A strong effort by the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team came up short on Saturday afternoon in Ithaca as nationally-ranked Cornell handed the Golden Knights their first ECAC Hockey loss of the New Year, dealing the Green and Gold a 3-1 setback at Lynah Rink.
Ranked sixth in the country, Clarkson, which saw its win streak come to an end at three games, stands at 18-6 overall and is tied for second in the ECAC Hockey standings, along with the Big Red, with a 10-2 league mark. Clarkson defeated Cornell in their first meeting this season, 2-1 in Potsdam on November 30. The Knights return from a four-game road trip when they host Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend at Cheel Arena.
In a battle between two of the top teams in the nation, the fourth-ranked Big Red (14-0, 10-2) were able to hold off the Green and Gold in the third period to remain unbeaten on the year at Lynah with a 9-0 home mark.
Cornell gained a 2-0 lead through the first 40 minutes with a goal late in the first period and another late score in the middle frame.
Jessica Campbell put the home team on the scoreboard first, scoring at 17:25 of the opening period. With just 1:53 in the second period Brianne Jenner connected for a power-play tally to make it 2-0 for the Big Red.
Clarkson broke through early in the third stanza on a goal by junior Shelby Nisbet (Wiseton, SASK). Nisbet took a pass from classmate Vanessa Plante (Riviere-du-Loup, QUE) and scored her fifth of the season at 2:36.
Cornell, however, was able to shut down the Knights for the remainder of the period and sealed their win with a goal by Emily Fulton at 15:27 for the final 3-1 score.
The Big Red outshot Clarkson 27-17. Junior Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) finished with 24 stops. Lauren Slebodnick made 17 saves in the Cornell net. The Knights were 0-of-2 on the power play, while Cornell went 1-of-6 with the advantage.