Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey falls after coming back from third-period deficit
The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team came all the way back from a two-goal, third-period deficit. And then in a span of 22 seconds, they were behind again.
The Bobcats scored three goals in the third period, but allowed two goals with less than 2 minutes remaining, as St. Lawrence beat the Bobcats, 4-3, Friday at High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center.
With 1:34 to play, St. Lawrence’s Rylee Smith, the team’s leading scorer, tied the game at 3 when she sent the puck past a diving Victoria Vigilanti just outside of the crease. Twenty-two seconds later, linemate Kelly Sabatine found a lane and scored the game-winning goal past three Quinnipiac defenders.
“The two goals at the end, we just fell apart,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley said. “You can’t afford to do it.
“We’ve struggled putting 60 minutes together. The breakdowns on the end, especially on the winning goal, it’s just unacceptable. We have two seniors and a junior out there paying no attention to what their responsibilities are.”
The Saints (18-8-4, 12-5-2 ECAC Hockey) spoiled what would have been the best comeback all season for Quinnipiac (15-13-2, 10-7-2).
The Bobcats entered the third period trailing 2-0, but forward Breann Frykas and Regan Boulton combined to score three goals within seven minutes for her first-career hat trick to put the Bobcats ahead 3-2 with 11:17 remaining in the third.
“I thought the team came out and played really inspired hockey for the first nine minutes to get the lead,” Seeley said. “After that I thought we eased up a little bit.”
Quinnipiac, which has lost four in a row, could have moved into fifth place in the conference with the win and hold the tiebreaker over the Saints. Instead, the Bobcats sit four points back of them and Dartmouth, who also won today, heading into tomorrow’s matchup with third-place Clarkson at 4 p.m.
“Every game’s a critical playoff game now,” Seeley said.
The Bobcats held a two-point lead for first place in the conference a month ago. Since, the team has lost five of seven games.
“Until we make that commitment to have everybody play 60 minutes, it’s going to be tough to beat any team on our schedule and then in the playoffs,” Seeley said.
Vigilanti made 34 saves in the game, including 16 in the third period. St. Lawrence goalie Carmen MacDonald recorded 24 saves.
Boulton fired a shot from inside the blue line with 11:17 to score the go-ahead power-play goal. Frykas scored two goals earlier in the third, when she took a rebound from a shot by Brittany Lyons and sent it past MacDonald, and also flicked the puck past MacDonald from the doorstep off a missed opportunity by Amanda Colin.
Five Bobcats had an assist in the game.
Sabatine also had an assist on a first-period goal by Karell Emard. Alley Bero scored a goal in the second period for the Saints to put them up 2-0.
St. Lawrence’s first line of Smith, Emard and Sabatine generated 18 of the team’s 38 shots.
“They’re all exceptional players. They work well together, they’re smart,” Seeley said. “You can’t give people like that an opportunity.”
Seeley said the team needs to have everyone play a complete game in order to end the four-game losing streak with three games to play.
“There’s usually a tale of two games in every game we have,” Seeley said. “There are times when you’re going great, you’re totally committed to what you’re trying to accomplish, and other times, we just lose it a bit.”