ITHACA, N.Y. – The top-seeded Cornell women's hockey team fell to third-seeded Clarkson, 4-1, in the ECAC Hockey championship game Sunday afternoon at Lynah Rink.
In the opening period, each team had few quality looks, but the strength of both squad's defensive efforts limited the overall chances. The Big Red (23-5-6, 17-3-2 ECAC Hockey) ended the period with a 9-6 advantage in shots on net.
Clarkson's (29-7-2, 16-5-1 ECAC Hockey) first two goals came in the matter of 26 seconds from the Patty Kazmaier award finalist Loren Gabel in transition. The first came with 16:07 left in the second frame, as Gabel put home a feed from the Elizabeth Giguere. Gabel responded quickly with another breakaway goal that she snuck in top shelf.
Cornell first got on the board with a goal on the doorstep from Maddie Mils. The sophomore forward put it home on the rebound from Kristin O'Neill's initial attempt. The tally bought the Big Red within one with 18:38 left in regulation.
The Golden Knights answered back just past the midway point of the third with another breakaway goal from Ella Shelton. Kelly Manriani came up with the puck and rushed forward with Shelton by her side. Trailing the play was Jaime Bourbonnais, who made a diving effort in attempt to disrupt the pass but just missed it and Shelton put the puck home.
Clarkson capped it off with an empty-netter from Cassidy Vinkle to make the score 4-1.
Lindsay Browning made the start in net for the Big Red and posted 21 saves.
The Big Red placed two members on the all-tournament team. Maddie Mills and Micah Zandee-Hart each earned spots. Mills scored two goals throughout the tournament included the tally that sent the semifinal game to overtime. Zandee-Hart had one goal and two assists, her lone goal was the game-winner against Princeton on Saturday.
The Big Red awaits to see if it will earn an at large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will take place at 9 p.m.
NOTES TO KNOW
- The Big Red is now 4-4 overall in ECAC Hockey title games. Cornell has made the championship game eight of the last 10 years.
- Mills netted her 18th goal of the season.
- The Big Red is now 14-3 at home this season and is 5-3 against ranked opponents.
- Cornell outshot Clarkson 36-25 on the afternoon, including 15-6 in the third period.