CANTON, N.Y. — Quinnipiac’s first visit to Appleton Arena as an ECACHL foe quickly turned into one the Bobcats would rather forget. No. 3 St. Lawrence jumped out to a quick lead with three goals in a four-minute span early in the first period and rolled to a 7-1 win.
Freshman standout Carson Duggan scored her record breaking 23rd and 24th goals of the season, a rookie record for the Saints who improved to (22-3-2, 10-2-2 ECACHL) with the win, while the Bobcats fell to (9-15-4, 3-11-2 ECACHL).
“It’s all extra right now, the win is the most important thing” said Duggan on her record breaking performance. “I give all the credit to my linemates, we’ve really been clicking, they do all work and I just put the garbage away.”
Duggan’s record-breaking goal was the game’s first, just 4:02 into the first period when she received a perfect feed from Sabrina Harbec who was behind the net. Duggan had all day in front of the net with the puck before she ultimately deposited it over Bobcat goaltender Connie Craig’s blocker.
The Duggan goal triggered an offensive outburst from the Saints who scored two more goals within the next 3:55 for a 3-0 lead within the first eight minutes. This flurry also spelled the end for Craig who was replaced by Janelle Wolitski.
The second period belonged to Harbec and Duggan, as the line with both the nation’s leading point getter and scorer each added to the Saints lead. Harbec netted a breakaway tally and Duggan put away a nifty pass from Harbec on a two-on-one to push the lead to 5-0.
“[Harbec] and Carson really compliment each other nicely, we always talk about having good chemistry in hockey, and these two certainly have it, as well as the knack to know where to be at the right time” said Coach Paul Flanagan of the Saints top scoring tandem.
In the third, the Bobcats’ Vicky Graham put home a power play marker, which ties her for the Bobcat all-time record for career points. The goal narrowed the margin to 5-1, but that would be as close as the Bobcats would get as the Saints added two more late goals from Annie Guay and Casey Hughes to prevail 7-1.
“We’re going to be the underdog in most ECAC matches, but our objective is just to come out flying and put them on their heels,” said Bobcat assistant coach Lisa Giovanelli. “I thought we did that first the first few minutes of the game, but there were just too many lapses.”
Coupled with Princeton’s 1-0 victory over Clarkson and the Brown’s tie against Dartmouth, the Saints move into sole possession of first place in the ECACHL, with six league games left to play. The Saints are now in the drivers’ seat for the highly coveted home ice advantage for the ECACHL playoffs, as they hold a two-point advantage over rival Clarkson and a one-point and game-in-hand advantage over Brown.
“Our fate now lies in our own hands and the kids recognize that” Flanagan said. “This time of the year we need to develop the killer instinct and really stick to the game plan, but overall it was a good weekend, we just want to get on a roll.”
The Saints are set to play four straight games on the road, before they return in three weeks to face Dartmouth and Harvard, to wrap up the regular season.