Despite a 40-shot effort the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team suffered a rare loss at Cheel Arena as Princeton University gained a 4-1 road victory in ECAC Hockey play on Friday night.
The Golden Knights, who lost for only the second time over the past seven games, dropped to second place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 15-4 league mark. Clarkson, which hosts Quinnipiac on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in the final regular-season home game, is ranked sixth in the country with a 23-8 overall record.
The Knights outshot Princeton (10-14-2, 5-12-2) by almost a 2-to-1 margin, 41-22, but it was the Tigers who made the most of their opportunities to keep their playoff hopes alive. Princeton moves up to eighth place in the standings with three games remaining.
Clarkson dominated the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Tigers 15-6 en route to a 1-0 first-period lead. The Knights could not capitalize on two early power plays, but took the lead midway through the stanza on a beautiful goal by senior Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT). Skirrow picked up a loose puck along the blueline skate down the right wing, deked a Princeton defenseman and then fired a shot from the circle into the top corner of the net for her 15th goal of the season at 13:19.
The Knights continued to control play in the middle frame with a 14-7 shot advantage, but it was Princeton which connected for the lone goal of the period. At 4:34, the Tigers’ leading scorer, Kelly Cooke took a pass from Corey Stearns and scored on a hard shot from the left boards to make it a 1-1 game.
Cooke tallied again early in the third off a shot from the left wing circle at 3:42 for the game-winning goal and her team-high 15th goal of the season.
Princeton added two late scores, including an empty-net goal, to seal the win. Denna Laing scored her third of the season, knocking in a rebound off a shot by Olivia Mucha at 17:40. With 1:35 remaining and the Clarkson net empty, Stearns completed the game for the Tigers with her fifth goal of the year.
Junior Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) posted six saves in each period, making 18 stops for Clarkson. Kimberly Newell made 40 saves for Princeton, which plays at St. Lawrence on Saturday.
The Knights were 0-of-3 on the power play, while the Tigers went 0-of-2 on the man-advantage.