SLU Seniors Enjoy Big Day Vs No. 10 Quinnipiac
St. Lawrence University senior forward Kayla Vespa scored off assists from classmates Maggie McLaughlin and Kalie Grant at the 11:51 mark of the third period to lead the Saints' women's hockey team to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over 10th-ranked Quinnipiac in an ECAC Hockey contest at Appleton Arena on Saturday afternoon. The trio, skating together on a forward line for the first time this season, were honored as three of eight members of the Saints' Class of 2020 in senior day celebrations following the game. "What a great day for our seniors," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells '92. "Vespa getting the winner was so fitting for her and that line. We found a way to get back after the two quick ones Quinnipiac got on us. It is always fun to win on senior day and with this big group they can certainly leave Appleton with a good feeling. They won the first game in renovated Appleton with a senior scoring and their last with a senior scoring." With the win, St. Lawrence has clinched a spot in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. The Saints sit in eighth place in the conference standings, three points behind seventh-place Colgate and four behind Quinnipiac. Union is in ninth, five points back and out of playoff contention. St. Lawrence had a 1-0 lead through two periods thanks to a shorthanded breakaway goal by Charlea Pedersen eight minutes into the second period. Pederson created a turnover in the neutral zone and beat Quinnipiac goaltender Abbie Ives five-hole for her second goal of the season. The Bobcats, however, took the lead with two goals in an eight-second span eight minutes into the third period. Taylor House beat St. Lawrence goaltender Lucy Morgan with a shot to the blocker side after picking up a loose puck in the Saints' defensive zone to tie the game. After Quinnipiac won the ensuing faceoff, Kenzie Prater flipped the puck into the Saints' end from the red line and it took a funny bounce and skipped over Morgan's shoulder and into the top right corner of the net to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. The Saints, however, scored two goals of their own in the next 3:43 to take the lead for good. Skylar Podvey fired a slap shot through a screen and past Ives to tie the score, with assists coming from Amanda Butterfield and Shailynn Snow, and Vespa scored the game-winner on a redirect in front after McLaughlin fired a centering pass from the left corner. The Saints held a 24-20 edge in shots on goal. Ives made 21 saves for the Bobcats, while Morgan stopped 18 shots, including two huge stops on Taylor Girard, one on a breakaway with the Saints leading 1-0 in the second period, and another halfway through the third with the Saints trailing 2-1. After the game, St. Lawrence seniors Jaimee Cooke, Jacquie Diffley, Grant, Vespa, Steph Keryluk, Dakota Golde, McLaughlin and Butterfield were joined on the ice by their families and honored for their accomplishments. The Saints will close out the regular season with a road trip next weekend, facing Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday.