HAMDEN, Conn. — One goal and one timeout changed the complexion of the game and possibly the series as St. Lawrence defeated Quinnipiac 1-0 in overtime Friday to take a 1-0 lead in the first round of the ECAC tournament.
The Saints’ Carmen McDonald lead the way for St. Lawrence, stopping all 46 shots she saw.
“Honestly, I was just seeing the puck really well,” McDonald said. “Our defensemen did a really great job clearing the front of the net and clearing out the rebounds. We also did a great job blocking shots, too.”
With just 1:27 left in regulation, Quinnipiac captain Regan Boulton went to the box for a trip in the neutral zone. As the faceoff came to the left circle in the Bobcats end, Saints’ coach Chris Wells called a timeout.
Lucky for him, the officials never heard it.
The Bobcats killed off the power play and went to work in the first overtime grinding down SLU’s defense. After an icing midway through the first extra frame and with an exhausted line on the ice, Wells was able to use the timeout that he planned on using in regulation.
“I had a player that was hurt and I tried to get her out and she said she’d be ready in five seconds, so I screamed, ‘Timeout, timeout’ and the puck dropped,” Wells said. “Frankly, we were playing very desperate to the point you see mistakes in overtime, so fortunately, we were able to get the icing and then call the timeout.”
On the next shift, the Saints streaked up ice and into the Bobcats end. Jackie Wand threw the puck on net where it sat at the top of crease. Quinnipiac goaltender Victoria Vigilanti tried to sprawl out to cover the puck, but SLU’s Kayla Raniwsky poked it under Vigilanti’s pads and into the back of the net for the game-winner.
“I went hard on the puck and ‘Wand’ came in with me,” Raniwsky said. “I just won a battle and went hard to the net and luckily, it went in.”
While there was only one goal on the evening, he Bobcats outshot SLU 46-39.
Wells noted after the win that these games are not unusual between two teams like Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence.
“It’s not because we are trapping each other, I know that for sure,” said Wells. “Both teams are airing it out and giving it everything they have and pressing with two players and forechecking with two. It makes for an exciting game, that’s for sure. It’s playoff hockey. It’s great watching the kids perform under the pressure.”
Even with the loss, Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley did not see much to change after the loss.
“We played hard and stuck to our system pretty well, except for that last goal,” Seeley said. “We have to finish. We had a lot of good opportunities that we just threw at the net and Carmen McDonald is just too good for that.”
Game two tomorrow is Saturday at 4 p.m. EST.