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College Hockey:
Babstock’s last-minute goal lifts Quinnipiac into tie with Yale

— Yale and Quinnipiac ended Saturday afternoon’s matchup in a 2-2 draw after the Bulldogs opened up the game with two goals and the Bobcats closed the final frame in the same manner.

Neither could gain an edge in the overtime period.

As the clock wound down and momentum picked up, Quinnipiac broke through with just 29.5 seconds left to play in regulation. Through a crowded Yale net, QU junior Kelly Babstock pushed the puck over the line and the game into overtime, where nothing was settled.

With the silent overtime period, Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley noted more aggression in the third period, but also the shortcomings.

“We were throwing the puck to the net a little more than we did earlier in the game,” Seeley said. “We were trying to be too cute, but we threw the puck to the net and got a couple of goals. It’s a basic game and we complicated it today.”

Yale freshman Hanna Astrom broke through the silence first. Skating down the ice, she was faced with a two-on-one, but pulled left and shot to the open right side of the net. The goal, assisted by Lynn Kennedy and Jamie Haddad, marks her second of the season.

Seven minutes later, the Bulldogs (4-17-1, 3-11-1 ECAC) struck again. Junior Patricia McGauley slid the puck under the pads of Quinnipiac’s netminder, sophomore Chelsea Laden. Juniors Paige Decker and Ashely Dunbar both earned their second assists on the year.

“Obviously, Quinnipiac is a very good hockey team,” Yale coach Joakin Flygh said. “I like to think that we gave them all they could handle tonight.”

In particular, Flygh pointed to goaltender Jaimie Leonoff for keeping Quinnipiac (15-9-2, 9-5-1 ECAC) quiet early in the game. Leonoff denied all 12 of Quinnipiac’s attempts in the first period and continued to shut down the Bobcats, racking up 34 saves.

“If it wasn’t for her, obviously it might have been a different game going into the third period, but she gave us a tremendous opportunity,” Flygh said. “You can’t fault her for any of the goals.”

The Bobcats cracked the code early in the third period, as junior Erica Uden Johansson picked up her eighth of the year with the help of sophomore Nicole Kosta and Babstock.

With St. Lawrence taking its 3-2 win over Clarkson, Seeley recognized the potential this weekend has for his team’s future in the playoffs.

“It could be a difference of playing at home or playing on the road in the playoffs,” Seeley said. “My sense is that point is not going to be as important as the one we lost in the standings.”

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