Bobcats Repeat as Nutmeg Classic Champions
STORRS, Conn. –Led by tournament mvp, sophomore forward
Kelly Babstock’s (Mississauga, Ontario) three points (one
goal, two assists) on the evening, the Quinnipiac women’s ice
hockey team repeated as Nutmeg Classic Tournament Champions with a
3-2 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday at Freitas Ice Forum in
Storrs, Conn. The night held a special significance for the Bobcats
who not only improved to 9-7-1 on the season, but with the win,
also gave head coach Rick Seeley his 200th career victory. The loss
drops the Colonials to 10-2-1 on the season.
Babstock earned mvp honors after accumulating a tournament-high four points on one goal and three assists. She netted the game’s first goal and factored in the Bobcats’ following two scores, including the game-winning tally, increasing her team-high points total to 22 on the season. With the two assists, Babstock also became the all-time program leader in career assists, earning her 39th and 40th respective helpers, passing Caitlin Peters’ 39 career assists set in 2004.
The first period belonged to Quinnipiac, which owned a commanding 13-to-1 shot advantage through the first 20 minutes of action. Despite its dominance, the score remained tied until Babstock scored her team-high 10th goal of the season on a power-play goal at the 18:28 mark into the frame. Babstock received a pass from freshman forward Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) in the corner, where she took a straight line towards the goal and unloaded a slap shot on target. Junior goaltender Kristen DiCiocco made the partial save, but the puck’s initial velocity was enough to break through and carry into the back of the net, giving Quinnipiac the 1-0 lead heading into intermission.
Quinnipiac’s aggressive forechecking continued to frustrate the Colonials in the second stanza and once again allowed a single-digit shot total (three) through the entire frame. The Bobcats increased their lead to 2-0 at the 11:25 mark into the period following a lengthy possession in the Colonials defensive zone. Quinnipiac cycled the puck around to Babstock who gave a quick dish to sophomore forward Megan Hagg (Ajax, Ontario), who was stationed in front of the net, where she then tapped in her third score of the season.
Although Robert Morris mustered a mere three shots in the frame, they closed the score to 2-1 on a power-play score with just 19 seconds remaining in the second period on sophomore forward Thea Imbrogno’s sixth goal of the season. Senior forward Brianna Delaney took a slapper from the point which Imbrogno was able to put a stick on and deflect by the heavily screened junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario).
The Bobcats increased its lead to a two-goal cushion with its second power-play goal of the evening at the 13:58 mark into the third period of play. Kosta delivered a crisp pass to Babstock in the corner, who then slid a pass to junior forward Breann Fryaks (East St, Paul, Manitoba) where she beat DiCiocco for her fifth score of the year.
Robert Morris closed the score to 3-2 with 1:16 remaining in the contest, as sophomore Kylie St. Louis netted her fourth goal of the season on a 6-on-5 advantage following DiCiocco’s departure from the net. Quinnipiac refused to give in and withheld the Colonials from the game-tying goal, holding on to the 3-2 victory.
Vigilanti made 11 saves for the Bobcats, while her counterpart DiCiocco made 20 stops for the Colonials.
Two of Quinnipiac’s three goals were scored on its power-play opportunities, marking the third-straight game in which it produced a goal, and its sixth power-play score in its last five games Overall, the Bobcats went 2-for-5 on the afternoon, while Robert Morris went 1-for-3 on its extra skater opportunities.
Quinnipiac returns to the ice on Friday, Dec. 2 when it travels to Providence, R.I. to face Brown at 7 p.m.