CU Ladies Take Series Lead; Cornell Downs SLU
POTSDAM – Senior Michaela Pejzlova converted on the power play midway through overtime to lift the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Colgate University in the first game of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals Friday night at Cheel Arena. The Golden Knights, ranked seventh in the national poll, improved to 24-5-6 on the season while Colgate fell to 17-14-6. The two teams will meet up once again on Saturday as the Knights look to close out the series. If Colgate wins game two, a deciding third game will be played on Sunday. Clarkson had a few chances in overtime thanks to ECAC Forward of the Year finalist Elizabeth Giguere, but it was Pejzlova who would net the game-winner at the 12:28 mark in the extra session. Maggie MacEachern was called for a body check when she lifted Giguere into the glass at 11:11. Clarkson possessed the puck in the Colgate defensive end for most of the power play, but about halfway through the zone was momentarily cleared. Giguere gained possession between the blue line and red line and skated in against a 1-on-4 for a harmless shot on net. Colgate goaltender Liz Auby made the pad save and Shelby Wood picked up the puck off to the left side of the net. Wood was pressured by Pejzlova near the circle, forcing a turnover that allowed Kristy Pidgeon to gain hold of the puck. Pidgeon then circled around the net and the eyes of three Colgate defenders followed her, allowing Pejzlova to sneak back to the opposite post where she received a quick pass through the slow and finished the play and the game. It was a defensive-minded game from the start as each team blocked more than 20 shots in the contest and both goaltenders stood tall throughout. The opening period began with Clarkson controlling the play, especially when the Raiders were whistled for a penalty just 35 seconds into the game. Colgate's first attempts were shots from a few lines away, not putting much pressure on Clarkson goaltender Marie-Pier Coulombe. The first real scoring chance came with almost 11 minutes expired from the clock, when Brooke McQuigge forced a turnover deep in the Colgate defensive end. She chipped the puck out to Elizabeth Giguere in front, but Giguere's shot was blocked and denied, and the ensuing rebound on a Clarkson stick also was deflected. Each team put a little pressure on the other team's goaltender eventually, but most the shots were turned aside harmlessly without supplying a second chance. Clarkson finished the period with a modest 13-10 edge in shots on goal. Not much in the way of action occurred in the first few minutes of the second period, but that would all come to an end a little over six minutes into the frame. A faceoff in the Colgate end looked like it was about to get cleared, but near center ice Emil Wisnewski kept the Raiders from getting a clean push into their own offensive end. Wisnewski stopped everyone's skating momentum except for Brooke McQuigge, who was recovering from the other end. The freshman tapped a centering pass to Elizabeth Giguere to create a 2-on-1, but Giguere never gave up the puck, using a modified toe-drag to get loose of a Colgate defenseman and flip the puck over Liz Auby's shoulder at 6:26. The goal was Giguere's nation-leading 36th of the season. Clarkson appeared to have a second goal shortly after killing off a power play when Brooke McQuigge beat the Colgate defense with a shot over the goaltender's stick side shoulder at 16:20, but the goal was waved off due to McQuigge not having reestablished herself with both skates on the ice when she had earlier exited the penalty box. Down a skater for another two minutes, the Clarkson defense and Coulombe again kept the Colgate offense quiet and nearly tallied a few minutes later, this time McQuigge's attempt coming up just short of passing the goal line. At the start of the third period, it looked like a broken play might put Colgate on the scoreboard. Eleri MacKay skated in with the puck and her shot was denied, but the momentum pulled her down and into the goalie, allowing Coralie Larose to clean up the play. However, after a review, it was deemed that there was interference with the goalie as Marie-Pier Coulombe was pinned to the post and unable to make a play on the puck. For much of the third period, Colgate put offensive pressure on the Knights, including hitting a post with about 13 minutes off the clock. Clarkson's defense was busy keeping the Raiders off the scoreboard, though, limiting those scoring chances to soft shots or deflections that went wide. Colgate's run of offense was slowed when the team went down a player with a penalty at the 15:16 mark, but the Raiders got their chances one that penalty was killed and Clarkson took a holding penalty. With just 2:05 remaining, Colgate essentially was up two skaters when it pulled its goalie. The Knights cleared the puck three times and looked to have things halted when a blocked shot put the puck behind the net, but Colgate kept things alive by flipping the puck forward and Sydney Bard crashed the net to and knocked the puck in to tie the game 1-1 with only 2.4 seconds left in regulation. After watching the Raiders carry the play in the third period, it was Clarkson that had opportunities to end the game in overtime. With about five minutes off the clock, Elizabeth Giguere was on a modified break away, but her shot was denied by the pads of Auby. A few ticks later, the Knights had a significant advantage on the rush with Giguere serving as playmaker. Her initial shot was denied and rebound was in front for the taking but none of the other Clarkson players in the picture could get a stick on the bouncing puck. Just a few minutes later, Pejzlova played hero for the Knights, converting on the power play at 12:28. Coulombe finished with 28 saves for the Knights, and the Clarkson defense blocked 21 shots. Stephanie Markowski was particularly busy, blocking eight shots. For Colgate, Auby stopped 31 shots. Clarkson finished 1-for-3 on the power play, with the one being the game-winner, while Colgate was 0-for-4 on the power play, though the Raiders did score with an extra skater with the goalie pulled at the end of regulation.
CORNELL PULLS AWAY FROM LADY SAINTS
The top-ranked Cornell University women's hockey team scored three goals in a span of just 59 seconds in the first period and St. Lawrence was never able to recover as the Saints fell to the Big Red 7-2 in the first game of an ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, New York, on Friday afternoon. Gilllis Frechette scored two goals and added an assist, and Kristin O'Neill added a pair of goals for the top-ranked and No. 1 seeded Big Red (26-1-3). Rachel Teslak scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Saints (13-15-7). "Obviously not the start of the game we envisioned, giving up three in 59 seconds, but we were happy with how we competed and played throughout the game," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells '92. "We will be back at it tomorrow after a good rest. This team loves being together and it showed in our efforts." Grace Graham gave Cornell a 1-0 lead just over six minutes into the game, taking a feed from Frechette and one-timing a shot glove side. Forty-two seconds later, Maddie Mills made a nice move with a toe-drag near the Saints' blue line to create space and fed O'Neill, who found the top left corner with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Just 17 seconds later, the Saints were whistled for delay of game after a player covered a loose puck in the Saints' crease, and Frechette scored on a penalty shot. Paige Lewis took a pass from Izzy Daniel off her skate just outside the crease and wheeled around and slid the puck into a wide open net eight minutes into the second period to give Cornell a 4-0 lead. Julia Gosling scored the Saints' first goal five minutes into the third period, picking up a rebound on a shot from the point by Teslak and tucking it into the right side of the net for her ninth goal of the season. Jacquie Diffley also picked up an assist on the play. But Cornell restored the four-goal lead five and a half minutes later, as Mills found O'Neill all alone in the left circle, and O'Neill fired a wrist shot top corner on the short side. Wells looked to give the offense a spark by pulling goaltender Jaimie Rainville, who came in for starting goalie Lucy Morgan after Cornell's third goal, in favor of an extra attacker when the Saints earned an offensive zone faceoff after the goal, but Frechette scored an empty-net goal to give Cornell a 6-1 lead with just over eight minutes to play. Teslak cut the lead to four with a power play goal on a wrist shot from the point for her seventh goal of the season, with Kristin Guerriero and Anna Segedi picking up assists. Samantha Burke capped the scoring for the Big Red with a power play goal on a rebound after Rainville made a pad save on a shot by Willow Slobodzian that was deflected by Finley Frechette. The shots on goal were dead even, 21-21. Rainville made 12 saves, while Morgan stopped two shots for the Saints. Lindsay Browning made 19 saves for Cornell. The Saints were 1-for-5 on the power play, while Cornell was 1-for-4. The game marked just the fifth time this season that an opponent has scored more than one goal against the Big Red, the nation's best defensive team. St. Lawrence also scored two goals against Cornell on February 1. The series will continue with game two on Saturday at 3 p.m. If the Saints win on Saturday, the series finale will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday.