Trailing 4-1 with just over 10 minutes to play, the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team put on a strong rally, but fell just short in its comeback bid as the host Boston University Terriers held on for a 5-3 win in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday afternoon at Walker Brown Arena in Boston.
The Golden Knights closed out their most successful season in the program’s 10-year history with a 28-10 overall record. Clarkson finished tied for second in the final ECAC Hockey standings with an 18-4 league mark. Boston University, with a 27-5-3 record advances to the 2013 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four next Friday in Minneapolis, MN where they will face Mercyhurst.
Clarkson played a strong game against the Hockey East Champions, outshooting Boston University 37-27, but a couple of bad bounces and a two-goal spurt by the Terriers proved to be the difference. The Knights also struggled on the power play, going 0-5 with the man-advantage. BU was 0-of-2 on its power plays.
The Terriers took the initial lead early in the first when a shot from between the circles by their leading scorer Marie-Philip Poulin found its way through a maze of players in front and past Clarkson’s junior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) at 4:49.
The Knights tied it early in the second when freshman defenseman Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) knocked in her sixth goal of the season at 1:44 after hard work down low by junior Shelby Nisbet (Wiseton, SASK) and freshman Olivia Howe (Moose Jaw, SASK).
Late in the middle frame, BU went back on top with a goal by Jenelle Kohanchuk at 17:09.
The Terriers built what look like a comfortable 4-1 lead midway through the third period with a pair of goals 26 seconds apart. At 9:22, Sarah Lefort sent a pass from behind the goal into the Clarkson crease that bounced off the back of Howe’s skate and just over the goal line to put the home team on top 3-1. Louise Warren scored at 9:48 on a shot in close for a 4-1 BU lead.
The Knights called a timeout after the fourth BU goal, and quickly responded to pull themselves back into the game. At the 10:00 minute mark, sophomore Christine Lambert (Thetford Mines, QUE) knocked in a shot during a scramble in front for her fourth goal of the year to make it 4-2. Junior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) assisted.
Freshman Christine MacAulay (Mt. Herbert, PEI) responded at 15:20 with her ninth tally of the season off a shot down low to make it a one-goal game. Senior Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT), playing in her school-record 151 career game, and sophomore defenseman Jennifer Shields (Ingersoll, ONT) assisted.
Clarkson pulled Howe for the extra attacker with just over a minute to play, but the Terriers scored into the empty net at 59 seconds remaining to seal the win.
Howe finished with 22 saves, while BU’s Kerrin Sperry made 34 stops.