Potsdam, NY – Junior Christine Lambert's (Thetford Mines, QUE) hat trick propelled the 7th/9th ranked Clarkson University Women's Hockey team by the Providence Friars 4-0 on Saturday afternoon in a weekend sweep at Cheel Arena.
The win improves the Golden Knights to 10-3-2 (3-2-1 ECAC Hockey) on the season and Providence drops to 4-10 (1-5 Hockey East). Clarkson outscored Providence 9-1 on the weekend and dominated the Friars from start to finish.
"We gave a good effort this weekend and did a great job playing a team game," stated Clarkson co-head coach Matt Desrosiers. "A lot of players stepped up and contributed in different ways which we will need moving forward if we want to achieve the goals we have set for season. We were able to capitalize on some of our chances and continued to play strong in our own end not giving much up. It was a great weekend for us to build off of going into very important league games next weekend."
Clarkson immediately pressured Providence goaltender Sarah Bryant, as less than a minute into the game, sophomore Cayley Mercer (Exeter, ONT) carried the puck down the left side of the ice and fired an uncontested shot wide of the net. Daniella Matteucci's (Fruitvale, BC) shot from the point hit the post one minute later.
Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) had a scoring chance at the 12:18 mark as she skated around a defender with impressive stick handling, but Bryant made a diving save to smother the puck and keep the game scoreless.
During the Knights' first power-play opportunity of the afternoon, Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) fired multiple shots on net from the blue line, but could not beat Bryant.
The Friars' first scoring chance came midway the first when a shot from the point was deflected through the legs of a Clarkson defender, but senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) blocked the puck with her right leg to keep Providence off the scoreboard.
After Providence had killed off the second power-play of the game for Clarkson, senior Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB) held the puck to the right of the Friars' goal and passed out to junior Jennifer Shields (Ingersoll, ONT) at the blue line, who fired a shot on goal. Lambert positioned herself in front of the goal and deflected the puck into the net for her third goal of the year to give the Knights the 1-0 lead.
Clarkson outshot Providence 9-4 in the first period and held the Friars without a shot on their one power-play chance.
After a back-and-forth start to the second period, the Golden Knights added to their lead at the 7:05 mark. The puck rode the boards behind the Friars' goal and senior Vanessa Plante (Riviere-du-Loup, QUE) controlled it quickly before passing in front of the net to a streaking Lambert who blasted a slap shot by Bryant for her second goal of the game.
Providence went on the power-play shortly thereafter, but despite their best efforts and two large scrums in front of the Clarkson net, the Friars could not break onto the scoreboard. Senior Shelby Nisbet (Wiseton, SASK) came up with a critical blocked shot to maintain the shutout.
Wasting little time, Rattray took a pass from Ambrose that led to a breakaway down the middle of the ice at the 12:33 mark, beat a Providence defender, and shot into the body of Bryant, who carried the puck backwards into the net to give the Knights a 3-0 lead. The goal was Rattray's ninth on the year to lead all scorers.
Although short-handed, Rattray still was able to beat the defense once again on a breakaway, but Bryant made a diving stop to keep the Knight lead at three goals. Clarkson outshot Providence 18-15 through two periods.
Lambert capped off her hat trick at the 11:02 mark in the third with help from Cayley Mercer and freshman Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, QUE), to give Clarkson the commanding 4-0 lead.
Howe stopped all 15 shots she faced to pick up her fifth shutout on the year, good for a tie for first in the nation. She did most of her work in the first two periods as she was rarely called upon in the third, stopping only one shot to secure the victory.
Neither team succeeded on the power-play as Clarkson went 0-6 and Providence missed on all five chances.