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Fifth-ranked Clarkson women face tough road game at Harvard, Dartmouth

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POTSDAM - With four games remaining in the regular season, the 5th-ranked Clarkson University women’s hockey team will look to clinch a home quarterfinal matchup as they travel to take on Harvard and Dartmouth.

The Golden Knights face off against the Crimson at Bright Hockey center in Cambridge, MA on Friday night at 7 p.m., and then battle the Big Green at Thompson Arena in Hanover, NH at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Clarkson, led by senior captain Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT), stands at 21-4-5 overall and is in third place in the conference standings with a 12-2-4 ECAC Hockey mark. The Knights remain one point behind Cornell and two points behind the Crimson, who enter the weekend with a record of 19-3-3 (14-2-2). A win on Friday would move the Knights into a tie with Harvard with three games to play. Dartmouth enters the weekend on the outside looking in with a record of 7-16-1 (6-11-1), one point behind Rensselaer for the final playoff spot.

Clarkson is coming off a weekend in which they took a pair of two-goal leads into the third period against Quinnipiac and Princeton, but could not hold on as they tied Quinnipiac 3-3 on Friday night and tied Princeton 2-2 on Saturday afternoon.

The Green and Gold still hold the second longest active unbeaten streak in the country, going 9-0-3 in their last 12 games. Senior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) has played a big role in that streak, as she leads the nation with 51 points and is second in goals with 25. The Knights average 3.70 goals per game, good for the second-best offense in the country. Rattray stands six assists away from becoming the Knights’ all-time leading playmaker with 93 assists in 136 career games.

On the defensive end, senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) has the third best goals-against average, allowing only 1.17 goals per game. She is tied for the lead with 10 shutouts and has a .783 winning percentage on the year.

Sophomore Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) has been one of the most productive defenseman throughout the year, leading the nation with 32 assists and averaging 1.40 points per game, the most by any defender in the country.

Senior Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB) recorded her 100th career point in a Clarkson uniform with an assist on Friday night. She now has 102 points, including 30 goals and 72 assists.

HARVARD FRIDAY

Clarkson struggled against the Crimson the first time around at Cheel Arena, getting shutout 2-0 despite outshooting Harvard 36-19. The Crimson has the best penalty kill in the country, denying 95.5% of opponents’ power-play opportunities. Harvard has outscored opponents 72-33 on the season and Emerance Maschmeyer has been one of the top goaltenders in the nation, posting a 15-2-3 record and a 1.50 gaa.

DARTMOUTH SATURDAY

The Knights took down the Big Green 3-0 back in November with help from two freshmen. Jessica Gillham (Uxbridge, ONT) scored her first career goal and Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, QUE) added a score in the second period. Dartmouth has lost three straight games entering this weekend and is desperate for points, as they need to pass someone in order to make the ECAC Playoffs.

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