HAMDEN, Conn. — On Saturday afternoon, the Quinnipiac Bobcats welcomed the Union Dutchwomen to the TD Bank Sports Center for the Bobcats final regular season home game. On a night that the senior class was honored, freshman Kelly Babstock scored two goals to lead the Bobcats to a 4-0 win. Victoria Vigilanti made 23 saves to gain her eighth shutout of the season. Union’s Kate Gallagher made 42 saves in the losing effort.
“We realized that it is going to take three or four goals to win games against teams we will see in the playoffs,” said QU coach Rick Seeley. “There won’t be any easy opponents whether we will be home or away.”
Quinnipiac took the 1-0 lead with 6:23 remaining in the opening frame after an extended cycle in the Union zone. Following a number of centering passes that were broken up, one finally got through. Elena Orlando had the setup pass when she connected with Babstock to Gallagher’s right. Babstock took control of the puck and wristed it past Gallagher for her 28th goal of the season.
With 4:45 left in the period, the Dutchwomen took to the advantage after QU’s Shelby Wignall was called for high sticking.
Just seconds into the power play, Union thought they had tied the score. After a Union rebound popped in the air to the left of Vigilanti, Elsa Bruestle swatted it out of the air. The puck tipped high and above the dive of Vigilanti and into the back of the net. The goal was disallowed after a discussion between the officials, Philip Kitchen and Michaela Frattarelli, as it was determined that Bruestle’s swing was a high stick.
“It was a tough call back, but we should have responded better,” said Claudia Asano. “It hurt us a lot not getting that goal and your team has to react in the most positive way possible. It was just really tough to take.”
The Bobcats took a 2-0 lead after a highlight reel goal from Brittany Lyons 3:46 into the second period. Lindsay Burman began the play after her shot was saved by Gallagher. The rebound came out in front on the left side, where Lyons picked it up. She then skated in front of the crease, forcing Gallagher to move left to right. After Gallagher had sprawled out, Lyons dove and tapped her backhander into the net for her 10th goal of the season.
Later in the second, it was Kelly Babstock again taking a centering feed for her 29th goal of the year. Amanda Colin took the puck in the far corner and waited for Babstock to break through the slot. Babstock grabbed the puck in the low slot and tapped the puck five-hole to beat Gallagher.
The Bobcats added a fourth goal 8:41 into the third period on Burman’s second goal of the season. Senior Kelly Davies started the play with a pass to Lyons on the right side. Lyons fed the puck to Burman behind the net, where Burman made a move to the net. Burman took the puck on her backhand and beat Gallagher to the left post on her wraparound. Davies, playing in her final regular season home game, was credited with an assist.
“Kelly Davies, I have watched grow up over the past three years,” said Seeley. “I have seen her go from being a nervous hockey player to a great leader.”
QU’s Kelsey Britton also played in her final regular season home game and got the attention of the her coach.
“She works her heart out in every practice and tonight we needed her,” said Seeley. “The player she replaced was not playing well, and we needed her to step up.”
Quinnipiac enters the final regular season weekend in fourth place in the ECAC and one point back of Dartmouth for third place.