Three power play goals lifts Clarkson past Dartmouth

Three power play goals lifts Clarkson past Dartmouth

POTSDAM, NY – Two power-play goals near the end of the first period helped the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team turn an early deficit into a lead that it would never relinquish as the Golden Knights held off a late charge from Dartmouth University for a 4-2 win, its sixth straight ECAC Hockey win.

The Golden Knights, ranked fifth in the latest national polls, improved to 20-5-1 overall and 11-3-0 in league play, while the Big Green fell to 3-17-1 and 2-12-0. This marks the eighth consecutive season that Clarkson has won 20 games.

Most of the goals on Saturday came with one team or the other skating with an extra player or during the transition of going back to five-on-five. That was the case for the first goal of the game, as Dartmouth jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. The Big Green produced a handful of opportunities during their first power play chance, but it was not until the power play ended that Dartmouth would convert. Just 10 seconds after the power play, a breakdown of coverage allowed Christina Rombaut to get open in front, converting a quick pass from the end line from Chloe Puddifant.

At the tail end of the period, Clarkson picked up two goals while skating on the power play. The first came with less than four minutes to go as Elizabeth Giguere the Ella Shelton passed the puck back and forth up top, with Shelton finishing off a one-timer at 16:44 to tie the game 1-1. Three minutes later the Knights took the lead as the final seconds of the period ticked away. Giguere again started the play, passing the puck to Loren Gabel in the middle of the left circle, and Gabel sent a pass in front where Michaela Pejzlova tipped the puck past Christine Honor with only 2.8 seconds remaining for a 2-1 Clarkson lead.

Less than a minute into the second frame, the Clarkson scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. Elizabeth Giguere found Emma Keenan and the senior skated up ice to take slap shot from the bottom of the circle. The rebound bounced back out to Loren Gabel, who quickly triggered another shot that clipped the underside of the crossbar and in at the 0:46 mark.

Despite the four goals in the first two periods, the third frame was where most of the intrigue occurred. Dartmouth scored on the power play in the first few minutes of the period when Bailee Brekke scored on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle off a pass from behind the net. The goal rejuvenated the Big Green and Dartmouth was aided by a string of penalties that kept Clarkson on the defensive for close to five minutes. Clarkson was down two skaters for 20 seconds and once the first penalty was killed, another infraction occurred to put the Knights on a 5-on-3 penalty kill for close to 90 seconds. Despite the deficit of players, Kassidy Sauve made eight saves during the stretch with the Clarkson defense blocking another three attempts. At one point early in the stretch it appeared as if Dartmouth tied the game, but the goal was immediately waived off as the puck went in via a hand pass, with the review confirming the original call.

The defensive stand turned into offense at the other end as Clarkson scored its third power play goal of the game just a minute after it killed off the last penalty. Shortly after a Dartmouth player was whistled for a penalty, Clarkson scored an insurance goal, as Ella Shelton picked up her second goal of the game. Shelton's shot was likely deflected in by a Dartmouth defender on the scrum in front at 11:04, with the assist going to T.T. Cianfarano.

The two teams finished with a 34-34 tie in shots on goal, but Clarkson was 3-for-6 on the power play and Dartmouth was 1-for-4. Sauve denied 32 shots for the win in the Clarkson crease and Christine Honor made 30 saves for the Big Green.