The Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team closed out its regular-season home slate in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon as the Golden Knights ’ captain, junior Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) scored the game’s only goal with 5.1 seconds remaining to lift the Green and Gold over Quinnipiac 1-0 at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson, which is still in contention for the ECAC Hockey regular season title, improves its record to 16-4 in the league with two games remaining. The Knights are in second place, one point behind league-leader Cornell, and one point in front of third-place Harvard. Both the Knights and Big Red have two games remaining, while Harvard still has four league games to play. The Green and Gold play at Dartmouth and Harvard this coming weekend in the final games before postseason action begins. Ranked sixth in the nation, Clarkson owns a 24-8 overall record and has tied the 10-year-old program’s record for wins in a season.
Quinnipiac saw its seven-game (5-0-2) unbeaten streak come to a close, suffering its first loss since January 12. The Bobcats stand at 17-10-4 overall and are 11-6-3 in ECAC Hockey.
With regulation time winding down, Clarkson made one final rush into the Quinnipiac zone when freshman defenseman Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) sent a pass ahead to the Knights’ leading scorer, junior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT). Rattray fired a shot on to the Bobcats’ net that goaltender Victoria Vigilanti knocked aside. The rebound kicked back out into the slot where a charging Mercer collected the puck and flipped a high shot past Vigilanti for her 14th goal of the season. Mercer is the Knights' second -leading scorer with 37 points.
Both Rattray and Ambrose picked up their team-high 26th assists of the season on the play. Rattray, who also has a team-high 17 goals, is one point shy of tying Clarkson’s single-season record for points in a season at 44. Ambrose, the leading rookie scorer in the country from the blueline, has 30 points on the season.
Clarkson overcame a slow start and ended outshooting Quinnipiac 33-27. Junior Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT), the Knights’ all-time wins leader in goal, posted 10 first-period saves, eight in the second and nine more over the final 20 minutes to record her sixth shutout of the season. Howe has an all-time record of 55-25-10, including 15 whitewashes.
Quinnipiac held a 10-3 shot advantage in the opening 20 minutes, but the Knights came back strong in the middle frame, outshooting the Bobcats 17-8. Clarkson held a 13-9 edge in shots through the third period.
Vigilanti finished with 32 saves for Quinnipiac. Both teams were 0-of-2 on the power play.