Giguere hits century mark with three assists in win over Minnesota-Duluth

Giguere hits century mark with three assists in win over Minnesota-Duluth
Potsdam, NY – Both Michaela Pejzlova and T.T. Cianfarano scored twice while Elizabeth Giguere reached 100 points faster than any player in Clarkson University Women's Hockey history as the Golden Knights picked up a 4-2 non-league win over the University of Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday afternoon in front of 338 fans at Cheel Arena.

Clarkson, ranked third in the latest national polls, moved to 12-2-0 on the season. The Knights head to Colgate and Cornell in the second to last weekend of play in the 2018 portion of the schedule. Minnesota-Duluth dropped to 5-8-1 for the campaign.

Giguere reached the century mark in points in just her 55th collegiate game (38 goals, 63 assists). The previous fastest to 100 points for Clarkson was Jamie Lee Rattray, who accomplished the feat in her 94th game in the 2012-13 season.

It appeared as if it might be a long afternoon for Minnesota-Duluth in the opening minute as Giguere had a great look at the net and was denied on a backhand by Maddie Rooney, but the Bulldogs recovered and got their skates underneath themselves to put pressure at the other end. The next best scoring opportunity came about eight minutes later as a trio of Clarkson players nearly put the puck past Rooney, but the junior stopped Cassidy Vinkle, Giguere, and Emma Keenan before the puck was finally cleared. Rooney again denied a strong chance by the Knights on a two-on-one when Loren Gabel tried to finish off a chance from Giguere at the 10:50 mark. However, she only slowed the inevitable as Gabel sent a pass out to the point and then screened Rooney as Josiane Pozzebon ripped a shot that was deflected in by Michaela Pejzlova at 10:59 for a 1-0 Clarkson lead.

Less than three minutes later the Knights added another score as Giguere flipped the puck up at her defensive blue line to find Gabel at the other blue line. From there Gabel skated in with a shot on Rooney, which was denied by her leg pad. However, the rebound drifted out to Pejzlova in the slot and she finished off the play at 13:17 for her second goal of the game.

The Bulldogs would not allow Clarkson to run away with the game, though, scoring just two minutes after the Knights' second score. Jalyn Elmes picked the puck up off the boards and sent a pass up to Anneke Linser, who played a little give and go with Gabbie Hughes. The ensuing shot by Hughes was stopped by Clarkson's Cassidy Sauve, but Linser followed up the miss and scored at 15:15 to cut the lead to 2-1.

The best scoring opportunity of the first half of period number two came on a minor break away by Anna Klein while Minnesota-Duluth skated on the power play. With two Clarkson defenders narrowly trailing Klein, she could not quite get the extra step she needed and was denied by Sauve as the grad student split her pads to protect each post, picking correctly with the left.

Only a minute later, it was Clarkson that would score while down a player. Giguere stuck out a stick near the center line to stop an offensive rush by the Bulldogs and skated the other way, finding T.T. Cianfarano on the opposite circle. Cianfarano tried to send the puck back to Giguere but instead ended up with a goal as the puck deflected in off a Bulldogs defender at 7:47, with 24 seconds remaining on the power play. That assist gave Giguere her 100th career point.

In the latter half of the second period, Clarkson increased its advantage to a three with another specialty plays goal, this time on the power play. Just seven seconds into a checking penalty, the Golden Knights played a little tic-tac-toe as Ella Shelton gained possession near the blue line, passed to Giguere near the top of the left circle where she found Cianfarano in the slot for a power play score at 11:33. Clarkson nearly added another goal two minutes later as Pejzlova's shot from the bottom of the left circle hit at least two posts and possibly the crossbar on its way out of the UMD crease.

Clarkson would not score again, but the Bulldogs kept things close with a power play goal at the start of the third. Just 23 seconds into the advantage, Ashton Bell passed the puck along the right boards to Jalyn Elmes, who rifled a shot from the right circle at Sauve. The puck got past Sauve and may have trickled in on its own, but Gabbie Hughes made sure of it, tapping the puck over the line at 1:37.

A few moments later, the Knights skated up one, and sometimes two players, as the Bulldogs were whistled for infractions. Clarkson was on a 5-on-3 power play for about 45 seconds but could not cash in during that or the other two-plus minutes in which they were on the power play. Fortunately for the Knights, an extra goal was unnecessary as the final score ended at 4-2.

Clarkson finished with a 42-26 edge in shots as Sauve made 24 saves for her 10th win of the season. Rooney made 38 stops in the UMD crease.