HAMDEN, Conn. – Carmen MacDonald stopped 46 of 47 shots in goal for St. Lawrence as the Saints hung on for a 1-1 tie with the No. 5/6 Quinnipiac Bobcats Friday afternoon at the High Point Solutions Arena.
The biggest save of the day for MacDonald came on a breakaway from Kelly Babstock, as she maneuvered past two Saints’ defenders and MacDonald stuffed her shot.
“You can only go as far in the big games as what your goalie can do, and she was able to keep us in the game in the first period and make some big stops,” St. Lawrence coach Chris Wells said. “She’s been one of our better players over the last couple of years, and you won’t see too many teams that move on that don’t have solid goaltending.”
Both teams started off slow in the first period, skating to a 0-0 tie despite a few good scoring opportunities for each.
St. Lawrence (5-7-1, 4-2-1 ECAC) got on the board first in the second period at 6:43 and just two seconds after a power play had ended. Mel Desrochers threw the puck on net from the right boards and the rebound came out to Rylee Smith who was all alone on top of the crease to put it past Quinnipiac goaltender Chelsea Laden.
“It’s one of those non-power-play power-play goals because the girl wasn’t able to get back into the play and Rylee Smith does a pretty good job in front of the net,” Wells said.
After the goal, Quinnipiac’s offense really came alive and took just under three minutes to respond.
“We have to respond before that,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said. “We talked about wanting to really win badly when we start instead of catching up and taking care of business.”
Babstock tied up the game 1-1 on a blistering one-timer power-play goal 9:24 into the second period after a pass came through the slot from Cydney Roesler at the right faceoff dot after Jacqueline Wand was whistled for holding nearly a minute before.
“They had a great weekend last weekend, they created the opportunities today, but like I said we struggled finishing,” Seeley said. “We played against a great goalie, there’s no question about that, but we have to work on finishing.”
Quinnipiac (10-1-4, 3-1-3 ECAC) finished the game 1-of-2 on the power play, while St. Lawrence was 0-4 in its man-advantage opportunities.
Overall, Quinnipiac outshot St. Lawrence 47-25 in the game, with 16 shots in each of the first and third periods.
The Saints offense nearly ended the game in overtime with a three-on-one breakout, but the Bobcats stifled the attack and finished with the tie.
“I think the teams on the scoreboard evenly matched, but I think Quinnipiac outplayed us for the most part for the better part of the game,” Wells said. “I do feel like we really played well in overtime and got some good chances.”
Laden finished with 24 saves on 25 shots, including five in the overtime period to hold onto the tie for Quinnipiac, as the Bobcats extended their unbeaten streak to eight games.
“It would have been nice to get the win, but to be able to come in here and play against a team that is so good in transition and makes you pay for every mistake we’re pretty happy with a tie,” Wells said.