HAMDEN, Conn. — It took nearly four hours and three overtimes for Quinnipiac to live another day and force a game three. After giving up two goals in the final 31.5 seconds of regulation, QU’s Amanda Colin dazzled the crowd in the third overtime for the 3-2 winner.
Amanda Colin picked up the puck at her own blue line and raced into the St. Lawrence zone. Colin deked by her defender and faked a shot that forced St. Lawrence goaltender Carmen McDonald to the ice, then put the puck on her backhand and lifted it past McDonald.
“I looked up and saw a bunch of open ice and skated down and decided to dangle a little bit and take the girl one-on-one,” Colin said. “I got to the goalie and I don’t know where that move came from, but it went in.”
Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley was quick to pin Colin as one of the most impressive players during the two and half overtimes.
“For a kid who only had one goal all year, and that was two weeks ago, Amanda Colin looked really confident in overtime. She was handling the puck incredibly well, and no one is going to look at that goal and think that girl only has two goals all year.”
St. Lawrence coach Chris Wells echoed Seeley’s high praise of Colin’s mesmerizing goal.
“[In overtime] you hate to see something cheesy go in. You love it if you score it, but you still feel it for those girls out there, so I was glad to see a goal with nice move and a beautiful finish.”
The game could have ended a dozen times over the course of the extra frames, but each goaltender did her part to keep the score tied. Quinnipiac’s Victoria Vigilanti and St. Lawrence’s McDonald both stopped 57 shots on the night.
The game looked wrapped up in the final minute, as the Bobcats held onto a 2-0 lead. After a penalty to Kayla Sullivan with 2:49 left in regulation, St. Lawrence had to make a tough choice. Short-handed, Wells pulled McDonald to bring the play to full strength. After killing off Sullivan’s penalty, the Saints used the extra attacker to control the puck. With 31.5 seconds left in regulation, St. Lawrence’s Rylee Smith ripped an odd-angle one-timer past Vigilanti to get the Saints within 2-1.
After the goal, Wells asked for the officials to take a look at the clock to add more time. After reexamining the goal, the officials added another two seconds.
St. Lawrence won the draw following the goal and entered the Bobcats’ zone. Vigilanti came out of her net to play the puck off the near-side boards, where the Saints gained control of the puck. Play shifted to the far side, and Mel Desrochers threw the puck at the net, where it tipped off Smith and past Vigilanti to tie the score with .2 seconds left in regulation.
“You don’t expect to score two goals like that, but that short-handed five-on-five shift set the tone for us,” Wells said. “We scored that first one and then they went to the replay and added two seconds to the clock and those two seconds were pretty important.”
The Bobcats took their first lead of the weekend 10:57 into the first period on Kristen Eklund’s first goal of the season. Nicole Brown dished the puck to Kristen Eklund at the goal line, where she fired the puck off McDonald’s back and into the back of the net.
“We’ve been told to get pucks to the net anyway we can,” Eklund said. “I was just trying to get the puck above the goal line and hopefully get a rebound for Brown on the back door, but fortunately it just went in.”
Quinnipiac extended its lead with 4:08 left in the second period. Kristen Tamberg fed Shelby Wignall at the left point, who ripped a shot on net. The puck was tipped in front, where Colin collected the puck and tipped it past McDonald for the 2-0 lead.
Puck drop for the decisive game three is set for 2 p.m. tomorrow.