Potsdam, NY – Solid goaltending and timely scoring guided the 6th-ranked Clarkson University Women's Hockey team by 3rd/4th-ranked Cornell University 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
The win improves the Golden Knights to 19-4-3 (10-2-2 ECAC Hockey) while the loss drops the Big Red to 14-3-4 (9-2-3 ECAC Hockey). Clarkson jumps over Cornell into second place in the conference by one point, and the Knights remain three points behind leader Harvard.
After allowing a career high six goals the first time the two teams met, senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) was strong in net for Clarkson, stopping 20 shots and allowing only one goal to pick up the victory.
Senior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) has a breakaway attempt in the first minute of play as a pass bounced by the Cornell defense, but goaltender Paula Voorheis made the stop to keep the Knights off the scoreboard.
Both teams would get opportunities in front of the net throughout the first 10 minutes of play, but Howe and her defense kept the Big Red attack at bay. Rattray would have another chance in front of the net at the 9:00 minute mark, but again was turned aside by Voorheis.
Clarkson would get on the board first as sophomore Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) received a pass from freshman Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, QUE) at the blue line. After faking a shot, Ambrose avoided a defender and put a shot on net that was saved, but senior captain Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) was there for the put-back and beat Voorheis for her 10th goal of the year to give the Knights the 1-0 lead.
The Green and Gold would add to the lead at the 13:34 mark as Rattray took the puck from a Cornell defender attempting to clear the zone. Rattray passed to senior Brittany Styner (Calragy, ALB) cutting toward the net. Styner took the puck through the zone before finding classmate Vanessa Gagnon (St. Constant, QUE), who fired a wrist shot by Voorheis for her 10th goal of the year to but the Knights up 2-0.
The Big Red had the best scoring chance to begin the second period, as five minutes in they fired two shots on Howe and the puck trickled through the crease before being smothered by the goaltender to keep Cornell scoreless.
Cornell would not stay off the scoreboard for long however, as Emily Fulton took passes from Jillian Saulnier and Alyssa Gagliardi at the 5:30 mark and beat Howe for the power-play goal to cut the Knights' lead in half at 2-1. The goal is the second power-play goal surrendered by the Knights this weekend after entering the Friday's game having killed 37 straight penalties.
Clarkson would add to its lead as Rattray and Gagnon took a two-on-one opportunity into the Cornell zone. With passes from Styner and Ambrose, Rattray guided the puck down the right side of the ice, and as Gagnon cut toward the net, Rattray ripped a shot over the shoulder of Voorheis that knocked her water bottle off the top of the net and gave the Knights a 3-1 advantage. The goal is the fourth of the weekend for Rattray and 23rd on the year.
Trying to make up a two-goal deficit, the Big Red found themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage at the 14:00 mark of the third period, but their power-play was cut short at an interference penalty against Cornell quickly turned a 5-on-3 into a Clarkson power-play with just over four minutes to play.
Cornell would pull its goalie for most of the final two minutes of play, but the Clarkson defense stood strong to pull out the victory.
The Knights outshot the Big Red 31-21 on the afternoon. Clarkson was 0-5 on the power-play while Cornell was 1-4 with the man advantage. The Knights remain unbeaten in nine straight games, going 8-0-1 in that stretch.