PRINCETON, NJ - Four first-period goals sparked the 8th-ranked Clarkson University womens hockey team by the Princeton Tigers 7-0 on Friday afternoon at Hobey Baker Rink.
The win propels the Golden Knights to 11-3-2 (4-2-1 ECAC Hockey), and they pick up two important points on the road. The loss sends the Tigers to 5-3 (4-3 ECAC Hockey), and Clarkson jumps over Princeton to move into a tie for third place in the conference.
Clarkson will stay on the road this afternoon to take on the Quinnipiac University Bobcats at 3 p.m. while Princeton will remain at home to host St. Lawrence tomorrow afternoon.
We brought a great all around team effort tonight and had everyone in the lineup going and contributing, stated Clarkson co-head coach Matt Desrosiers. The key for us tonight was definitely getting off to a fast start. That really helped get our energy level up which we were able to feed off the rest of the game. Sometimes in games like that when you get a few goals early you can get a little complacent and get sloppy in some areas of your game, but we did a great job of maintaining our focus throughout the entire game without any letdowns. We had some players step up and have big games, but like I said, everyone in the lineup was able to contribute and play hard for the win.
Clarkson wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as 29 seconds into the game senior Vanessa Gagnon (St. Constant, QUE) finished passes from classmates Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) and Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB), and beat Princeton goaltender Kimberly Newell for her fourth goal of the season to put the Green and Gold up 1-0.
Just over two minutes later, the Knights struck again as Styner received passes from Rattray and sophomore Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) for her fifth goal on the year to double Clarksons lead to 2-0.
Continuing her dominant first five minutes of the game, Rattray added a goal to her pair of assists as she took a pass from Ambrose and beat Newell to give Clarkson the 3-0 lead. The goal was Rattrays team-leading 10th on the year.
Still in the first period, freshman defender Corie Jacobson (Warren, ONT) notched her second goal of the year at the 16:53 mark with help from sophomore Shannon MacAulay (Mt. Herbert, PEI) to give the Golden Knights a commanding 4-0 first-period lead.
Senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) was not overly tested in any period, stopping a game-high six shots in the first. The shutout is her sixth on the year and moves her into sole possession of first place in the country, one ahead of tomorrows opponent in Quinnipiacs Chelsea Laden. Howe has 21 career whitewashes.
At it again in the second period, Ambrose got in on the scoring with help from Rattray and Styner to add to the Clarkson lead.
Gagnon and MacAulay would add goals in the third period to reach the final score of 7-0. MacAulays goal was a power-play goal, the first for the Knights in over three games. Rattray led the Knights with five points on the afternoon (1-4-5) and Styner added three points, including her team-high 14th assist.
Clarkson outshot Princeton 43-14 on the afternoon, and the Knights front line of Rattray, Gagnon and Styner were all +5 on the day. The Knights took more shots in the first period (19) than Princeton did throughout the entire 60 minutes.
SUNY POTSDAM TIES
In an ECAC West Division game played in Cortland, the visiting Lady Bears generated a 40-24 advantage in shots on net but were unable to put the puck past goalkeeper Deanna Meunier as the teams battled to a scoreless draw.
Alexane Rodrigue stood tall working the SUNY Potsdam (2-4-2, 1-3-2) crease for the shutout.
The Red Dragons moved to 1-4-2 overall and 0-2-1 in the conference. The two teams square off against each other again this afternoon starting at 2 p.m.