Giguere Hits 2001 Points As CU Downs Princeton
The nation's leading goal scorer Elizabeth Giguere (Quebec City, QUE) provided the offense and a gritty team defense, backstopped by sophomore Marie-Pier Coulombe (Carignan, QUE), shut down Princeton's high-powered forwards as 6th-ranked Clarkson earned a key two points in ECAC Hockey play by defeating the 5th-ranked Tigers 2-1 on Senior Day at Cheel Arena. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Golden Knights stand at 21-5-6 overall and hold down fourth place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 12-4-4 league mark. Clarkson, with 28 points through 20 conference games, is one point behind third-place Harvard and three points from second-place Princeton. The Green and Gold, who play at Harvard and Dartmouth this coming weekend, are four points in front of fifth-place Yale. The Knights, who have gone 5-1-2 since January 24, reached the 400-win mark in the program's 17th-year history with Saturday's victory over Princeton. Clarkson boasts a 400-172-67 all-time record since the Division I program began with the start of the 2003-04 season for a .678 winning percentage. One of the elite players in the history of NCAA Women's Hockey, Giguere scored both Clarkson goals to surpass the 200-point mark. The junior right wing has amassed 201 career points on 83 goals and 118 assists through just 113 games. Giguere opened the Knights' final home game of the regular season at 15:10 of the first period with her fourth power-play score of the year. After a face off win in the Tigers' zone by junior Tia Stoddard (La Mesa, CA), senior captain Ella Shelton (Ingersoll, ONT) controlled the puck at the top of the slot and fired a shot on net. Princeton goaltender Rachel McQuigge made the initial stop, but Giguere fought off a Tiger defender and gathered in the bouncing puck at the left side of the crease, where she flipped in back-hand shot to give the Green and Gold the early momentum. Giguere struck again midway through the middle frame for a 2-0 Clarkson lead. Taking a long outlet pass from freshman defenseman Stephanie Markowski (Edmonton, ALB), Giguere skated into the Princeton end on a 2-on-1 rush with senior Kayla Friesen (Winnipeg, MAN). Showing great patience with the puck, Giguere waited until a Tiger defender slid down to take away the pass and then fired in a quick hard shot from the bottom of the left circle just inside the near post for her nation-leading 30th goal of the season at 9:19. Giguere is tied the national lead in game-winnners with eight. Princeton got on the scoreboard at 11:07 of the period with Annie Kuehl's goal on a shot from a sharp angle along the right boards, but that would be it for the Tigers, who entered the weekend with the 6th-rated offense in the nation, averaging 3.71 goals per game. After allowing a season-high 47 saves to Princeton in the 2-1 loss in New Jersey on November 22, Clarkson's defense, which was playing without several key rearguards because of injuries, limited the high-powered Tigers to just 28 shots in their second meeting of the season. Coulombe finished with 27 saves, including 12 stops in the third period of the one-goal game. Princeton pulled McQuigge with 1:31 remaining in regulation, but the Knights' defense was solid down the stretch and Coulombe made the saves on the shots that got through to get Clarkson the two key league points. The Knights' penalty kill was perfect, shutting down Princeton's fifth-ranked power play all three of their chances, including a Tiger man-advantage with 4:54 to play. Clarkson was 1-of-2 on its power plays.