Knights women's hockey back in action hosting Rensselaer and Union
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 12:32 am

After a 12-day layoff, the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team returns to action this weekend with its final two ECAC Hockey games during the 2011 portion of the schedule. Guided by fourth-year co-head coaches Matt and Shannon Desrosiers, and assistant coach Matt Kelly, the Golden Knights host Capital District rivals Rensselaer and Union at Cheel Arena, facing off against the Engineers on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and battling the Dutchwomen on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. These are the final home games for the Green and Gold until January 21.

Clarkson, led by senior captain Katelyn Ptolemy (Dinsmore, SASK) and senior assistant captain Danielle Boudreau (Whitby, ONT), own an 8-4-4 overall record and are tied for fourth in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 4-3-1 league mark.

The month of November got off to a rough start for the Green and Gold when they suffered their first ever loss to Union, falling to the Dutchwomen 2-1 in Schenectady on November 4, but Clarkson regrouped and posted a 4-2 record for the month. Behind a stingy defensive effort, backstopped in goal by sophomore Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT), the Knights posted three shutouts and allowed only three goals over the past five games. In its last action before the break, on November 18-19, Clarkson split on the road, losing to nationally-ranked Harvard 2-1 in Cambridge, MA before blanking Dartmouth 1-0 in Hanover, NH.

With Howe playing every minute in the Clarkson goal, the Knights boast the seventh-best defense in the NCAA, allowing only 1.75 goals per game. Howe posts a .930 save percentage, a 1.72 goals against average and is tied for first in the nation in shutouts with four. Playing a major role in Clarkson’s stingy defense is the Knights’ penalty kill, which ranks first in Division I at 90.1% (64-71). Clarkson has only allowed one power-play goal in the last six games.

Sophomore Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) leads the Clarkson offense with 17 points, including a team-high 11 assists. Classmate Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) posts 15 points, including six goals with five coming on the power play. Junior Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT), who scored the lone goal in the victory at Dartmouth, follows with six goals and four assists. Along with her solid play on the blueline, junior Hailey Wood (Lethbridge, ALB), who posts a team-best +8 plus/minus, has also contributed offensively with 10 points (1-9) and is on a four-game point-scoring streak. Senior Juana Baribeau (Amos, QUE), who has six points (3-3) this season is closing in on the Centruy Mark with 97 career points (49-48) through 129 games.

Rensselaer closed out a four-game home stand on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Syracuse to put a halt to a three-game skid. The Engineers stand at 4-10-4 overall and are in 10th place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 1-3-2 league mark. RPI’s lone conference victory was a 5-0 win at Yale on November 12. The Engineers are 3-2-3 on the road.

After a three-point weekend at Messa Rink in early November, with a win over Clarkson and a tie against St. Lawrence (2-2), Union has lost four straight. On Tuesday, the Dutchwomen opened a three-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss at UNH. Union, which plays at St. Lawrence on Friday, owns a 3-11-1 overall record and a 1-4-1, 11th-place ECAC Hockey mark.

CLARKSON in the NCAA RANKINGS - (Nov. 27)

- TEAM -

Scoring Offense - 24th (2.19)

Scoring Defense - 7th (1.75)

Scoring Margin - 14th (.44)

Power Play - T-13th (13-67, 19.4%)

Penalty Kill - 1st (64-71, 90.1%)

Penalty Minutes - 26th (9.1)

- INDIVIDUAL - ToP 20 in NCAA

Power-Play Goals - Mercer T-5th (5)

Game-Winning Goals - Rattray, Nisbet T-12th (2)

Save Percentage - Howe 12th (.930%)

Goals Against Average - Howe 7th (1.72)

Shutouts - Howe T-1st (4)

Winning Percentage - Howe 14th (.625%, 8-4-4)