Clarkson Ladies Stunned By Princeton In Semis
A bid by Clarkson to win its fourth consecutive ECAC Hockey Tournament Championship came up short on Saturday afternoon as Princeton knocked off the Green and Gold 5-1 in the semifinal round of the league tournament at Lynah Rink on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The Golden Knights, who saw their string of consecutive ECAC Hockey playoff wins come to an end at 14 games, own a 25-6-6 overall record. Clarkson will now await word on a probable berth in the 12-team NCAA Tournament to be announced on Sunday.
The NCAA Women's Hockey Tournament Selection Show will be streamed on Sunday, March 8 at 9:00 p.m. on Clarkson outshot the Tigers 9-7 through the opening 20 minutes and the Golden Knights did a good job limiting quality scoring chances to Princeton's high-powered offense with nine blocked shots. But, Princeton finally connected midway through the first period. With the Tigers controlling the puck in the Clarkson end, defenseman Solveig Neunzert took a back pass from Maggie Connors along the left boards and fired in a shot from the blueline that found its way through traffic in front and past sophomore goaltender Marie-Pier Coulombe (Carignan, QUE) just inside the far post at 11:07. Princeton's offense, ranked sixth in the nation averaging 3.70 goals per game, started rolling in the middle frame. The Tigers struck for three more goals in the second period to build a 4-0 lead through 40 minutes. Just seconds after Princeton's only power play of the day ended, Shannon Griffin finished off a perfect backdoor pass from Annie MacDonald with a shot into the open net at 6:04. Princeton than scored twice in a 51-second span to take a commanding lead. At 11:06, the Tigers' leading scorer, Sarah Fillier's shot from the top of the slot rang off the crossbar and in for her 21st goal of the season. Kate Monihan followed with her first career goal at 11:57. Clarkson had a chance midway through the third period to get on the scoreboard early on a 4-on-3 power play when a shot by senior center Michaela Pejzlova's (Pardubice, Czech Rep) rang off the post. After a video review, it was ruled the shot never entered the net. ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and Top 3 Patty Kazmaier Award Finalist, junior right wing Elizabeth Giguere (Quebec City, QUE) gave the Knights a bit of life when she scored her nation-leading 37th of the season at 16:27 with senior defenseman Ella Shelton (Ingersoll, ONT) and Pejzlova assisting. The Tiger's ended any hope of a comeback bid with an empty-net tally by Maggie Connors at 17:39. Princeton held a 33-30 advantage in shots. Coulombe finished with 28 saves. The Knights went 0-of-3 on the power play and Princeton was 0-of-1 Princeton will play Cornell in Sunday's ECAC Hockey Tournament Championship game at 1:00 p.m.