HAMDEN, Conn. — On Friday night, Quinnipiac’s offense finally exploded. After a five-game losing streak, the Bobcats scored six goals, four on the power play, to defeat Union, 6-2.
Kelly Babstock overshadowed the win, as she scored two goals to become Quinnipiac’s all-time leader in goals. The sophomore now holds the career record in goals, points, and assists for the Bobcats.
“Those players are so rare, and having one in the program is exciting,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said. “We just hope she carries it on for the next two, three, four games.”
Quinnipiac’s Chelsea Laden saw a bulk of time between the pipes until being relieved by senior goaltender Mic Spiessel in the third period.
Despite the loss, Union’s Shenae Lundberg stopped 41 shots.
The Dutchwomen took eight penalties on the night, including three in the third period.
8:56 into the third period the Bobcats found themselves on one of those advantages. Nicole Kosta and Babstock traded the puck on the cycle in the near corner. Babstock left the puck for Kosta and streaked toward the net. Kosta connected with Babstock as she extended her stick to poke the puck past Lundberg for the 4-1 lead.
“We addressed it last week, that we were starting to move the puck well on the power play,” Seeley said. “‘Babs’ is starting to get that fire back in front of the net, and I just think our puck movement has been really good the past few weeks.”
Babstock added her second of the night just over a minute later, once again on the power play. Kosta found Babstock in front of the net. who put the puck on her forehand and wristed it inside the right post.
“There’s no more monkey on my back,” Babstock said with a smile. “We had some good practices this week on the power play, and we just brought it tonight.”
Union took the early 1-0 lead just 2:53 into the first period on a Bobcats giveaway in front their net. Lauren Hoffman grabbed the puck in the slot and shuffled it to Stefanie Thomson, who made a pair of moves and deked Laden to the left post. Thomson worked back to the right side and slid the puck in the back of the net.
“It was a good start, but then I think we backed away,” Union coach Claudia Barcomb said. “We just need to bear down, and unfortunately we didn’t bear down at the right times.”
Quinnipiac controlled play throughout the first period, and after a pair of effective power plays, the Bobcats went on the advantage for the third time.
With just 28.6 seconds left in the period, Bethany Dymarczyk threw the puck from the left point into the slot. With her back to the puck, Kate Wheeler deflected Dymarczyk’s wrister between Lundberg’s legs to tie the score.
Kosta tallied the game-winning goal with 1:28 left in the second period on a sharp-angle shot. Kosta controlled the puck behind the net and worked her way to the left circle. As she stepped over the end line, she fired a shot that deflected off the side of Lundberg and into the back of the net.
The Bobcats never looked back, scoring four more times in the third period.
With a 5-1 win, Harvard is now locked into second seed, which means the Bobcats will travel to either St. Lawrence or Clarkson in the first round of the playoffs next weekend.
“We know we are driving through the mountains,” Seeley said with a smile. “The weather looks good for next weekend.”