Potsdam, NY – Three third-period goals powered the sixth-ranked Clarkson University Women's Hockey team by the St. Lawrence University Saints 3-0 on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights improve to 16-4-2 (7-2-1 ECAC Hockey) while the Saints drop to 6-13-1(5-4-1 ECAC Hockey). Clarkson hits the road next weekend to take on Yale University at 7:00 pm Friday, followed by a game at Brown University at 4:00 pm on Saturday.
The shutout is the second straight for senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT), who has now gone 138:39 minutes without allowing a goal. The win is the 75th of her career. She now has nine shutouts on the season, four more than any other goaltender in the nation. Howe boasts 24 career whitewashes after the weekend blankings of St. Lawrence. On Friday at Appleton Arena, Howe made 21 stops in the 6-0 victory.
"I thought both teams brought a good effort tonight," stated Clarkson co-Head Coach Matt Desrosiers. "We knew tonight was going to be a different game than last night and that we were going to need to maintain our intensity for a full 60 minutes. Just like last night, Erica was there to make some key saves for us and our defensive game was pretty solid. Between periods we just told the team to keep playing the way we were and eventually we would be able to break through with a goal. I thought every one of our players showed up to play this weekend which is a good sign of confidence and our team getting better."
Clarkson dominated puck possession from the start, as St. Lawrence was not able to set up anything on the offensive end. The Saints did not attempt a shot until the 7:42 mark of the first period, and that was easily turned aside by Erica Howe.
After the Knights killed yet another penalty, senior Vanessa Plante (Riviere-du-Loup, QUE) fired a shot from the point that hit the left post and went wide, keeping the game scoreless.
Clarkson outshot St. Lawrence 12-4 in the first period, and the defense did not allow the Saints to gain any rhythm on the offensive end of the ice.
The Knights killed another penalty early in the second period, but St. Lawrence was able to get more pressure on Howe as the period progressed.
After a pass through traffic at center ice from senior Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB), classmate Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) had a breakaway attempt but her shot was denied.
St. Lawrence had its best chance to score on a power-play attempt, but the puck went by the net and withstood a video review to keep the game knotted at zeroes.
Clarkson had multiple opportunities, starting with catching the Saints in a line change that led to a breakaway down the right side of the ice, but the Knights could not capitalize. Another shot would hit the crossbar and ricochet over the net less than a minute later.
Play really began to pick up in the last few minutes of the second period, and freshman Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, QUE) took a shot from in front of the net that went just wide.
St. Lawrence outshot Clarkson 9-7 in the second period but failed to convert on two power-play opportunities.
Rattray started the third by beating a defender and firing a shot on net, but St. Lawrence goaltender Carmen MacDonald was up to the challenge and made the save.
Less than a minute later the Knights brought the puck up the left side of the ice and sophomore Cayley Mercer (Exeter, ONT) found junior Christine Lambert (Thetford Mines, QUE) in front of the net. Lambert's shot was saved but the rebound was gathered by sophomore Olivia Howe (Moose Jaw, SASK) and she finished the play for her fourth goal of the season to put Clarkson in the lead 1-0.
An attempt to add to the lead was foiled after Bannon took a shot that hit the crossbar and deflected into the air before MacDonald gloved the puck behind her back to keep the game 1-0.
Clarkson would put the game away with a power-play goal at the 17:14 mark. Senior captain Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) passed to sophomore Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) at the blue line. Ambrose then found Styner in front of the net and she beat MacDonald to double the Knights' lead.
Olivia Howe would add a late empty net goal for her second strike of the game to finish of the Saints.
After killing all four St. Lawrence power-play attempts, the Knights now have not allowed a power-play goal since the first period of a November 9th game against Harvard. The streak now stretches over nine full games.
The Knights outshot the Saints 32-15 on the afternoon, including a 13-2 advantage in the final period.