Clarkson women's hockey downs SLU for 5th time in 2017-18 to advance to ECAC hockey title game
It's back to the ECAC Women's Hockey Championship Tournament title game for Clarkson University after the Golden Knights earned a hard-fought 4-2 victory over archrival St. Lawrence in semifinal action on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
Sophomore center Michaela Pejzlova (Pardubice, Czech Republic) led the way offensively with two goals and one assist, while senior goaltender Shea Tiley (Owen Sound, ONT) made 19 saves to backstop the Knights to their fifth win of the year over St. Lawrence.Clarkson, which tied the school record for wins in a season with the victory, will face off against Colgate, 5-4 winners over Cornell in the second semifinal contest, in Sunday's championship game at Cheel, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Defending ECAC Hockey Champions, the Green and Gold, ranked No. 2 in the nation, own a 32-4-1 overall record and have won their last six games.
The NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Selection Show will air Sunday, March 4 at 9:00 p.m. on NCAA.com
The Knights twice built two-goal leads over St. Lawrence (20-11-4), but the Saints fought back each time to make it a one-goal contest with less than 10 minutes to play. Clarkson outshot its rivals 28-21 and went 1-of-3 on the power play while killing off one of St. Lawrence's two man-advantages.
St. Lawrence got into early penalty trouble with back-to-back minors to start the game and Clarkson's third-ranked power play took advantage. Just 2:45 after the opening faceoff, junior Rhyen McGill (Whitby, ONT) knocked in a pass from freshman Elizabeth Giguere (Quebec City, QUE) at the doorstep for a 5-on-3 tally, her 18th goal of the season. Pejzlova also assisted.
Pejzlova, named a second-team league all-star on Friday, posted her two goals around a St. Lawrence tally during an offensive flurry midway through the second period to make it a 3-1 game.
At 12:44, Pejzlova put on a stick-handling display as she wove her way through the Saints' defense and flipped in the Knights' second goal of the game. Junior Loren Gabel (Kitchener, ONT) and freshman defenseman Avery Mitchell (Pickering, ONT) assisted.
St. Lawrence got on the scoreboard with Skylar Podvey's goal off a sharp angle shot at 14:50 that just squeezed past Tiley and the near post.
Pejzlova came right back with her second goal of the game just 24 seconds later, knocking in a rebound off a shot from the point by senior defenseman Savannah Harmon (Doners Grove, IL) at 15:14. Sophomore defenseman Ella Shelton (Ingersoll, ONT) also assisted.
St. Lawrence pulled to within at 12:50 of the third when Kennedy Marchment knocked in a loose puck during a scramble in front of Tiley for a power-play goal.
With just under two minutes to play, the Saints pulled goaltender Sonja Shelly for the extra attacker, but the Knights held tough and finally sealed the postseason victory with an empty-net goal by Gabel with eight seconds remaining. Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and a Top-3 Finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award, Gabel now has 34 goals and 71 points on the season, both the best marks in Clarkson's 15-year history.