- Arts & Life
Erica Uden Johansson and Chelsea Laden are getting hot right when the Bobcats need them to.
Uden Johansson recorded three points, Laden recorded her first career shutout and Quinnipiac beat Syracuse, 3-0, Friday in the first of a two-game series at High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center.
“We want to win all of the final games we have now to go to the playoffs and win,” said Uden Johansson, who assisted on two third-period goals. “That’s all we aim for right now so we’re working hard for that goal.”
Three different players scored for the Bobcats (15-9-2), including Uden Johansson, who has recorded a point in five out of six games.
“If she keeps playing like that we’ll be in good shape,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley said.
Quinnipiac has seven games left on the season, including six ECAC Hockey games. Quinnipiac now has a one-point lead over Harvard for second place in the conference and a two-point lead over Dartmouth and Clarkson.
Laden, who played in her second straight game, made 19 saves, including 14 after the first period.
“A lot of her saves are subtle. Her feet are so good and shots were in close,” Seeley said. “From our standpoint she was huge.”
Laden said she didn’t find out that she would play vs. Colgate Jan. 14 until that morning, but she knew Monday that she would start this weekend.
“It was a different approach but I think I liked it more,” Laden said of the advanced start. “I had a whole week to prepare myself and it worked out.”
Jenesica Drinkwater made 35 saves for Syracuse (8-16-3), which is winless in its last nine games.
Seeley noted that Uden Johansson worked on her forechecking a few weeks ago.
“I thought she was our best forechecker tonight,” Seeley said.
Uden Johansson missed Quinnipiac’s first 15 games, but now is the eighth Bobcat to be in double figures for points..
She scored midway through the first off a pass from Breann Frykas.
Frykas forced a turnover in the Orange zone and then passed the puck to Uden Johansson in front of the net. Uden Johansson skated in front and then wristed the puck into the top of the net for a 1-0 lead with 10:55 remaining in the first period.
Quinnipiac is 11-4-1 when it scores first and 12-2-1 when it holds a lead after two periods.
“We were talking about it in the locker room that we wanted the first goal in the first period and that would give us a huge advantage to just keep going at it,” Uden Johansson said. “We reached it and we just went from there.”
Uden Johansson assisted on Nicole Kosta’s goal when she passed the puck to her in the offensive zone. Kosta then skated past two defenders and ripped a shot past Drinkwater from the point for a two-goal advantage.
“I heard Kosta screaming in the middle so I gave it to her,” Uden Johansson said. “It was an easy pass and she went through with it.”
Uden Johansson passed the puck to Felicia Vieweg, who took the initial shot. Drinkwater stopped it, but Kate Wheeler was in front of the crease to put the rebound in the net to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead with 10:44 remaining.
“It makes me a lot more relaxed in net when I have more of a cushion,” said Laden, who has allowed four goals in 14 periods of play, including one in a Nov. 22 win against then-No. 4 Boston College.
The two teams meet again tomorrow at 4 p.m.