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Ives Thrives as Quinnipiac ties Saint Lawrence 1-1

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

Video By: Mike Dalton

 

 

 

Written By: Tom Krosnowksi

When one says that a hockey game was a “goalie’s duel,” sometimes that infers that the game was low-event hockey.

However, Friday night’s “goalie’s duel” between Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence at the Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena was far from low-event hockey.

Both the Bobcats and the Saints traded scoring chances frantically in the third period and into overtime, but goaltenders Abbie Ives and Grace Harrison settled in after allowing early goals and stopped every shot they saw for the final 48:40 of play, resulting in a hard-fought 1-1 tie.

“It was a fun hockey game today,” Quinnipiac Head Coach Cass Turner said. “It’s impressive to see hockey that is that entertaining and you’re wondering when the last shot was.”

Indeed, the game almost did come down to its last shot, as sophomore Kenzie Prater was stopped at the goalmouth with just three seconds remaining in overtime. Centering the top line, Prater played a complete game in all three zones.

“I think Kenzie Prater had her best game of the year today,” Turner said. “It really was a great effort on both sides of the puck. … I’m excited to see how this year will end for Kenzie.”

Of course, Quinnipiac never would have made it to overtime without the heroics of sophomore goaltender Abbie Ives, who finished with 23 saves. Ives did her best to keep the Bobcats in the game, but they ran into an equally dominant goaltender in Harrison.

“Abbie made some big saves for us, and I thought we had some opportunities we could have capitalized on too, so it’s not surprising that it ended in a tie today,” Turner said.

Another big boost for the Bobcats came from the team’s penalty kill unit. One of the best units in ECAC Hockey, Quinnipiac went a perfect 3-3 on the PK, raising the team’s percentage to a sterling 88 percent.

“[The penalty killers] brought a lot of momentum,” Turner said. “It was really good to see them gain confidence even as we went through our PKs today.”

Some say that the goalie has to be the team’s top penalty killer, and Ives was certainly up to the task, killing off one particular penalty without her stick for one extended Saint Lawrence chance.

“I just try to focus on the details and try not to think about what’s going on,” Ives said. “It’s easy to get caught in the moment, so you’re just trying to do everything you can to keep it out of the net. Afterwards, I think about how crazy it was.”

“Abbie was there for us today,” Turner said. “She made some saves, that were probably pretty hard, look routine and easy, and that’s what we like to see.”

It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Bobcats, who earned one point in the ECAC Hockey standings with Friday nights tie. On Saturday afternoon, they’ll take on the best team in the country, No. 1 Clarkson, in the club’s final home game of the regular season.

The last time these teams played, Quinnipiac beat Clarkson 3-2 in overtime on the road back in November.

The Golden Knights’ 15-game win streak was snapped Friday by Princeton, but Quinnipiac knows that Clarkson will be firing on all cylinders.

“We’re playing a Clarkson team that we beat this year,” Turner said. “They’ve only lost a couple of games this year, and one of them is to us. No question they’re going to come ready to try and give their best game.”

After one of her best and most exhausting games of the season, Ives echoed her coach’s sentiments.

“As soon as the game ended, as tired as we (were), we just cannot wait to play them,” Ives said. “We’re just really hungry for the win.”

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