Clarkson women's hockey team wins second consecutive ECAC title with shutout over Colgate
Members of the Clarkson University women’s hockey team celebrate their second ECAC championship in a row. Photo by Lori Rohde.
POTSDAM — Powered by the top line in the conference and backstopped by the league's goaltender of the year, Clarkson University claimed its second consecutive ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament Title by shutting out Colgate 3-0The game was played Sunday afternoon before 1,187 fans at Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights, who established a new record for wins in a season, improved to 33-4-1. Clarkson will advance to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive year and seventh time overall in the program's 15-year history.
Defending National Champions, Clarkson, the No. 1 seed in this year's eight-team tournament, will host Mercyhurst University in a national quarterfinal game Saturday at 2 p.m. in Cheel Arena.
Clarkson's line of junior left wing Loren Gabel, sophomore center Michaela Pejzlova (Pardubice, Czech Republic) and freshman right wing Elizabeth Giguere (Quebec City, QUE) accounted for six of the nine points in the championship game, including the first two scores.
Senior Shea Tiley (Owen Sound, ONT) made 26 saves, including 11 stops over the final 20 minutes to record her 11th shutout of the season, which is tied for the national lead, and second whitewash in an ECAC Hockey Tournament Championship game. Tiley also blanked Cornell behind 17 saves in last year's 1-0 conference championship victory. The Knights outshot Colgate 28-26.
In a scoreless first period, there was plenty of action with numerous scoring opportunities, several big saves, strong defensive efforts and 13 total blocked shots. Colgate had one of the best opportunities in the opening 20 minutes with a 2-on-1 rush midway through the period, but Tiley turned aside Olivia Zafuto's shot in close to keep the game scoreless.
Clarkson's productive trio came to life midway through the second period and teamed up for both goals to give the Green and Gold a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes.
Named Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Pejzlova knocked in a centering pass from Giguere at 13:55 for her third goal of the weekend and 25th goal of the season to get things started. Gabel also assisted.
With 22.4 seconds remaining in the period, Gabel made it 2-0 when her shot from the top of the crease deflected in off a Colgate defender for her 35th goal of the year. Pejzlova and Giguere set up the play.
Junior Kelly Mariani (Mississauga, ONT) added the third goal at 9:01 of the third period, finishing off assists from classmates Cassidy Vinkle (Belleville, ONT) and defenseman Josiane Pozzebon (Bourget, ONT) with a rising wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle for her fifth goal of the season.
Colgate pulled goaltender Julia Vandyk with just over five minutes to play, but the Knights' defense, led by all-tournament selections senior captain Savannah Harmon (Downers Grove, IL) and sophomore Ella Shelton (Ingersoll, ONT), shut down the Raiders' attempt to get on the scoreboard.
Colgate, which is ranked fourth in the country with a 32-5-1 record, will also host an NCAA quarterfinal game next weekend.