November 28, 2013

No. 7/8 Women's Ice Hockey Plays Host to the 10th Annual Nutmeg Classic, Will Play RIT in First Round on Friday

­No. 7/8 Quinnipiac Bobcats (10-2-5­, 3-2-4 ECAC Hockey) vs.
RIT Tigers (8-6-1, 4-1-1 College Hockey America)
Friday, November 29, 2013 – 4:00 pm
High Point Solutions Arena – Hamden, Conn.

Multimedia vs. RIT
Live Stats
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Quinnipiac Game Notes
2013 Nutmeg Hockey Classic Tournament Info

 
All of Connecticut Converges on Hamden
The No. 7/8 nationally-ranked Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team will play host to the 10th annual Nutmeg Classic this weekend from High Point Solutions Arena. The annual tradition gathers the three schools out of the Nutmeg State (UConn, Yale, and Quinnipiac) to compete in a tournament along with one other regional program (RIT) that changes every year. The Bobcats will be looking to claim their fourth title as they will face the Tigers in the First Round on Friday at 4 pm. UConn will be in search for their fifth championship while Yale has advanced to the Championship Game more than any other team (seven) but has claimed only one title. The winner of the Yale vs. UConn game will play the winner of the game between the Tigers and Bobcats on Saturday at 4 pm while the two teams that lose in the First Round will square off in the Consolation Game on Saturday at 1 pm.

All-Time Against the Tigers
First all-time meeting against RIT.

Scouting RIT
In only their second year as a Division I program, the RIT Tigers have quickly elevated themselves into the conversation as one of the up-and-coming teams in the country. Playing in the College Hockey American Conference, they advanced to the Semifinals in their first ever playoff appearance last season and nearly advanced to the Championship as they fell to Syracuse in overtime, 2-1. The Tigers finished the 2012-13 season with a 16-16-5 record and 7-8-5 mark in CHA play. A year later, RIT hasn't disappointed as they come into the Nutmeg Classic with an 8-6-1 record and 4-1-1 conference record. They are just coming off a split with the then-No. 10 ranked Mercyhurst at home as they currently stand in second place in the conference standings. RIT's 3-2 loss to Mercyhurst on Saturday snapped their Division I team record five game unbeaten streak but among their more impressive victories this season include a 3-2 win over New Hampshire on the road, 6-0 shutout victory over Vermont, and defeating Mercyhurst at home 2-1. Quinnipiac will have to deal with a talented roster on Friday that features the nation's fourth-highest active career scorer in senior forward Kourtney Kunichika who also leads the team this season in points with 12 (five goals, seven assists). Kunichika is tied for fourth along with Clarkson's Carly Mercer for the most points among active players in career points as she is up to 124 (49 goals, 75 assists) in her three-plus full seasons. Complementing the great all-around ability of Kunichika is the goal scoring threat posed by junior forward Kolbee McCrea who leads the team with seven goals this season and is fourth among active players in the nation with 51 career tallies. McCrea has the most career goals of any active junior in the country as she is the perfect complement to the lethal threat posed by Kunichika. Heading up the defensive effort is junior Morgan Scoyne who comes into the weekend tied with McCrea for second place on the team in points as she has tallied 10 (one goal, nine assists) this season. Her nine assists lead the team while her point total ranks up along with some of the nation leaders among defensemen. Rounding out the team's featured players is their junior goaltender Ali Binnington who has molder herself into one of the nation's premier goalies with an 8-4-1 record, 1.97 GAA, .933 save percentage and three shutouts in 13 starts. Binnington has done her best work of late as she is 6-1-1 with a 1.13 GAA and .958 save percentage in her last eight games. The first all-time meeting between the Bobcats and Tigers shapes up to be a good one as both rank in the upper half of teams in scoring defense while both also possess some dangerous skaters on the offensive end that have dominated for the better part of their careers.

Last Time Out
The Bobcats offense continued to struggle as they ventured down to Princeton and skated to a 1-1 tie against the Tigers. Junior Shiann Darkangelo banged in the Bobcats' only goal of the game in the first period while Chelsea Laden totaled 27 saves in net to help preserve the result. The game appeared to be in hand late in the third period as Quinnipiac just started a five minute power play with a little over seven minutes to go but Princeton was able to score a game-tying shorthanded goal to help give them one point in the ECAC Hockey standings. Quinnipiac maintained their spot in fifth place in the conference standings while Princeton remains one point behind them in sixth place.

Nutmeg Classic History
The annual tradition pitting all three Connecticut schools against one another began back in 2004 with UConn taking the Championship over Yale. Since that first meeting the game the tournament transformed into a four team competition in 2007 and now features a rotating regional team paired against the Nutmeg State competition (UConn, Yale and Quinnipiac). RIT joins the fray this year in the 10th annual Nutmeg Classic as they will play the Bobcats in the First Round on Friday.

Title Winners
The Connecticut Huskies have won the most Nutmeg Classic titles of any team with four while Quinnipiac is second with three and Yale is tied with Boston College at one Championship. The Bulldogs, however, have advanced to more Championship Game appearances (seven) than any other team.

Year-by-Year Nutmeg Classic Champions
2004: UConn
2005: Quinnipiac
2006: Yale
2007: UConn
2008: UConn
2009: UConn
2010: Quinnipiac
2011: Quinnipiac
2012: Boston College

High Risers
The Bobcats' amazing start to the season has reflected in the national polls as the team just earned the No. 8 ranking in the USCHO.com and the No. 7 spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine weekly poll distributed early this week. Quinnipiac received 57 points among the USCHO.com votes and 67 in the USA Today poll as the Bobcats are entering their seventh straight week with a national ranking which also represents another record.

Unbeaten Streak Continues
The Bobcats were riding a six-game winning streak against the Princeton Tigers coming into Tuesday's tilt and even though Quinnipiac wasn't able to pull out the victory, they extended their unbeaten streak to seven games. It was the first tie in the series history since Jan. 31, 2009 (nine games) and the first draw in Princeton since Oct. 21, 2007 (12 games).   

Crazy Eight
The trend this season on the offensive end for Quinnipiac has been with the play of their senior forward Kelly Babstock. Wearing the jersey number eight, Babstock has been the key to the Bobcats' success as all 12 games in which she has registered at least one point has not resulted in a Quinnipiac loss (10-0-2). 

Lack of Separation
In what has turned out to be a sprout and dynamic back-and-forth rivalry, Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence have now gone 12 straight games playing each other to a result decided by two goals or less. The last time either side beat the other by more than two goals was back on Feb. 13, 2009. It also marks the fourth time in five games these two teams have played into the overtime periods to decide a winner.

Lading Down the Law
The sensational ride for junior goalie Chelsea Laden continued on Tuesday against the Tigers as she posted 27 saves and allowed just one goal in 65 minutes of action. Laden has now allowed two goals or less in 15 of her 17 appearances this season. After another outstanding start in net her goals against average (1.06), save percentage (.948) and shutouts (five) all still rank in the Top 3 among the entire crop of goaltenders in the nation.

Beating the Best
Quinnipiac's 3-2 victory over Boston College marked the third win ever for the Bobcats over a team ranked in the Top 5 and their fourth win ever over the Eagles in 22 attempts (4-15-3 record). Their win also marked the third straight season in which the Bobcats have taken down a Top 5 team after not having done so in their first 10 years of the program's existence.

Wild Win over the Wildcats
After nine prior attempts, the 10th meeting between the Bobcats and New Hampshire was the first that ended in a Quinnipiac victory in their all-time series history. Coming in with a winless 0-8-1 record against the Wildcats, the Bobcats defeated New Hampshire, 2-1, to score their first win ever over the Hockey East foe.

Nation's Best
After allowing just one goal in Tuesday night's game this week, the Bobcats have allowed just 20 goals through 17 games this season and have the nation's fourth-ranked scoring defense at 1.18 goals allowed per game. Quinnipiac men's hockey team has the nation's top-ranked scoring defense at 1.69 goals allowed per game to make for an all-around dominate defensive University.

Prestigious Scorer
Kelly Babstock is one of only six players in the nation to be ranked in the Top 20 in points per game average (1.35, T11th in NCAA), goals per game (0.59, 11th in NCAA) and assists per game (0.76, T14th in NCAA). Babstock joins Cornell's Emily Fulton and Jessica Campbell, Clarkson's Jamie Lee Rattray and Erin Ambrose, Wisconsin's Brittany Ammerman and Providence's Corinne Buie as the only others who can stake that claim.

Defense Prevails
Chelsea Laden has been one of the nation's best statistical goalie all season but she has been aided by a tremendous all-around defensive effort that has limited their opponents to just 349 shots in 17 games (20.5 shots allowed per game). That average is second in the nation behind only Clarkson (18.8 shots allowed per game),

That Peaceful Easy Feeling
Junior goalie Chelsea Laden and her defensive core have made it a trend to not allow any goals in a game this season as she currently is second in the nation with five shutouts. The backbone of Quinnipiac's defensive success through 17 games, Laden sports a 1.06 goals against average, .948 save percentage and has allowed two goals or fewer in 15 of her 17 appearances this season.

Shooting Spree
The offense for the Bobcats this season has been fast-and-furious as the team has spent a majority of 2013-14 ranked in the Top 10 scoring offenses in the nation. They have benefitted from a significant advantage in possession as Quinnipiac was outshot for the first time all season against Clarkson on Saturday (26-23). Despite disruption in the streak, the Bobcats currently lead their opponents' combined total shots by a colossal margin at 603-349.

Now That's the Way to Start
Quinnipiac's 10-2-5 record this season marks their best record 17 games into a season in program history. The Bobcats are well on their way to breaking their previous best single-season record (2010-11) of 22-12-3 including a 12-9-1 conference mark.

Spreading the Love Around
The Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team is ranked No. 5 in both their respective polls as each Bobcat hockey program is now ranked simultaneously for the fifth consecutive week and first time ever. They join Minnesota, Boston College and Clarkson as the only hockey programs in the country to have both their men's and women's teams ranked in the Top 10 of the national poll.

Finishing Games
Princeton scored a third period goal on Tuesday to become just the fifth team this season to score on the Bobcats in the final stanza. The Bobcats continue to dominate the third period this season, outscoring their opponents 19-5 in that final 20 minutes. After 17 games this year, no other team in the nation has a larger margin of success in the third period. 

Clutch Gene
A pair of Bobcats, Kelly Babstock and Chelsea Laden, have completely owned the third period this season from the offensive and defensive end, respectively. Babstock is tied with Vermont's Amanda Pelkey for second in the nation in third period scoring this year as she has accumulated 10 of her 12 assists in the final frame as well as a plus/minus rating of +8 that also ranks second in the nation. Chelsea Laden, meanwhile, has allowed four goals in 340 total minutes of action in third periods this season. Her miniscule 0.67 goals against average and .962 save percentage both are second in the country among all goaltenders. 

Domination from the Dot
Quinnipiac joins Minnesota as the only teams in the country with two players holding a spot in the Top 10 faceoff percentages of all Division I skaters. Senior Kelly Babstock (212-116, 64.6 %, 6th in NCAA) and junior Shiann Darkangelo (140-79, 63.9 %, 8th in NCAA) are both key contributors to the Bobcats' domination this season from the faceoff circle. 

Key to Success
The pivotal player for the Bobcats this season has been their senior forward Kelly Babstock. With 177 career points, Babstock is used to supplying the scoring for Quinnipiac as she sits tied for third in the nation with 22 points (10-13-23) this year and is tied alongside Cydney Roesler for the team-lead in plus/minus (+12) rating. 

WINNERS!
Chelsea Laden (Goaltender) and Emma Woods (Rookie) both picked up an ECAC Hockey monthly award two weeks for their performance in the month of October. Laden led the nation in shutouts (3) while she continued to own a spot in the Top 10 of the nation in goals against average (1.17, 2nd NCAA), save percentage (.942, 8th NCAA) and winning percentage (.812, 7th NCAA). Woods, meanwhile, finished up one of the best months for a freshman in Quinnipiac history. She picked up two ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week awards and registered 10 points (4-6-10) after eight games to lead all freshmen skaters in the conference.

Penalty-Free
Two key contributors for the Bobcats coming into this season have long been plagued by penalties as Kelly Babstock and Shiann Darkangelo came into this season with 106 and 105 penalty minutes, respectively. Through 17 games, Babstock has only committed four penalties for eight minutes, while Darkangelo lasted 11 games before committing her first penalty of the season against Yale.

Scoreless Streaks
Laden has been a force all season in the cage as she now has accumulated two scoreless streaks of at least 130 minutes this season. She recently had a streak broken of 130:29 in the first period against Boston College as she lasted from that goal until the penalty shot allowed at the 12:03 mark of the third period against Cornell on Nov. 2. The stalwart goalie also reeled off a stretch earlier this season which lasted 189:09 over the course of four games.

Power Play Points
The lethal combination of Kelly Babstock and Emma Woods have been devastating to their opponents while on the man advantage this season. Babstock is tied with five others for the seventh-most power play points this season (eight) and tied with three others for the most power-play goals (five). Woods, meanwhile, sits right behind Babstock with six power play points, good enough for a tied for 19th in the nation.

Scorers Galore
One of the calling cards for the Bobcats all season has been their depth of scoring and through 17 games the team has not disappointed with 13 different goal scorers to start the season. That total of 13 different goal scorers for the Bobcats is tied for sixth in the nation as everyone trails the leader North Dakota (17 goal scorers) for the most of any team in the country.

Points Anyone?
The Bobcats as a team have spread the puck around magnificently through their first 17 games as 15 of their 19 skaters this season have contributed at least one point. Only Minnesota-Duluth (18 individual point scorers), Wisconsin (17) and Clarkson (16) have combined for more players with at least one point on their team through the start of the season.

For the First Time
Four of the Bobcats' non-freshman have already posted their first career goal during this season after just 12 games. The run started with Anna Borgfeldt as she found the back of the net against Maine after playing in 74 career games without putting up a goal. Lindsey West followed with a blast from the point that found its way past the Maine goalie for her first career tally. Finally, just this past weekend against Colgate, after 44 games it was time for sophomore defenseman Cydney Roesler and Kristen Tamberg to find the scoresheet as they both picked up a goal in the victory over the Raiders.

On The Plus Side
Quinnipiac has outscored their opponents 44-20 this season which has played a big role in the Bobcats' entire contingent of skaters, only three of which are below +0 in their +/- rating this season. 

Points Galore
Since her first game freshman year, not counting exhibitions, Kelly Babstock has recorded at least one point in 89 of the 110 games that Quinnipiac has not been shutout.

2010-11: 28-of-33
2011-12: 25-of-36
2012-13: 25-of-29
2013-14: 12-of-14

Shooting Spree
Pressuring from the opening faceoff, the Bobcats finished last Saturday's game against Penn State with a 59-14 advantage in shots-on-goal. The 59 shots for the game was the most for any Quinnipiac squad in a game ending in regulation since Nov. 26, 2010 (87 games) when the Bobcats trounced Sacred Heart, 9-1.

Cyd the Kid
After being held scoreless through the first weekend of the season, sophomore defender Cydney Roesler posted the second multi-point game of her career earlier this season against Colgate as she now leads the team's defenseman in scoring with five points (one goal, four assists). Her five assists lead the way for all Bobcat defenders and are good for fourth on the team.

Right Behind
Kelly Babstock comes into the 2013-14 with 154 points which stands second among active Division I players. With all the graduations from last season, in addition to this being an Olympic season help Babstock vault up the rankings and move into second place among active players.

Most career points among active Division I women's hockey players (at least 100 points)

Rank Player School Points
1 Christine Bestland MERCYHURST 195 (77 G, 118 A)
2 Kelly Babstock QUINNIPIAC 177 (86 G, 91 A)
3 Jamie Lee Rattray CLARKSON 142 (60 G, 82 A)
4 Kourtney Kunichika RIT 124 (49 G, 75 A)
4 Carly Mercer CLARKSON 124 (44 G, 80 A)
6 Michelle Karvinen NORTH DAKOTA 122 (50 G, 72 A)
7 Kelly Terry MINNESOTA 120 (45 G, 75 A)
8 Rylee Smith ST. LAWRENCE 115 (47 G, 68 A)
9 Jillian Saulnier CORNELL 113 (43 G, 70 A)
10 Sarah Davis MINNESOTA 111 (38 G, 73 A)


Active Career Leader
Babstock enters her senior season behind only Mercyhurst's Christine Bestland as the active career leader in points among all Division I players but has the most career goals (86) of any active player in Division I.

Most career goals among active Division I women's hockey players

Rank Player School Goals
1 Kelly Babstock QU 86
2 Christine Bestland MERCYHURST 77
3 Jamie Lee Rattray CLARKSON 60
4 Kolbee McCrea RIT 51
5 Michelle Karvinen NORTH DAKOTA 49


Escape Artists
Quinnipiac's thrilling come-from-behind 3-1 victory over St. Cloud State on Oct. 6 marked the first time since Jan. 8, 2011 (87 games) that Quinnipiac has overcome a first period deficit. The Huskies scored a power-play goal early in the first and the Bobcats were able to score three goals in the final eight minutes to secure the victory.

Instant Success
Woods earns Rookie of the Week after scoring the first two goals of her career, including the game-winner, in the final five minutes to help secure the Bobcats' first victory of the season Saturday against St. Cloud State. Woods tied former Bobcat Hayley McMeekin (Oct. 14, 2005) for the fewest games played (two) before registering their first career multi-goal game.

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