The ECAC Hockey campaign is winding down, but the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team is starting to heat up. Winners of four straight and five of their last six, the Golden Knights seemed to be hitting stride at just the ride time with postseason play quickly approaching.
Guided by third-year co-head coaches Matt and Shannon Desrosiers and assistant coach Matt Kelly, Clarkson owns an 11-13-3 overall record and is tied for fifth place in the ECAC Hockey standings with an 8-6-1 league mark. The Green and Gold, who are tied with Princeton, but have one game in hand on the Tigers, are one point out of fourth with seven regular-season games remaining. Clarkson opens a four-game home stand at Cheel Arena this weekend hosting national powerhouse Cornell on Friday, at 7:00 p.m., and Colgate on Saturday, at 4:00 p.m.
The Knights pulled out a pair of dramatic wins on the road this past weekend. On Friday, Clarkson overcame a 2-0 second-period deficit to knock off 10th-ranked Quinnipiac, 3-2 in overtime in Hamden, CT as junior Brittany Mulligan (London, ONT) tallied the winning goal with 34 seconds left in the extra session. Sophomore Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT), who was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week, started the comeback with a pair of goals in the third frame.
In New Jersey on Saturday, the Knights enjoyed another strong third-period effort, scoring three goals in the 3-2 victory over Princeton to extend their longest win streak of the season. Freshman Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) continued her productive play up front by figuring in on all the Clarkson scoring with one goal and two assists. The Knights’ all-time leading goal scorer, senior Melissa Waldie (Newmarket, ONT) netted the game-winner with her team-high 13th goal of the season and 65th career marker. The three goals scored by Clarkson in the final stanza at Princeton equaled the total allowed by the Tigers over their previous eight games combined.
Waldie tops the Clarkson scoring chart with 20 points, followed by junior Juana Baribeau (Amos, QUE) (6-9) and freshman Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) (3-12) with 15 points each. Skirrow (9-4) and Mercer (5-8) both have 13 points. Mulligan rounds out the Green and Gold double-digit scorers with 10 points (3-7).
Freshman Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT), who was named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week, was solid in the Clarkson crease, combining for 46 saves on 50 shots in the weekend road sweep. Through 16 games, Howe, who has started every game in goal during the current winning streak, posts a .926 save percentage and a 1.80 goals against average en route to a 7-4-2 record, including one shutout.
Number-two ranked Cornell has been virtually flawless this season owning a 22-1 overall record and a 16-0 ECAC Hockey mark. The Big Red have outscored their opponents 19-0 over the past three games and 107-16 for the season. Cornell shut out both Union (8-0) and RPI (6-0) this past weekend in Ithaca to run their winning streak to 18 games.
Battling for one of the conference’s top eight spots, Colgate posted a pair of key wins in Hamilton last weekend, earning shutouts over Rensselaer (2-0) and Union (1-0). The Raiders, who play at St. Lawrence on Friday, stand at 9-16-2 overall and are in ninth place in the league with a 6-9-1 ECAC Hockey mark.