Quinnipiac eliminates Lady Knights in ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals
Sunday, February 26, 2012 - 10:23 pm

Potsdam, NY – Despite playing with an extra-attacker for the final three-plus minutes of action, the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team was unable to get the goals it needed to force overtime as Quinnipiac outlasted the Golden Knights, 2-0, in Game 3 of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals in front of 333 fans Sunday afternoon at Cheel Arena.

The Golden Knights saw their season conclude with a 22-10-5 overall mark, while Quinnipiac improved to 19-15-2, advancing to the ECAC Hockey semifinals next weekend at Cornell University. The only other time that a six-seed has topped the third seed in the ECAC Hockey playoffs was in 2009 when Rensselaer upset Princeton in two straight, one-goal games. The Engineers eventually lost in the championship game to Dartmouth.

The defense that stood out for both teams on Saturday returned on Sunday, as Clarkson’s first shot came in the opening moments, but only from center ice, and the Knights didn’t get another attempt on goal until 9:16 remained on the clock. Likewise, the majority of Quinnipiac’s shots came on its power play chance. The only opportunity that either team truly had in picking up a goal came while the Knights were on the power play. However, that chance came for the Bobcats, as Kelly Babstock gained possession of the puck near center ice and had a break away against Clarkson’s Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT). Babstock went low to Howe’s glove side, and the sophomore goalie dropped down and denied the chance with her left pad to keep the game scoreless through the first period.

Although the pace of the game was solid, the second period once again had few chances for either team. It wasn’t until Quinnipiac was on its second power-play chance of the period that the ice was finally broken on the scoreboard. With just 31 seconds remaining on the power play, the Bobcats ended the scoreless tie with Nicole Kosta backhanding a shot past Howe’s stick side at the 11:19 mark. Quinnipiac had worked the puck around slowly and Kosta skated near the left circle before lifting the puck over Howe’s stick. Babstock and Regan Boulton assisted.

The Bobcats picked up another goal just three minutes later on a fluky shot from Brittany Lyons. From the top of the right circle, Lyons wristed a shot that Howe appeared to have an easy chance to knock away, but unfortunately for Clarkson, the puck ticked off the inside of Howe’s right pad and down to the ice, where it rolled through Howe’s legs and trickled across the goal line at 14:48. Defensemen Bethany Dymarczyk and Jordan Elkins each earned assists on the score.

The third period didn’t have much in the way of results as far as goal scoring, but both teams had chances on rebounds, but no skaters were available to finish off the plays. With just over three minutes remaining, Howe was pulled for an extra-skater, but Clarkson was unable to get any goals despite many pokes at the Quinnipiac goal.

Overall, Clarkson struggled on the power play, going 0-for-6 with just two shots in that time, while Quinnipiac went 1-for-6. Howe finished with 19 saves, while Victoria Vigilanti made 23 stops for the shutout.