After sweeping the regular-season series from Harvard, the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team could not carry over its good fortune against the nationally-ranked Crimson into the playoffs as the Golden Knights fell 4-2 in the semifinal round of the ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament at Lynah Rink in Ithaca on Saturday afternoon.
In a tightly played defensive game, Harvard took advantage of its limited chances, while the Knights could not capitalize on some excellent chances early. Clarkson outshot the 6th/7th-ranked Crimson 28-25.
At 28-9 overall and ranked fifth in the national polls, the Knights will now await word on a probable berth in the upcoming eight-team NCAA Tournament, which will be announced on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Harvard, with a 24-5-3 overall record, will play host Cornell (26-5-1) in Sunday’s ECAC Hockey Tournament Championship game.
The Knights outshot Harvard 11-6 in the first period, but the Crimson struck first early in the contest to hold a 1-0 lead through the opening 20 minutes. At 2:06 the Crimson’s Mary Parker’s took a shot in close that fluttered up and over Clarkson junior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) and just across the goal line.
Clarkson started the second period on the power play and generated some good opportunities, but could not get a shot past Harvard’s freshman goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer. After killing off the Knights’ man-advantage, the Crimson enjoyed the better of the play in the stanza outshooting the Green and Gold 10-4. Jillian Dempsey redirected in a shot from the point by Sarah Edney with just nine seconds remaining in a Harvard power play to give the Crimson a 2-0 lead at 15:02.
Harvard went on top 3-0 at 3:10 of the third when Miye D’Oench scored on a high shot from the bottom of the left circle.
Clarkson finally got on the scoreboard and snapped the Crimson’s stretch of shutout playoff hockey at 167:38 when the Knights’ leading scorer, junior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) knocked in a bouncing puck during a scramble in front at 12:22. Freshman defenseman Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) and senior Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT) assisted on the goal that close the gapped to 3-1.
The Knights had an excellent opportunity to make it a one-goal game when they went on the power play at 16:18, and pulled Erica Howe for another extra attacker to go on 6-4 advantage. Harvard, however, was able to kill it off and added an empty-net goal by Parker with 2:40 remaining.
With 15.8 seconds left junior Vanessa Gagnon (St. Constant, QUE) scored in her fourth straight game, finishing off a passing play by freshmen defensemen Ambrose and Reneta Fast (Burlington, ONT). It was too little too late, however, as time ran out on the Knights.
Howe finished with 21 saves. Maschmeyer posted 26 stops. Clarkson was 0-of-5 on the power play, while Harvard went 1-of-3 with the man-advantage.