Lady Knights close out first half with weekend hockey series at Niagara
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 12:08 am

Riding a three-game winning streak and coming off its most productive offensive weekend outing in over six years, the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team will look to continue its strong play when it closes out the 2011 portion of the schedule with a two-game series at Niagara University. Guided by fourth-year co-head coaches Matt and Shannon Desrosiers and assistant coach Matt Kelly, the Golden Knights face off against the Purple Eagles at Dwyer Arena in Niagara Falls, NY on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and again on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. to open a seven-game road trip. Clarkson returns to action after the exam/holiday break with a weekend series in Boston, playing at Northeastern and Boston College on January 5-6.

Led by senior captain Katelyn Ptolemy (Dinsmore, SASK) and senior assistant captain Danielle Boudreau (Whitby, ONT), the Knights stand at 10-4-4 overall and are in second place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 6-3-1 league mark.

Playing in their final home games until late January, the Green and Gold overwhelmed Capital District foes Rensselaer and Union at Cheel Arena this past weekend. On Friday, Clarkson put up the second most goals in a game in the nine-year history of the program with a 10-0 rout of the Engineers. The Knights continued to roll on Saturday with a 6-2 victory over the Dutchwomen.

After skating in tight contests, which saw 11 of the previous 13 games decided by one-goal-or-less, Clarkson broke out offensively against Rensselaer with its highest single-game goal total since an 11-0 win over Sacred Heart on February 8, 2004. Sophomore Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) recorded her first career hat trick, while classmate Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB) tallied five points on one goal and four assists. Ptolemy (1-2), Boudreau (0-3) and senior Gabrielle Kosziwka (Limehouse, ONT) (0-3) also had a productive night with three points each. Sophomore Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) and freshman Emily Horn (Hamilton, ONT) combined for Clarkson’s fifth shutout of the season with six and five saves, respectively.

Named ECAC Player of the Week, Rattray led the way for the Green and Gold against Union with two goals and one assist. Senior Juana Baribeau (Amos, QUE), who netted two goals against RPI, scored again against the Dutchwomen for her 100 career point and 52nd career goal. Styner tallied one goal and two assists to complete an eight-point weekend (2-6). Kosziwka added two more assists against Union to give her five for the weekend. Sophomore Vanessa Gagnon (St. Constant, QUE) posted the game-winner after scoring her first goal of the season the night before against RPI. Howe posted 25 saves for her 20th career win.

Selected ECAC Goaltender of the Month for the second consecutive time, earning the prestigious honor in October and November, Howe posts a .931 save percentage, a 1.66 goals against average (fourth in the nation) and is tied for first in Division I in shutouts with four.

Rattray paces the Knights offensively with 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists. Sophomore Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) follows with 16 points (6-10).

Niagara stands at 7-7-5 overall. The Purple Eagles have just one win in their last six games (1-2-3). This past weekend, Niagara tied (1-1) and lost (5-2) at Ohio State. The Purple Eagles’ last win was a 5-1 victory over St. Cloud State on November 18. Niagara is 5-3-1 at home and posts a 6-1 record against ECAC Hockey foes.