HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's ice hockey team claimed its fourth Nutmeg Classic title in program history on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats overcame a two-goal deficit to comeback and defeat Yale, 3-2, from the High Point Solutions Arena. Lindsey West (Ajax, Ontario) netted the game-winner and nationally-ranked No. 7/8 Quinnipiac improved to 12-2-5 on the season while the Bulldogs finished as the Nutmeg Classic runner-up for the seventh time in eight Championship Game apperances.
Playing in their fifth Nutmeg Classic Championship Game, the Bobcats and Bulldogs clashed for the 27th time in their series history and second time this month as last played to a 0-0 tie from Ingalls Rink on Nov. 9. An incredible team effort by the Bobcats would have all been for naught if not for a couple of crucial saves from freshman goalie Sydney Rossman (Excelsior, Minn.) down the stretch. A shot from Yale's Jamie Haddad from the slot hit Rossman's leg pads but was left out in front. The freshman goalie snapped back and was able to smuther the wrist shot from Janelle Ferrara with less than three seconds remaining to seal the Bobcat victory.
Quinnipiac has now tied UConn for the most Nutmeg Classic titles (four) of any team in the tournament's 10 year history. Senior Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ontario) was honored as the Nutmeg Classic MVP with her seven point (one goal, six assists) outburst through the two-game tournament. The point total across the two games is the most for a single player in the tournament's history. Freshman Sydney Rossman (Excelsior, Minn.) was honored as the Top Goaltender with her two victories, 1.00 GAA and .961 save percentage for the two games. Junior Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich.) also earned an All-Tournament Team distinction onthe backs of her five point explosion on Friday against RIT.
While the crowd was all on the edge of their seat for the final minute of play, the entire Bobcat cheering faithful was off their seat and on their feet for senior Olivia Brackett's (Coopersville, Mich.) first career goal. The senior forward waited 87 games but struck with a resounding goal at 5:35 in the second period that tied the score at 2-2. Babstock recorded her second of two assists on the day as she flipped a crossing pass over to Brackett on an odd-man rush who blasted home her first career tally five-hole on Leonoff.
The game didn't start the way Quinnipiac had envisioned as Yale's Phoebe Staenz and Stephanie Mock each scored a goal in the first five minutes of the opening period. After the initial Bulldog rush, the Bobcat defense and Rossman settled down and held the Yale offense scoreless for the remaining 55 minutes of play. Rossman posted 24 saves in net to pick up her second straight victory and earn the Top Goaltender Award for the tournament. The freshman netminder finished with a 1.00 GAA, .961 save percentage and earned both of the Bobcat's victories in net.
The eventual game-winner was put home by West at 3:22 in the third period as she took a pass from sophomore Nicole Brown (Oshawa, Ontario) and ripped a slap shot low on the blocker side of the Yale goalie Jaimie Leonoff. With several defenders in front screening, the puck banged off the far post and into the opposite corner to light the lamp on West's second career goal.
Freshman Emma Woods (Burford, Ontario) scored her first goal in seven games at 5:32 in the first period on the power play to help start the comeback victory. Sophomore Cydney Roesler (Stittsville, Ontario) took a shot from the point that was deflected in front to Babstock who back-passed to Woods waiting at the near side post. The freshman slammed home her seventh goal of the season.
2013 Nutmeg Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP: Kelly Babstock (Sr., F, QU)
Top Goaltender: Sydney Rossman (Fr., G, QU)
The No. 7/8 Bobcats earned their third Nutmeg Classic title in the last four years and will next play Union and Rensselaer next weekend at home before taking their annual Winter Break.
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