Saint Lawrence beats Quinnipiac 5-4 despite Bobcats late comeback attempt

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Saint Lawrence beats Quinnipiac 5-4 despite Bobcats late comeback attempt

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

Joe LoGrippo, Women's Ice Hockey Beat Reporter

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The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team (9-16-3, 6-9-1 ECAC) took on the Saint Lawrence Saints (13-12-3, 8-6-2 ECAC) at home on Saturday evening. After coming off a 3-2 loss to the Clarkson Golden Knights the night before, the Bobcats looked to start fast against the Saints in order to avoid back-to-back losses.

The Bobcats did just that as Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout finished off a rebounded on a shot by Kenzie Prater to put the Bobcats up one just five minutes into the game.

However, that lead did not last long. Just three minutes later, Amanda Butterfield scored her first goal of the season by sniping the top left corner and getting Saint Lawrence on the board.

“Sometimes we just get comfortable scoring and waiting, because we are so comfortable in one goal games,” Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner said. “We need to learn how to attack through that.”

Later in the first period, the Bobcats had possession of the puck behind their own net. A lack luster pass was intercepted by the Saints’ center Kayla Nielsen. With no one near her, she beat Quinnipiac goaltender Abbie Ives and buried the puck in the back of the net to give her team a 2-1 lead going into the second period.

Coming out in the middle period with vengeance, Quinnipiac’s Lexie Adzija had an excellent chance to score. She was wide open and put a wrist shot on net. But Saints goalie Grace Harrison had other plans. She made a beautiful glove save to rob Adzija of a game-tying goal.

“I though Lexie had a breakout weekend,” Turner said. “She was dominant. All three lines we are rolling are creating opportunities.”

But Harrison could only steal so many chances. Just one minute later Brooke Bonsteel was able to get one past Harrison for her third goal of the season to tie the contest at two apiece.

After the Bonsteel goal, the Saints took over the second period.

They went on to score three goals. The first by Justine Reyes, another by Nielsen (her second of the game), and the third by Claire Dudley (the first of her college career). The Saints took a 5-2 lead into the final period.

Quinnipiac failed to give itself enough time to mount a legit comeback.

Assistant captain Randi Marcon squeaked one past Grace Harrison on the powerplay with only five minutes to play to cut the Saints’ lead to two. Then Adzija tallied her sixth goal on the year to make it a one-goal game. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, it came with three seconds left in the final period.

“We need to recognize and have a short memory,” Turner said. “We are one of the best defensive teams in the country. We got to get back to who we are, back to our details and play to our identity.”

“We failed to execute today. We weren’t as mentally prepared as we needed to be. Some of the mistakes are fixable, we gave them easy chances,” she said.

Turner knows if her team continues to make avoidable errors, it will not be in a position to compete in the conference.

The Bobcats out-shot their opponent 44-20 and won 14 more faceoffs than the Saints.

Quinnipiac will look to bounce back on the road next week. It takes on league rivals Yale and Brown in what will be two important games as the Bobcats look to stay in the ECAC hockey playoff picture.