HAMDEN, Conn. — It was a different week, but the same result between the Yale Bulldogs and Quinnipiac Bobcats this afternoon. These two teams played last Saturday in the Nutmeg Classic championship at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden in which QU came away with a 2-1 win.
This week, the Bobcats was able to score two power-play goals and defeat the Bulldogs, 3-1. Kelly Babstock scored her 17th goal of the season, putting her in a second place tie nationally for goals scored. Yale senior netminder Jackee Snikeris made 28 saves in the loss.
Quinnipiac got on the board first at 8:20 of the opening period on a power-play goal from Erica Uden-Johansson. Quinnipiac never lost control of the puck on the advantage and finally converted when defenseman Bethany Dymarczyk sent her wrist shot on Snikeris. Snikeris made the initial save on the left side, but left a rebound glove side where Uden-Johannson calmly put it in the gaping net.
The Bobcats almost extended their lead in the final seconds of the period on another power play. After Kelly Babstock made a move to the Yale net, her rebound came to the top of the crease. She fanned on the rebound, as did Uden-Johansson just as the buzzer sounded to end the period.
Quinnipiac had four power-play opportunities in the first, but only cashed in on one. Yet, coach Rick Seeley was still happy with the special teams. “For most people, 25 percent is a good percentage and we have been well below that lately. So for us to score at that clip it was pretty good.”
Yale tied the game just 2:33 into the second period on Heather Grant’s third goal of the season. The Bulldogs’ offense came out on fire in the second after just two shots on goal in the first period. Only seconds after a two-on-one opportunity for Yale, Grant tied the game.
After a shot from the point was steered away by Vigilante, the rebound trickled to her right. Grant was able to poke it just under the diving effort from Vigilante.
“For us to be successful, we have to work hard and that was something we didn’t do in the first; Quinnipiac really took it to us and we came out a little more prepared in the second,” coach Joakim Flygh said.
The Bobcats regained the lead 1:30 later on Babstock’s team-leading 17th goal of the season. With visions of Bobby Orr dancing in her head, Babstock took the puck from the bottom of the far circle. She then made a move around one defender and then dove over Snikeris as she put the puck in the back of the net.
“She is the freshman that I think we all wanted to be,” junior captain Jordan Elkins said. “We all came in wanting to the person that changed things and it is just awesome playing with her. She is the freshman that everybody wants and wants to be.”
Quinnipiac added insurance 8:53 into the third on their second power-play goal of the game on a slap shot from Elkins. Just 20 seconds into the advantage, Elkins sent her blast from the point to the top corner glove side to give the Bobcats a two-goal advantage.
“The whole defense is working harder this year to be able to score more goals. We are always showing up to practice early or staying late to get the extra work in.” Elkins said.
In an effort of desperation, Yale pulled their goaltender with two minutes left in the third, but could not score.