Clarkson Ladies Boost Playoff Plans; Blank Yale
In a key ECAC Hockey matchup on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena, Clarkson firmed up its position in the top four of the league standings with a 2-0 victory over Yale and in the process reached the 20-win mark for the ninth consecutive season. Ranked 7th in the national polls, the Golden Knights earned their second shutout of the weekend to improve to 20-4-6 overall and to 11-3-4 in the conference. Clarkson which blanked Brown 5-0 on Friday, holds down third place in the league with four games remaining in the regular season. The Knights are one point in front of fourth-place Harvard and three points shy of second-place Princeton. The Green and Gold close out a four-game home stand next weekend hosting Quinnipiac and Princeton. Sophomore Marie-Pier Coulombe (Carignan, QUE) posted 32 saves and the nation's leading goal scorer; junior right wing Elizabeth Giguere (Quebec City, QUE) tallied her 27th goal of the season to spark the win. Yale outshot the Knights 32-26, but Coulombe was at her best with 11 first-period saves, nine more in the middle frame and 12 stops over the final 20 minutes to record her sixth shutout of the season. Late in the first period, Giguere intercepted a Yale pass in the Clarkson end, skated the length of the ice and with two Bulldog defensemen covering her, fired in a rising wrist shot from the right circle to put the Knights on top 1-0 with 9.5 seconds remaining in the stanza. Giguere, who has 54 points this season, is two points shy of 200 for her career with 80 goals and 118 assists through 111 games. Junior Tia Stoddard (La Mesa, CA) made it 2-0 at 13:23 of the middle frame. After freeing up the puck along the right boards sophomore Taylor Sawka (Cochrane, ALB) sent a pass up ice where Stoddard fought off a defenseman and broke in alone, lifting in a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle just under the crossbar for her second goal of the weekend and fourth of the season.
Yale pulled it goaltender in the final two minutes of play for the extra skater, but could not get a shot past Coulombe, who improved her record on the year to 18-4-5.
Clarkson was 0-of-3 on the power play, including a five-minute man-advantage. The Bulldogs were 0-of-4.