Giguere and Gabel heroics lifts Clarkson past Quinnipiac

Giguere and Gabel heroics lifts Clarkson past Quinnipiac

POTSDAM, NY -- Sophomore Elizabeth Giguere had a hand in all four goals, including scoring the overtime game-winner, as the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team delivered a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Quinnipiac to earn a sweep in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals at Cheel Arena.

The Golden Knights, currently ranked fifth in the latest USCHO.com poll, improved to 27-7-2 overall with the victory and the Green and Gold will advance to the ECAC Semifinals for the seventh straight year. Quinnipiac had its season end at 12-18-6.

The game-winner seemingly came out of nowhere as Michaela Pejzlova intercepted a pass all the way down at the other end of the ice, only 20 feet away from her own goaltender. She then sent a pass forward to Loren Gabel at the blue line and the Patty Kazmaier Finalist wristed a centering pass to Giguere near the red line. Giguere skated in against one defender with a mini-deke of the puck at the top of the right circle, sending a shot over the right shoulder of Quinnipiac goaltender Abbie Ives at 11:45 to end the contest.

The win was even more unlikely for the Knights considering that the team tied the game with just 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation. After pulling the goalie with a little under two minutes to go, the Knights won a faceoff with 10.8 seconds left in the third period. The puck skipped into the right corner, where T.T. Cianfarano pinned one Bobcat defender to the boards, allowing Emma Keenan to gain possession behind the goal. Keenan sent the puck out in front to Giguere, who dropped a soft pass to Gabel and the senior slapped in a shot from the slot to tie the contest with just 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

At the start of the contest, both teams enjoyed solid scoring chance in the opening minutes. Kristy Pidgeon was barely denied on a one-timer on a pass from Morgan Helgeson in the first five minutes, and only 36 seconds later a Quinnipiac player hit the post. At the 8:30 mark, the Knights cashed in when Gabel stole the puck along the boards and chipped a pass forward to Giguere. The sophomore wing brought the puck into the Bobcats' zone and dropped a pass to Gabel. The senior's first shot was saved by Ives, but Gabel followed up the rebound and finished off the play to put the Knights up 1-0 at 8:30.

Six-plus minutes later the Bobcats took advantage of a two-on-one rush as Kenzie Lancaster took possession of a cross-ice puck to the right circle, wristing a shot just inside the post at 14:57 to tie the game.

Near the end of the first period, Clarkson found itself skating up a player when Quinnipiac's Brooke Bonsteel was whistled for checking at 17:31. Less than a minute into the power play, Josiane Pozzebon scored on a slap shot from the top of the right circle to give the Knights a 2-1 lead. Loren Gabel stole the puck at the other end and passed off to Elizabeth Giguere, who skated all the way into the Bobcats' zone and down close to the goal line. Giguere then sent a pass back through traffic to Pozzebon, whose shot slipped through the interference and past Ives at 18:15.

Quinnipiac recorded a power play goal of its own in the first few moments of the second period to tie the game up at 2-2. Only nine seconds remained in the extra-skater chance, but Randi Marcon was able to deflect a shot from Taylor House at 1:17. Sixteen minutes later the Bobcats gained their first lead of the series when Melissa Samoskevich stole the puck near the opposite blue line. She skated up the left side boards for a break away and finished off the play with a forehand at 17:39.

It looked as if the game would be concluded in regulation as Quinnipiac kept the Knights quiet for most of the third frame. The Knights nearly tied the game while skating shorthanded midway through the period, but the one-timer was denied and flicked away by Ives. Near the conclusion of the period, Michaela Pejzlova nearly chipped the puck in with less than three minutes to go. Just a few seconds later, the Knights decided to increase the pressure and pulled Kassidy Sauve for an extra attacker. The strategy worked as Quinnipiac had trouble clearing the zone and Gabel was fortunate enough to score with the clock clicking down to zero, setting up Giguere's overtime heroics.

The Golden Knights ended the game with a 39-28 edge in shots while both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play. Sauve made 25 stops in the win for the Knights and Ives denied 35 for Quinnipiac. Gabel and Giguere each produced four points in the game.