College Hockey:
Ward’s second of game completes Maine comeback win

Dougherty ties game with 30.4 left in regulation

— For the second straight game, the Quinnipiac Bobcats held a three-goal lead in the second period, and for the second straight game the Maine Black Bears clawed their way back to stay undefeated. Quinnipiac held a 4-1 lead 6:18 into the second period, only to allow Maine to mount another four-goal comeback.

Brittany Ott started in net for the Black Bears, but was pulled after the first goal in favor of junior Kylie Smith. Smith saved 18, while Quinnipiac’s Victoria Vigilanti stopped 23.

“I was actually disappointed by how we played overall,” Maine head coach Marisa Lewis said. “It took us awhile to get going, and we dug ourselves into a pretty big hole.”

“We obviously have some psychological issues that we are going to have to deal with,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said. “We need to tighten everything up from a coaching standpoint to a playing standpoint.”

QU started the scoring just 2:56 into the period when Kelly Babstock scored her first of the season on a feed from Brittany Lyons and Nicole Kosta.

Maine answered back 12:06 into the first period on Myriam Croussette’s fourth goal of the season. The Black Bears went on the power play after QU’s Felicia Vieweg tripped Dougherty on a scoring opportunity in the slot. With just one second remaining on the advantage, a shot from Brittany Dougherty was stopped by Vigilanti, but the rebound came to the stick of Croussette, who fired it five-hole to tie the score.

The Bobcats retook the lead 40 seconds later on Kosta’s first collegiate goal. Nineteen seconds after the Maine goal, Brianne Kilgour was called for interference on Vigilanti, and Lyons wristed a shot from the right circle that was stopped by Smith. The rebound came to her right, where Kosta went top shelf to put the Bobcats ahead 2-1.

Quinnipiac tacked on two more goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead.

With 3:48 left in the period, the Bobcats’ Regan Boulton took a hooking penalty to give Maine the advantage late. Eight seconds into the power play, the Black Bears cut the lead in half when Missy Denk found Jennifer More’s rebound in the crease and tipped it off the left post for her fourth goal of the season.

Maine made it 4-3, just 2:24 into the third period on a sparkling goal from Danielle Ward. Ward gained the blue line with one defender to beat. She moved around QU’s Shelby Wignall and took a shot on goal. Vigilanti made a stick save, but couldn’t cover the puck before Ward got her rebound and beat Vigilanti.

The Black Bears finally tied it up with just 30.4 seconds left in regulation on a similar one-on-one play, but this time it was Dougherty that made the moves for Maine. After Quinnipiac couldn’t hold the puck in the Maine end, Chloe Tinkler sent a clearing pass to center ice for Dougherty. Dougherty broke through on the far side and streaked in front of Quinnipiac’s Melissa Perry and tipped a backhander past the diving attempt of Vigilanti.

“[Dougherty] is one of those kids that is big, strong, and physical and has the ability to get hungry and stay hungry,” Lewis said. “Last year, she scored some really big goals for us, and she is one of those players that always finds herself around the puck.

“Even when the chips are down, we always find a way to battle, and compete and come back. And although we weren’t happy with the overall effort, I’m glad that we could get the win.”

Seeley was disappointed with his team’s decision making down the stretch.

“With 40 seconds left, we had the puck in their zone,” Seeley said. “Maine wasn’t putting any pressure on us, and all of a sudden a senior panicked.”

Finally, Maine won 2:32 into overtime on Ward’s second of the game. Dawn Sullivan entered the zone on the near side and wristed a shot on goal.  The shot was tipped by Ward, and then deflected off a QU defender past Vigilanti.

Maine remains undefeated on the young season with a 4-0-0 record, while the Bobcats are off to their worst start since 2008-2009, a season in which they won just three games.

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