Junior Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) made 24 saves and the sixth-ranked Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team got goals from three different players to defeat Rensselaer 3-1 in an ECAC Hockey game at Houston Field House in Troy, NY on Friday night.
The Golden Knights, who are 4-1 over their past five games, improve to 22-7-0 overall and 14-3-0 in the league, good for a second-place tie in the ECAC Hockey standings with five games remaining. Clarkson, which is one point behind league-leader Harvard, plays at Union on Saturday in a 4:00 p.m. game at Messa Rink in Schenectady, NY.
Clarkson needed just 1:27 to get on the scoreboard at RPI as junior Vanessa Gagnon (St. Constant, QUE) knocked in a loose puck from just outside the crease on the left side. Junior Shelby Nisbet (Wiseton, SASK) started the play when she knocked down a clearing attempt just inside the blue line. Nisbet eventually got a shot off that caromed off the post. The puck came back and bounced off RPI goaltender Kelly O’Brien, deflecting to Gagnon, who poked it in for her fifth goal of the season.
The Golden Knights went ahead by two goals at 6:24 of the second period when senior Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT) skated down the left side, moved around a defender and fired a shot just under the crossbar. The goal was Skirrow's 13th of the season and was assisted by freshman Shannon MacAulay (Mt. Herbert, PEI).
RPI (9-17-3 and 7-9-1) pulled to within one with 1:33 left in the middle frame when Mariana Walsh beat Howe to a loose puck behind the net and fed Lauren Wash, who was alone in front.
Clarkson capitalized on consecutive power plays, scoring its third goal on the second of two in a row against the Engineers. Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT), the nation's leading rookie scoring defenseman, got the goal when her point shot deflected off an RPI defender and into the net. Junior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) earned the assist on the goal, which came at 12:14 of the third period.
Howe had seven saves in the first period, 12 in the second and five in the third. O'Brien finished with 28 saves.
The Knights were 1-of-6 on the power play and killed off the Engineer’s third man-advantage opportunities.