Golden Knights women's hockey host Brown and Yale in final regular-season games at Cheel Arena
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:34 pm

With veteran leadership by its five seniors, Juana Baribeau (Amos, QUE), Danielle Boudreau (Whitby, ONT), Kali Gillanders (Kyle, SASK), Gabrielle Kosziwka (Limehouse, ONT) and Katelyn Ptolemy (Dinsmore, SASK), the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team is challenging for one of the top spots in the ECAC Hockey standings. With six games remaining in the conference slate, the Golden Knights are tied for third place in the league with a 10-4-2 mark, one point out of second. Overall, Clarkson, led by co-head coaches Matt and Shannon Desrosiers, and assistant coach Matt Kelly, owns a 16-7-5 record.

The Knights close out the home portion of the regular-season schedule at Cheel Arena this weekend by hosting Brown, at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, and Yale, at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Clarkson’s Class of 2012 has helped the Green and Gold compile 69 victories over the past four years. The seniors have made three appearances in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, including a league championship game berth in 2010, and skated in Clarkson’s first ever NCAA Tournament game that same season.

With a 4-1-1 record in conference play during the New Year, the Green and Gold have established themselves as one of the top teams in ECAC Hockey again this season and are on the verge of securing their eighth consecutive berth in the league playoffs.

Clarkson was impressive this past weekend with a sweep of central NY rivals Colgate and Cornell in Potsdam. The Knights dominated the Raiders on Friday in a 4-1 victory, outshooting the visitors 33-15 while going 3-of-8 on the power play. Clarkson followed that with its biggest victory of the year by knocking off second-ranked Cornell 5-3. The Knights built a 3-0 lead and then held off the Big Red, to snap the nation’s longest winning streak.

Baribeau posted her second career hat trick in the victory over Cornell to cap off a five-goal weekend. The Knights’ third all-time leading scorer, Baribeau has tallied 113 points on 60 goals and 53 assists through 141 games. She has 14 goals and eight assists this season. Baribeau was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week.

Sophomores Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) and Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) lead the Knights up front with 33 and 31 points, respectively. Mercer is Clarkson’s leading playmaker with 21 assists, while Rattray has scored a team-high 15 goals. Junior Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT) has 23 points, including 14 goals with nine coming on the power play, which ranks as third in the nation.

Sophomore Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) has posted all-star numbers this season. Playing in all but 47 minutes in the Clarkson goal through the first 28 games, Howe boasts a 1.81 goals against average (9th in the nation), a .925 save percentage (13th) and is tied for third in the NCAA in shutouts with five. Howe backstops Division I’s third-ranked penalty-kill 89.3% (108-121).

Under first-year head coach Amy Bourbeau, Brown is in the playoff hunt tied for eighth with a 4-8-4 ECAC Hockey mark. The Bears stand at 7-9-7 overall. This past weekend, Brown saw a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) come to and end with a pair of losses at home, falling to Dartmouth (3-1) and Harvard (3-0). The Bears are 4-2-6 on the road.

Yale has struggled this season with just a 1-22 record entering the weekend. The Bulldogs, who play at St. Lawrence on Friday, have lost 16 straight after defeating Union 3-2 in overtime on November 11. Yale owns a 1-15 mark in ECAC Hockey.