot and fired a shot on net. The initial shot was turned aside by Vigilanti but the rebound was poked home by the Saints' leading scorer Kelly Sabatine for her 18th goal of the season.
For the remainder of the contest, the Bobcats fought hard for loose pucks and did everything they could to find an open shot on Saint goalie Carmen MacDonald. The sophomore netminder however, was once again dominate as she posted 34 saves including a game-high 15 in the second period. MacDonald and the Saint defense limited the ECAC Hockey's second-leading scorer junior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) scoreless in all three games as all 28 of her shots on net throughout the series went without a goal. For the series, MacDonald posted 137 saves on 140 shots (.979 save percentage) with two shutouts in three games.
Quinnipiac appeared to finally break through with three minutes remaining in the third period as the goal light went off after Babstock appeared to knock home a rebound on MacDonald. The referees however took a look at the replay and determined the junior forward kicked in the goal so they waved off what would have been the Bobcats' first goal.
The Saints will move on to play the No. 1 seed Cornell Big Red from Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. in the ECAC Hockey Semifinals while Quinnipiac closes out the season and the careers of six of their seniors.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com