HAMDEN, Conn. — The No. 9 Quinnipiac Bobcats recorded three unanswered goals in the second and third period to propel them past the Dartmouth Big Green 3-1 Friday night at the High Point Solutions Arena.
Emma Woods tied the game late in the second period for Quinnipiac (17-4-6, 8-3-4 ECAC) when Kelly Babstock skated across the blue line on the left side of the ice where she passed the puck through the slot to Woods where she one-timed a shot to the right of the slot past Dartmouth goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft.
“I think we felt pretty confident, so it was just a matter of time,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said. “It was great to get it before the third, but it definitely gave us a boost going in. I thought, for the most part, we controlled the game, so I think everyone had that confident feeling it was just a matter of time.”
Morgan Fritz-Ward scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on a rebound off an Olivia Brackett shot from the right faceoff circle where Fritz-Ward collected the rebound low in the left slot to tap home the rebound and give Quinnipiac a 2-1 lead.
“Despite our record, our team, at times, has confidence issues,” Seeley said. “We talked about respecting the program Dartmouth is, but we believe we’re a better team. It was just about believing in themselves and continuing to work hard. For us, it was just a question keep doing the little things and good things will happen.”
Both teams skated to a scoreless tie in the first period despite Quinnipiac outshooting Dartmouth 12-5 in the period. The Bobcats outshot the Big Green 28-16 in the game.
“I think we came out a little tentative, we had talked with what we needed to do on our forecheck and we just weren’t doing it,” Dartmouth coach Mark Hudak said. “The first forwards were kind of doing what they needed to do, but it was the next two that weren’t. We were really allowing Quinnipiac to make a good, easy first pass [and] then there was that big gap. We talked about it between the first and the second and I think we did a better job in the second.”
Dartmouth tallied the first goal with 8:02 when Karlee Odland controlled the puck in the offensive zone behind the glass and brought to the high slot where she passed to Emma Korbs, who ripped a slap shot from the right point that went high glove side on Quinnipiac netminder Chelsea Laden to make it 1-0.
“It was a good decision on her part, there was a lot of traffic there,” said Hudak. “I have no idea where Chelsea Laden saw the puck go in, or got to see the puck ’til it was already there.”
Laden finished the game with 15 saves on 16 shots to earn the conference win for the Bobcats.
“She’s had a couple rough starts the last few weeks, so it was imperative after that first one went in that she get a couple of shots and I thought she looked real strong after that, so there was no concern,” Seeley said. “She was just screened. On that play, we need either the forward to block the shot or the [defense] to front whoever they’re covering and block it, so in the future, I think you’ll see her standing on her feet, though.”
The Bobcats added one more insurance goal with 2:17 remaining in the game to make it 3-1 when Nicole Connery received a pass in the slot from Meghan Turner, who stole the puck behind the Dartmouth goal and Connery wristed the shot low on Holdcroft who had gone high.
Despite the three goals allowed, Holdcroft kept the Big Green in the game much of the way and Hudak praised his goaltender after the game.
“I think in particular in that first period, things could have gotten ugly and Lindsay just did a real good job of getting us out of the first period 0-0,” Hudak said. “She played a great game and players kind of expect that of her from game to game. She’s been that kind of a goalie for us.”