POTSDAM, NY – The nation's leading goal scorer, Loren Gabel, tacked two more on to her resume Friday night, including the 100th of her career, as the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team picked up a 4-2 victory over Harvard University at Cheel Arena.
Gabel's landmark goal was a classic effort from the All-American as she received a pass in the Clarkson defensive zone and eluded defenders along the way down ice before finishing with a backhand flourish over Harvard goaltender Lindsay Reed's glove at 3:08 in the second period. Only former standouts Cayley Mercer (80) and Jamie Lee Rattray (77) have surpassed the 70-goal mark in Clarkson's 16-year history.
It took little time for Gabel to edge closer to the 100-goal mark in the first period, as she opened up the scoring for the Knights in the first four minutes. Ella Shelton picked up the puck in the neutral zone and slid a pass over to Gabel, who crossed the blue line towards the right circle. From there, Gabel measured her shot, wristing a shot over the stick side of Reed at 3:35.
Four minutes later a hooking penalty put the Crimson on the attack and Harvard cashed in just 35 seconds into its extra-skater chance. With the puck behind the goal, Kaitlin Tse smacked her stick on the ice to call for the puck and her teammates quickly worked the puck around to her just on top of the far circle where she sent a shot through traffic to score at the 7:59 mark, with assists going to Kristin Della Rovere and Maryna MacDonald.
Near the conclusion of the first period, the Knights found themselves on the power play and Clarkson regained the lead for good. Several skaters had a chance of putting the puck past Reed, but the scrum in front rarely found anyone getting a clean shot. Finally, the puck found its way to T.T. Cianfarano just outside the crease and the graduate student flipped it in at 16:14 for her 14th goal of the year. Assists went to Michaela Pejzlova and Gabel.
At the start of the second, Harvard controlled the puck in the Clarkson defensive end as the Knights seemingly could not get the puck out. Finally, Clarkson got a reprieve with the puck chipped out and Gabel replaced another player that had lost her stick. It was not long before her presence was felt as she collected a pass off the boards from Taylor Sawka at the point of the Clarkson defensive zone. Gabel then skated down ice through defenders, slipping the puck through and maintaining her stride before flipping a backhand in at 3:08. The Knights added another goal near the end of the middle frame. Kelly Mariani gained possession near the blue line and from there Gabel and Shelton played a game of give-and-go, with Shelton finishing off the play at 19:02 to put Clarkson up 4-1. The two goals in the second pushed Clarkson's edge in the middle period to 49-14 overall this year.
The third period was mostly silent until the second half. Elizabeth Giguere nearly tallied her sixth short-handed goal of the year when she outskated the Harvard defense and had two shots at Reed, but the Harvard goalie split on the second attempt to keep Clarkson off the scoreboard. Giguere had another chance a few minutes later attempting a backhand spin, but was denied once again.
Harvard got a breath of life in the waning minutes when it scored shortly after a faceoff at the 17:35 mark with Lexie Lang wristing in a shot in the near circle over Clarkson goaltender Kassidy Sauve's stick. When the Knights were whistled for a penalty with 57 seconds remaining, the Crimson took one last chance to make things close, pulling their goalie for a 6-on-4 for the final minute. Nothing came of it, however, as Clarkson held on for a 4-2 win.
Gabel finished with four points on two goals and two assists and Shelton added two points with a goal and an assist. Sauve recorded 28 saves for the Knights while Reed stopped 27 shots for Harvard. Clarkson finished with a narrow 31-30 edge in shots and each team scored once on the power play, with Clarkson going 1-for-4 and Harvard 1-for-6.