No. 6 Clarkson Ends Saints’ Season with 4-1 Victory in Game Three
Feb. 28: The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team's 2009-10 season came to an end on Sunday afternoon, as No. 6 Clarkson used a pair of power play goals en route to a 4-1 victory in game three of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal series.
The Knights got a 21-save performance in net from Lauren Dahm, and were the more opportunistic team to improve to 22-10-5 on the season. Meanwhile, St. Lawrence finishes the year with a 16-14-7 mark and will miss both the ECAC Hockey Semifinals and NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.
"I thought it was an evenly-played game in what proved to be a great series," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "(Clarkson) was able to execute on their opportunities and that proved to be the difference."
Though the shots were even at 8-8 in the first period, the Saints had the better scoring chances. Dahm was up to the task and showed why she is a nominee for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial award, robbing sophomores Kelly Sabatine and Michelle Ng on great bids.
With the game still scoreless late in the period, the Golden Knights would begin to turn up the offensive pressure and pin the Saints in their own zone. After St. Lawrence was unable to clear the zone, the puck cycled to Danielle Skirrow along the right boards. Skirrow fired a puck on St. Lawrence senior goalie Maxie Weisz, who made the initial save with her blocker. However, the rebound dribbled into the slot to Gabrielle Kosziwka, who pushed the puck across the goal line for her sixth goal of the season to put the home team on top 1-0 at 17:01.
Special teams played a critical role in the second period, as Clarkson kept the Saints scoreless on three power play tries and used a power play goal to build a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of hockey. St. Lawrence had great opportunities but couldn't cash in on Dahm, who gave up a few long rebounds. Instead, it was Melissa Waldie who re-directed a slap shot from the blue line behind a screened Weisz at 4:47 to cushion the Knights' lead. Carlee Eusepi and Juana Baribeau assisted on the goal.
Though St. Lawrence would come out of the gate well in the third period, a high-sticking penalty called on sophomore Vanessa Emond in the offensive zone would put Clarkson back on the power play only 2:45 into the third. The Knights would extend their lead to 3-0 only 16 seconds later when Eusepi drove a slap shot past Weisz from the blue line at 3:01.
Needing an offensive spark, Coach Wells opted to pull Weisz for an extra attacker when Clarkson's Kali Gillanders took a two minute penalty with 9:31 to play in regulation. Despite skating 6-on-4, the Saints were unable to solve Dahm and continued to trail, 3-0.
The Saints finally broke through at 17:21 of the final frame with an extra attacker goal to cut the Clarkson lead to 3-1. Sabatine got the play started, as she snapped a shot towards the goal that Dahm was able to stop. However, the rebound bounced right off of junior Kirsten Roach and into the net for her third goal of the season.
However, with Weisz still on the bench, a turnover by a St. Lawrence forward in the Clarkson zone allowed Baribeau to steal the puck, walk the length of the ice and put the series away with an empty-net goal at 18:03. The goal, which put Clarkson on top 4-1, was Baribeau's 16th tally of the year.
Clarkson, which will play Harvard in the ECAC Hockey semifinals, finished 2-of-4 on the power play and managed to hold St. Lawrence without a power play goal despite having seven chances. The Knights also finished with a 24-22 edge in shots on goal. Weisz continued to play well but suffered the loss despite making 20 saves.
The six St. Lawrence seniors that were playing in their last collegiate hockey game were able to share the final shifts of the game together as time ran out on the Saints' 2009-10 season. Those players included goalie Brittony Chartier, forwards Karlee Shields and Tara Akstull and defensemen Courtney Sawchuk, Becky Street and Britni Smith.