Clarkson Takes Game One of Quarterfinals Over Quinnipiac

Clarkson Takes Game One of Quarterfinals Over Quinnipiac

Potsdam, NY - Behind a 29-save outing from graduate student Kassidy Sauve (Whitby, ONT), the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team opened up the ECAC Hockey playoffs with a 3-0 win over Quinnipiac in Game 1 of ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series at Cheel Arena on Friday afternoon.
 
The third seed in the league's eight-team playoffs, the two-time defending ECAC Hockey Tournament Champion Golden Knights can advance to their seventh consecutive conference championship tournament with a victory over the Bobcats in Game 2 of the best-of-three game series on Saturday afternoon, beginning at 3:00 pm. If Quinnpiac wins tomorrow, the two teams will play on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. in a deciding Game 3.
 
Ranked fifth in the country, Clarkson improves to 26-7-2 overall. Quinnipiac, the sixth seed, falls to 12-17-6 overall.
 
The Bobcats controlled the first period, outshooting the Green and Gold 16-6 through the opening stanza, but it was the Knights who made the most of their scoring opportunities. Just 65 seconds into the game, grad student and former Bobcat all-star T.T. Cianfarano (Oswego, NY) fed a pass from behind the Quinnipiac net to Emma Keenan (Calgary, ALB) at the top of the left circle, where the senior defenseman fired in a shot through a screen in front to give the Knights the early momentum. Senior Kelly Mariani (Mississauga, ONT) also assisted on Keenan's third goal of the season.
 
Clarkson killed off both of Quinnipiac's power plays in the period.
 
Midway through the second stanza, the top two scorers in Division I combined on the game's second goal to give the Knights' a 2-0 lead. Senior left wing Loren Gabel (Kitchener, ONT) and sophomore right wing Elizabeth Giguere (Quebec City, QUE) teamed up on a give-and-go with Gabel finishing off the rush, connecting on a perfect saucer pass across the slot by Giguere for her nation-high 35th goal of the season. For Giguere, the country's leading playmaker, it was her 41st assist of the season.
 
With under three minutes to goal in regulation, Quinnipiac pulled goaltender Abbie Ives for the extra skater, but the move backfired when the Bobcats sent an errant pass out of the Clarkson end and into their empty net with 2:30 remaining for Clarkson's third goal. Junior defenseman Taylor Turnquist (Blaine, MN) was credited with the goal.
 
Sauve posted 16 first-period stops, six in the middle frame and seven more over the final 20 minutes for her sixth shutout at Clarkson and 28th overall.
 
For Clarkson, the whitewash was its second consecutive shutout in ECAC Hockey postseason play having also blanked Colgate in last year's conference tournament championship game. The win was also the Knights' ninth straight conference postseason victory.