Potsdam, NY – Following a night in which they could only muster one goal on 54 shots, the #5 Clarkson University Women's Hockey team had no trouble finding the back of the net as they cruised by the Yale University Bulldogs 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson improves to 7-2-2 (2-1-1 ECAC Hockey) on the year while the Bulldogs fall to 0-4 (0-2 ECAC Hockey).
The win caps off a week in which the Golden Knights went 1-0-1, tying Brown last night before beating Yale today. Clarkson will host another pair of Ivy League foes next weekend when they take on Dartmouth College on Friday at 7:00 pm, followed by Harvard University on Saturday at 4:00 pm. Both games will be played at Cheel Arena.
"I thought it was great team effort tonight," stated co-head coach Matt Desrosiers. "We played loose and confident but very focused on the task at hand. The focus going into tonight was to make sure we kept doing the simple things that were allowing us to create so many scoring chances as of late. I thought we did a great job not losing sight of what was making us successful but working just that little bit harder to capitalize on our opportunities. We have been playing good hockey and knew that if we just maintained that high level of play the puck would start finding the back of the net for us."
Sophomore Cayley Mercer (Exeter, ONT) got the Knights on the board in the first at the 6:01 mark as she finished passes from seniors Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) and Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB) to beat Yale goaltender Jamie Leonoff, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead. The power play goal was Mercer's second on the year, and Rattray's and Styner's seventh and ninth assists, respectively.
That goal would be all the home team needed as senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) was unstoppable in net, stopping all 22 shots she faced to record her third shutout of the season.
Just over 30 seconds later the Knights added to their lead when Olivia Howe (Moose Jaw, SASK) took the puck down the right side and found Shelby Nisbet (Wiseton, SASK) in the middle of the ice, who blasted a shot by Leonoff for her third goal of the year to put Clarkson up 2-0.
The Green and Gold dominated puck possession in the first period, outshooting the Bulldogs 19-6.
Taking advantage of fresh ice, the Knights were right back at it to begin the second period. 25 seconds in, Clarkson had a three-on-one breakaway, started by a pass out of the defensive end from Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) to Rattray. Skating down the left side, Rattray held the puck before dishing middle to Styner who slapped a one-timed by the goaltender to put the Knights ahead 3-0.
Less than two minutes later, another offensive rush led to a fourth goal for the Knights. Off a faceoff in the attacking zone, Styner took possession of the puck and sent it across ice to Ambrose, who found Rattray open in front of the net. Finishing the play, Rattray shot into the upper right corner of the net for her seventh goal of the year to put Clarkson up 4-0.
The third goal in the second period came when Rattray brought the puck into the attacking zone and found fellow senior Vanessa Gagnon (St. Constant, QUE) behind the Yale net. After skating out from behind the net she found freshman defenseman Corie Jacobson (Warren, ONT) at the blue line, who skated to her right and then fired a slap shot over the glove of the goaltender for the first goal of her career, putting the Knights up 5-0.
Another freshman finished the scoring for the Green and Gold in the second, as Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, QUE) capped off passes from both senior Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) and Cayley Mercer to give Clarkson the 6-0 advantage.
Carly Mercer would add a power play goal midway through the third period, with help from Cayley Mercer and Brittany Styner, to reach the final score of 7-0.
Clarkson outshot Yale 38-22 on the evening, and held a 41-29 advantage on faceoffs. The Knights capitalized on two of seven power play attempts, while Yale was 0-2 on the night with the extra skater.