October 18, 2012

Women's Journal: Babstock off to record-breaking start

By Kat Hasenauer Cornetta

Kelly Babstock knew she had scored her 100th career point for Quinnipiac University just after she released the pass.

In her team’s October 5th game against pennieral women’s hockey powerhouse Mercyhurst, the junior center connected with winger Brittany Lyons (Canton, Mass.) during the seven minute mark of the second period. Lyons shot a wrister towards Lakers goalie Amanda Makela to score, evening the game at three a side. 

Quinnipiac's Kelly Babstock (Photo: Quinnipiac Athletics)

“It felt great,” reflected Babstock on the play. “As soon as I hit Lyons with a pass and she scored it hit me that I accomplished what I wanted and it was a moment I had for a few seconds that I’ll always remember.”

The Bobcats and Mercyhurst ended that game in a 4-4 tie, but Babstock’s place in Quinnipiac lore was cemented. In just 75 games, the Mississauga, Ontario native had set a significant record for the 11 year old program - but she was far from done.

Last Friday, she scored four goals in a 6-1, non-conference win against Maine, a program record for most goals in a game scored by a single player. Babstock added three more points (1 g, 2 a) the next night against the Black Bears, giving her a commanding lead not only in Quinnipiac’s history books, but in national individual statistics. Over a four game stretch, she leads the nation in points-per-game (3.50), goals per game (2) and power-play goals (3).

Babstock understands the impact she has had in her three years at Quinnipiac, but is not taking too much time currently to reflect on it.

“It feels great but until my career is done, [I won’t] truly know what it means,” said Babstock. “I try to not focus on that but focus on the game in and out to help my team do great this season.”

Babstock credits her wings on the top line, sophomore Nicole Kosta and junior Erica Uden Johansson, for helping her off to a sensational start this season.

“My line has been a huge help in my play,” said Babstock. “Kosta and UJ (Uden Johansson) have really stepped up with me and we have just been clicking.”

Babstock isn’t even the only record setter on her line. Kosta is in the midst of an eleven-game scoring streak, which bests the previous Quinnipiac record by three games. The two have now combined for 25 points through four games.

But records are not the focus for Babstock, Kosta and the rest of the Bobcats’ roster. They hope to continue their strong start to the season as they face Syracuse in a weekend series. ECAC play awaits next weekend, when Quinnipiac will host Harvard and Dartmouth.

Babstock hopes that she can lead her team to strong play as conference games begin.

“(I want to) help my team be consistent and to help my team be the best we can.”

Player of the Week

Klara Myren (Leksand, Sweden), University of Vermont  

She may not be Hockey East’s most prolific player, but Myren is making huge strides for Vermont so far this season. She scored two goals and two assists in the Catamounts’ come from behind 4-3 win over the University of New Hampshire, including the first assist on the game-winning goal. Myren now has eight points in five games so far, leading the team and equaling her points total from all of last season. The sophomore is a sure example of the change in attitude and philosophy with Vermont’s squad this season.

Game of the Week

Cornell at Boston University, Saturday and Sunday

ECAC favorite Cornell opens their regular season slate in style Saturday night. Boston University will host the team that knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament last March at Agganis Arena, where the Terriers are trying to pack the rink with fans as part of the school’s Parents Weekend activities. Coming off a 4-1 win Tuesday night against Northeastern, BU will try to avenge their 8-7, triple overtime loss in the NCAA quarterfinals to the Big Red.

Power Rankings

1. Boston University (4-0-0 overall, 2-0-0 Hockey East) - The Terriers’ win over Northeastern Tuesday night identifies them as the team to beat right now in Hockey East. Goaltender Kerrin Sperry (North Reading, Mass.) flies under the radar in a roster of international quality forwards, but she earned her 44th career win in net Tuesday night, setting a program record. She has a .929 save percentage going into the weekend.

2. Northeastern (4-1-0 overall, 0-1-0 Hockey East) - Opposing defenses are trying their best to shut down Kendall Coyne, but the sophomore is persevering. Coyne scored a hat trick last weekend against Union, and she earned a second straight league Player of the Week honor. The Huskies’ defense has stepped up, going 13 for 14 on the penalty kill over their last three games.

3. Boston College (0-1-0 overall, 0-1-0 Hockey East) - The Eagles hosted the Boston Blades in an exhibition last weekend, which should help them center after a frustrating opening loss in league play. Boston College lost 4-3 to the Blades on Saturday after coming out with a 2-0 lead early in the game. They will play a home-and-home series against the University of New Hampshire this weekend.

4. Quinnipiac (2-1-1 overall, 0-0-0 ECAC) - Quinnipiac is flying high in non-conference play so far, and it is not solely because of the record setting play of the previously mentioned Babstock and Kosta. Erica Uden Johansson and Brittany Lyons are playing extremely well at left wing for the Bobcats.

5. Providence College (1-3-0 overall, 0-0-0 Hockey East) - The Friars’ weekend series against the University of Vermont should tell the rest of the league a lot about this weekend’s roster. Providence fell to Mercyhurst, 6-3 and 5-0, last weekend, but juniors Rebecca Morse and freshman Molly Illikainen demonstrated great efforts that should lead them to more success this weekend. 

Kat Hasenauer Cornetta can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at@sportsgirlkat.