HAMDEN, Conn. — Kelly Babstock scored the game-tying, power-play goal with 40.7 seconds remaining in regulation for the Quinnipiac Bobcats as they came back to tie the Mercyhurst Lakers 4-4 on Friday in their first game of the season.
Babstock backhanded the rebound off of Nicole Kosta’s shot into the roof of the net for her second goal of the game and 50th of her career.
“Babs is great around the net on rebounds, she picked that out of the air at such a critical point. It was a pretty awesome performance,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said.
It was also a historic night for Babstock, who surpassed the 100-point mark for her career with an assist in the second period.
Emily Janiga scored twice for the Lakers (2-0-1).
“I thought our team showed a lot of fight,” Mercyhurst coach Michael Sisti said. “We went down and we fought back late, we went down and fought back again.”
Felica Vieweg started the scoring off for the Bobcats with a power-play goal midway through the first period. Anna Borgfeldt sent a pass to the point for Vieweg, who wristed the shot through the five-hole of Mercyhurst goaltender Amanda Makela to make it 1-0 Quinnipiac. The assist was Borgfeldt’s first of her career.
The Bobcats finished the night 2-for-5 on the power-play while the Lakers finished 1-for-2.
Mercyhurst answered back five minutes later to tie the game 1-1 with Kristine Grenier’s first goal of the year. The puck came loose in front of the net after a shot came off the post and snuck under the sprawling dive of Quinnipiac netminder Victoria Vigilanti. Grenier collected the puck in front of the net and poked it in before falling to the ice.
“After their first goal we kind of let down but after that we responded fine and this team should,” Seeley said. “We’re going to score goals so they’re not going to get too alarmed when they give one up.”
Early in the second period, the Lakers scored with only eight seconds remaining on the power play. Jenna Hendrikx took the initial shot and the rebound was collected by Christine Bestland, who shifted the puck to a wide-open Emily Janiga on the left side of the net.
Three minutes later the Bobcats responded to tie the game at 2. Babstock sent a centering pass to Brittany Lyons alone in the slot, where she wristed a wide open shot into the back of the net.
Babstock made it 3-2 Quinnipiac just over two minutes later when she scored a breakaway goal on Makela. Kosta found a streaking Babstock with a pass from blue line to blue line. Babstock was one on one with Makela in net, wristing her shot in the five-hole.
Quinnipiac was unable to hang on to its lead to close out the second period when Gina Buquet scored with only 37.2 seconds remaining. Lauren Kilroy was given her first career assist and Christie Cicero also assisted as Buquet collected the rebound off the shot from Cicero and scored on a backhander over the blocker of Vigilanti.
Mercyhurst took an early 4-3 lead in the third period, scoring with 15:32 remaining. Janiga received a pass from Bestland and backhanded a shot on the goal line which dribbled past the goal side of Vigilanti. The puck slid across the goal line before kissing off the post and into the net.
“I was proud of our young team,” Sisti said. “We got a lot of people involved off the bench that played in different situations. That was a good learning experience for us today.”
Both teams continued to battle until the end of the period when Quinnipiac went on the power play with 2:35 remaining in the game. With the five-on-four advantage, Seeley elected to pull Vigilanti to give his team an extra attacker.
The move paid dividends, as Babstock scored to force overtime.
“They are the ninth-ranked team in the country, they were up twice on us and we came back both times. We can definitely take some positives from that,” Seeley said.
Kosta finished with two assists for the Bobcats, and Bestland finished with two assists for the Lakers.