Offensive explosion leads women’s ice hockey over Dartmouth
Right winger Nicole Kosta had three goals and an assist as the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team scored 8 goals to defeat ECAC conference opponent Dartmouth on Saturday evening at the High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.
The Bobcats (4-3-1, 1-1-0 ECAC), jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period against a Dartmouth (1-1-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) team that looked as if its players were still getting acquainted with the speed of a conference game. The match was only Dartmouth’s second regular season game of the year, the first, came Friday night in a win at Princeton.
Kosta got on the scoreboard early. Just two minutes and 29 seconds into the contest, Kelly Babstock sent a cross-ice pass which found Kosta just inside the right face off circle. She received the puck and fired a shot over the glove of Dartmouth goalie Katie Milligan into the top right corner of the net. The goal was Kosta’s second of the year.
“She’s been getting chances all year,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley said. “She’s been playing great, creating opportunities. We knew it was only a matter of time before she would score – she got three. It was great to get some goals out of Babstock and it was great to get some even strength goals.”
Quinnipiac would keep the pressure on the Big Green with 13 shots in the period. Babstock added another goal at the 12:48 mark in the first period to make it a 2-0 game and pick up her third point of the period.
In the second period, Dartmouth would momentarily cut the lead in half on a goal from Lindsey Allen at the 7:58 mark.
Despite a 12-7 advantage in shots in the second period, Quinnipiac was held scoreless and with a one goal lead, until the final 1:48 of the period.
Nicole Connery and Kosta then all but ended any hope for Dartmouth to crawl back into the game.
Connery was up first, she received a pass outside of the goalie crease on the right side of the net, carried it to the left of goalie Milligan and then flipped it behind her for the 3-0 lead.
The puck traveled to the Dartmouth zone on the ensuing center-ice face off where play stopped again. Babstock won the resulting face off, one of her 17 wins on the night, and played the puck towards net. Connery then corralled it and sent it to Kosta who put in a backhand shot from right outside the blue line.
In 30 seconds the Bobcats pushed their lead to three and had a commanding hold on the game to begin the third period.
The game opened up in the third stanza with six goals between the two teams. Brittany Lyons scored twice for Quinnipiac in the third. Kosta scored her third goal of the night for a hat trick and Morgan Fritz-Ward also added one late for the Bobcats.
Victoria Vigilante allowed two goals in the third, one from Sasha Nanji and the other from Camille Dumais. She had 22 saves in the win.
The win was the Bobcats first ECAC-conference game of the year. They are now 1-1 after the first weekend in ECAC play. Things won’t get any easier for the Quinnipiac women’s hockey team next week when they will play both Colgate and Cornell. However, Seeley is more focused on game-to-game improvement.
“We’re not too concerned about our opponent right now,” Seeley said after the game. “We have to just focus on getting better and better. We’ve made progress the last three weekends but we’ve got a long way to go.”