November 15, 2013

No. 7/9 Women's Ice Hockey Stuns No. 5 Boston College in Final Minutes of 3-2 Victory; Bobcats' Third Ever Win over Top 5 Team

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HAMDEN, Conn. – After playing over 57 minutes of captivating hockey against the No. 5 ranked team in the nation, the No. 7/9 Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team's junior forward Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich.) scored a thrilling, game-winning goal with 2:57 left on the clock to skate away 3-2 winners over Boston College. The victory is the Bobcats' third in program history over a team ranked in the nation's Top 5 and just the fourth ever in 22 chances against the Eagles. Quinnipiac's triumph in stunning fashion moves their record to 9-1-3 (3-1-2 ECAC Hockey) while Boston College's four game winning streak comes to an end as they fall to 9-3 (5-1 WHEA).

The victory is a monumental achievement for the Quinnipiac women's ice hockey program as this marks the third straight season they've defeated a Top 5 ranked team after not having done so in the program's first 10 years of existence. This win joins the Bobcats' 2-1 overtime victory over then No. 4 ranked Boston College on Nov. 22, 2011 and their 4-1 win over No. 4 Cornell on Feb. 8, 2013 as the only victories over Top 5 ranked programs. The Bobcats also improve their all-time record against Boston College to 4-15-3 in 22 meetings.

Darkangelo's game-winning goal came after Boston College found a power-play equalizer just over four minutes prior in the third period. Quinnipiac killed off the remaining two minutes-plus of a double minor penalty and continued to apply pressure to the Eagles' back defensive line. The crowd erupted after freshman Meghan Turner (Bedford, N.H.) found senior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) open in the neutral zone. The Bobcats' all-time leading scorer created an odd-man rush and sent over a beautiful crossing pass to Darkangelo at the far post. Shielding off a Boston College defender, Darkangelo put a stick on the seeing-eye pass and the puck caromed up high and into the back of the net.

The game-winner for Darkangelo was the second of the night for the junior forward as she now has two multi-goal games on the season. Babstock added two assists to up her team-leading total to 12 on the season. It was also her fifth game with at least two assists this year which leads the team and tied for the lead of any player in the nation. Turner saw a great deal of time on the first line with Darkangelo and Babstock on Friday and certainly made the most of it with her first multi-assist game of her career.

Backing up the Bobcats' offense was the play of their junior goalie Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minn.) who made 22 saves in net, including a couple key pad saves in the waning seconds to preserve the win. Laden, who has been the nation's best statistical goalie all season, picked up her ninth win and lowered her nation-leading goals against average to 0.94 with the victory.

Laden and the Bobcat blue liners did a fantastic job on the Eagles' Haley Skarupa, the nation's leading scorer coming into play. Skarupa led the country in points (21) and goals (12) coming into Friday and the Bobcats held her to no goals and just one assist with only one shot-on-goal for the entire 60 minutes of play.

The Bobcats came out in the first period and nearly doubled the Eagles in shots, 11-6, but trailed on the scoreboard heading into the intermission, 1-0. Boston College picked up a first period goal off the stick of a deflected puck from Kristyn Capizzano. Meagan Mangene took a shot from the slot that was heading wide but deflected past Laden for the early lead.

The pace and flow of the game shifted to the Bobcats as the second period started, beginning with a game-tying goal from Darkangelo at 14:36. Turner found Babstock along the boards after the freshman carried the puck past a couple Boston College defensemen on a breakout. Babstock then found Darkangelo at the far post and the junior forward wrapped around the net, waited for the goalie Corinne Boyles to react and then she poked it past her five-hole to make it 1-1.

After Skarupa was sent to the sin bin on a tripping violation, the Bobcat power play took full advantage with a go-ahead goal from senior Amanda Colin (Burnsville, Minn.). Sophomore Nicole Connery (Newmarket, Ontario) patiently waited for her offense to come back into the Eagles' defensive zone as she found sophomore Kristen Tamberg (North Toronto, Ontario) at the point. She took a shot on net followed by another jab by junior Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa). The puck was still free and waiting for Colin at the far post and she banged home the goal on an open net to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.

Boston College controlled play early in the third period, outshooting the Bobcats 11-6 in the final frame, but the Bobcat defense was holding serve until the 12:34 mark. After the Bobcats suffered a double minor penalty, the Eagles netted a goal from Andie Anastos as Capizzani found her with a nice pass in the crease.

With a little under two minutes remaining on the Boston College power play, Quinnipiac held the Eagles without a shot through the rest of the man advantage and that swung momentum back onto the sticks of the Bobcats. Quinnipiac pressured the Eagles' defense and Boyles as she held serve before Babstock and Darkangleo's connection with less than three minutes remaining.

The No. 7/9 Bobcats will look to sweep a pair of Hockey East opponents as they take on New Hampshire at 3:00 pm tomorrow from High Point Solutions Arena.

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