Potsdam, NY – Senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) recorded her second straight shutout as the 3rd-ranked Clarkson University Women's Hockey team blanked the Dartmouth College Big Green 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
The top-seeded Golden Knights improve to 27-4-5 and will host the ECAC Women's Hockey Championship next Saturday and Sunday at Cheel Arena. The loss ends Dartmouth's season with a record of 9-20-1. Clarkson is now unbeaten in its last 18 games, going 15-0-3 dating back to the first week of December.
"Again, I thought our players did another great job just going about their business playing our game," stated Clarkson co-head coach Matt Desrosiers. "We were able to generate some great chances and force their goaltender to have to make some nice saves. It was a tough game in the sense that there wasn't a lot of flow to the game due to the amount of penalties but the team remained focused and didn't let it effect them. Our penalty kill really made a difference tonight and all weekend long. Special teams are so important this time of year and so it was great to see our penalty killers stepping up to get the job done. It's definitely going to be exciting for our players and the University to host the ECAC Championship next weekend. The team knows there are going to be some tough games coming our way so we will need to make sure we have a good week of practice to get ready to play our best."
Howe stopped all 16 shots she faced on the afternoon to record her 13th shutout of the season. Three of those shutouts came against Dartmouth, including a 2-0 victory yesterday.
Dartmouth would get an early power-play chance, but it was Big Green goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft who was forced to make a diving save. Senior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) entered the Dartmouth zone and fired a shorthanded attempt at the net, but Holdcroft made a diving glove save to keep the game scoreless.
With just under five minutes to play in the first, the Knights had another scoring chance as Rattray found sophomore Olivia Howe (Moose Jaw, SASK) in front of the net, but her wrist shot from point-blank range was stopped by Holdcroft and the rebound was eventually smothered by the goaltender.
With just over one minute remaining in the period the Knights took advantage of a Dartmouth miscue as a defender fell down at the blue line and led to a three-on-one charge for Clarkson. Howe brought the puck up the right wing and centered to senior captain Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT). Mercer passed back to Howe and sophomore Cayley Mercer (Exeter, ONT) skated up the left wing and cut to the net. Howe found Cayley Mercer, whose first shot was denied with a kick save by Holdcroft, but Mercer buried the rebound to give the Knights the 1-0 lead. The goal is the younger Mercer's third on the season.
The assists moves Carly Mercer into second place all-time in scoring for the Knights, passing Brittany Selina '10 with 149 career points.
The Knights dominated play in the first period, outshooting the Big Green 13-1 in the first 20 minutes.
The Knights' third line would add to their lead midway through the second period. Freshman Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, QUE) took the puck behind the Dartmouth goal and found sophomore Shannon MacAulay (Mt. Herbert, PEI) in front of the net. MacAulay fired a shot on net that was saved, but junior Christine Lambert (Thetford Mines, QUE) knocked home the rebound to double the Clarkson lead. The goal was Lambert's sixth on the season.
Clarkson was outshot 13-8 in the period, and but Dartmouth went 0-4 on the power-play.
Attempting to add to the lead, Rattray stole the puck at the Dartmouth blue line and had a clear path to the net. After dangling the puck into the zone, her wrist shot was stopped with another impressive kick save by Holdcroft to keep the Clarkson lead at 2-0.
Clarkson controlled the tempo throughout the third period and never allowed Dartmouth to mount a comeback. The Knights outshot the Big Green 30-16 on the afternoon, and the teams were a combined 0-14 on the power-play.