HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac captured its fourth Nutmeg Classic championship with a 3-2 win over Yale on the strength of Lindsey West’s second goal of the season in the third period.
Quinnipiac improves to 12-2-5 (3-2-4 ECAC), while Yale drops to 3-8-1 (2-3-1 ECAC) on the season.
Yale jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period with two goals in the first five minutes of the game. Phoebe Staenz and Stephanie Mock beat Sydney Rossman on the Bulldogs’ first two shots of the game.
“[The attitude] was great,” said Yale coach Joakim Flygh. “It was good energy. We should have kept pushing forward a little bit, but I think it woke Quinnipiac up a little bit, too, and I think they had a strong push after that.”
The Bobcats’ freshman goalie bounced back to make 24 saves to earn her second straight victory and a spot on the All-Tournament team.
“To her credit, after giving up two bad goals in four minutes, she shut the door and made a lot of good saves,” said Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley. “I’m really proud of how she responded.”
Emma Woods put the Bobcats on the board less than a minute after the Bulldogs’ second goal. Woods put home a rebound from a Cydney Roesler slap shot from the point on Quinnipiac’s first power play of the game.
Quinnipiac tied the game in the second period on Olivia Brackett’s first career goal. Brackett received a pass from Kelly Babstock and beat Jamie Leonoff five-hole to tie the game at 2-2.
“It was a huge goal,” Seeley said. “It wasn’t in a blowout – it was in a game where we were down 2-1. It was critical. You saw the team’s reaction – it was like we won the Stanley Cup or something. Olivia has been invaluable since she got here, everyone loves her, attitude is perfect, she works her butt off everyday, so I was really happy for her.”
Rossman’s biggest save came in the second period on a Staenz penalty shot. Yale drew the penalty shot after Babstock fell on the puck intentionally in the crease. Staenz wanted to go low with her shot, but Rossman shut down any low shot attempt by hugging the ice and staying with the puck.
“In practice, we do a lot of penalty shots, so that definitely prepared me,” Rossman said. “I just tried to stay composed and make saves like I do everyday in practice.”
The game-winner came from West on a shot from the point. West had help for Morgan Fritz-Ward, who screened Leonoff on the play.
With their fourth Nutmeg Classic title, QU is tied with Connecticut for the most in the history of the tournament. The Bobcats also captured their third Nutmeg Classic championship in the last four years, with Boston College winning it last year.
“It’s my senior year, obviously, so it was good to keep it at home,” Brackett said. “BC took it last year, so we wanted it back here and it was good for the seniors.”