February 16, 2008

No. 9 Clarkson Tops Yale 5-1

Feb. 16, 2008

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POTSDAM, N.Y. - No. 9 Clarkson scored three goals in the third period to seal a 5-1 win over Yale Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena. The Golden Knights outshot the Bulldogs 44-20 and had nine power plays to Yale's two, but freshman goaltender Jackee Snikeris made 33 of her 39 saves in the first two periods to keep her team in the game until the decisive final frame. Yale's goal came from junior forward Crysti Howser.

It was clear from the start that Snikeris was in for a busy day. Forward Melissa Waldie got a step behind the Yale defense and tried a wrister from low in the right circle four minutes in that Snikeris stopped. Right after that the Bulldogs began a series of trips to the penalty box. On the first penalty kill Snikeris stopped a blast from the point by forward Brooke Beazer, then got a pair of blocks from junior forward Kristen Stupay and junior forward Danielle Kozlowski.

But just after that penalty ended the Bulldogs were called for another one. Snikeris stopped a hard shot from the point by defenseman Kimberly McKenney on that one, allowing no rebound. Shortly after she made her next save she had to dive to cover the puck after it momentarily slipped behind her.

Back at even strength the Golden Knights continued generating quality scoring chances. Forward Genevieve Lavoie had a 2-on-1 with Beazer going and opted to try a backhander from the doorstep. Snikeris stopped that one with her pad and then covered the puck before Beazer could get to it.

Yale's best chance in the first came when freshman forward Bray Ketchum followed junior forward Maggie Westfal into the slot and picked up Westfal's blocked shot. Ketchum's wrister sailed just high over the crossbar at the midway point of the period.

The Bulldogs were back in the penalty box with eight minutes left in the period, and after stopping a shot Snikeris again had to dive on a loose puck behind her to keep the Knights off the scoreboard.

Westfal ended that penalty kill with a clear to the other end of the ice, but with four minutes left Yale took another penalty. Junior forward Crysti Howser blocked a shot and cleared it at the start of that one. Sophomore forward Caroline Murphy also blocked a shot and then intercepted a dangerous pass into the slot, backhanding it out of the zone. Snikeris denied Lavoie's attempt at a rebound and Kozlowski ended the penalty kill with another blocked shot.

The Bulldogs squeezed one more penalty into the first period, as a whistle as that period ended left Yale on the penalty kill to start the second. Shortly after that one ended a turnover in the Yale zone enabled Waldie to send a pass out to forward Britney Selina for a one-timer that beat Snikeris at the 2:37 mark for a 1-0 Clarkson lead.

Yale's sixth penalty of the game kept Snikeris busy, as she made one glove save in traffic and later had to stop both Lavoie's shot and Waldie's rebound attempt right in front. By that point of the period the ice had tilted dramatically in Clarkson's favor, and the Golden Knights got to 30 shots before Yale got to 10.

The Bulldogs' best chance of the period was disrupted by a Clarkson penalty, as Westfal was hooked as she attempted to convert a nice pass from junior defenseman Helen Resor. Clarkson goalie Eve Grandmont-Berube stopped Ketchum's shot from a tough angle beside the net, and other than that the Bulldogs did not mount a threat.

As Yale (9-12-6, 6-10-4 ECAC Hockey, t-8th) was setting up in the Clarkson zone for one of the few times in the second period, a too-many-players on the ice penalty killed any Bulldog momentum. To make matters worse, Waldie knocked in a power-play goal at the 3:23 mark to extend the Clarkson lead to 2-0. One more penalty kill for the Bulldogs kept the score that way heading into the second intermission.

Yale's best chance to creep back in the game came when Murphy drove wide and sent the puck into the crease early in the third. It bounced around there for several seconds with a pair of Bulldogs fighting for it, but Grandmont-Berube was able to cover it.

Shortly after that the Bulldogs' ninth penalty gave the Golden Knights a chance at some breathing room. Forward Katie Morrison's power-play goal at 8:23 made it 3-0. Clarkson (21-6-5, 12-5-3 ECACH, 3rd) tacked on another goal a minute later from Beazer before Howser broke up Grandmont-Berube's shutout bid by converting a turnover into her ninth goal of the year. Clarkson forward Marie-Jo Gaudet capped the scoring by putting in the Golden Knights' fifth goal at the 13:21 mark.

This was the final "Pink at the Rink" game for ECAC Hockey. The Golden Knights wore special pink jerseys as part of the promotion. The pink jerseys for every ECAC Hockey team, including the ones Yale wore last weekend, are being auctioned on-line to raise money for cancer research. The auction ends Monday.

The Bulldogs remain in a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in the ECAC Hockey standings. Yale and RPI both have 16 points and trail seventh-place Cornell by three points. Yale hosts Union (Friday, 7:00 p.m.) and RPI (Saturday, 4:00 p.m.) next weekend in the regular season finale.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity