Clarkson Advances to ECAC Semifinals with Win Over RPI

Two goals in the first and third periods propelled the third-ranked Clarkson University Women's Hockey team to a 5-2 win over Rensselaer on Saturday afternoon in Cheel Arena.
 
Clarkson is now 27-4-5 on the season while Rensselaer finishes its year with a 10-24-2 record. Clarkson will host the ECAC Semifinals and Finals next weekend in Cheel Arena.
 
"It's always a great accomplishment to win a first-round series and make it to the ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament," said Head Coach Matt Desrosiers. "RPI did a great job continuing to push and battle tonight forcing us to have to stay focused and work hard to win the game. There a few areas we can clean up heading into next weekend, but for the most part there are a lot of positives to be taken from this weekends series"

Clarkson started off strong with two goals in the first frame. The Golden Knights tallied their first 9:17 into the game through a Loren Gabel power-play goal. Gabel took the puck down the right side of the rink and then cut inside, past an Engineer defender, and lifted a wrist shot that found twine. Josiane Pozzebon and Ella Shelton had assists. Clarkson added a second goal with just 14 seconds remaining in the frame when Corie Jacobson scored a goal very reminiscent of the one she scored on Friday. Once again, the puck popped out away from the Rensselaer goal, but Jacobson was there to collect it and fire it back into the goal. Gabel and Jessica Gillham had the assists.
 
Rensselaer did not go down without a fight though, as the Engineers scored a goal just 15 seconds into the middle frame. It was Laura Horwood who scored as she had an easy tap-in after Jaimie Grigsby found her on the back post of the goal. Shayna Tomlinson also had an assist.
 
Clarkson regained a two goal edge at 11:27 when assistant captain Genevieve Bannon scored her first goal of the game. Bannon won the faceoff and directed the puck to co-captain Cayley Mercer who then gave it back to Bannon who was able to score.
 
The Engineers answered once more with a goal at 15:15 in the second. A long pass from Megan Hayes bounced off the boards behind Clarkson's goal to Marisa Raspa who rifled a shot into the goal. Rensselaer thought the game was tied during a power-play with 2:49 left in the second when a shot slipped by Shea Tiley, but Mercer was there to clear off the line and keep Clarkson ahead by a goal.
 
In the third period, Clarkson was able to keep Rensselaer off the board, and then score a pair of goals to ice the game away. The first goal came at 12:54 with Michaela Pejzlova scoring. Jacobson took a shot and the rebound fell to Pejzlova with the freshman forward calmly scoring. Pozzebon also had an assist on the goal. Bannon closed the game out with an unassisted empty-net short-handed goal with 49 seconds remaining.
 
Clarkson finished with a 28-22 advantage in shots. Both teams had six power-play opportunities with Clarkson scoring the lone extra-man goal of the game. Tiley finished with 20 stops for Clarkson while Lovisa Selander had 23 saves for Rensselaer.
 
Clarkson will host the ECAC Semifinals in Cheel Arena next Saturday, with the Finals taking place on Sunday.