January 22, 2010

Heartbreaker at Ingalls as No. 3 Clarkson Edges Yale 3-2 in OT

Golden Knights Tie Game with 2:19 Left, Win it 17 Seconds into Overtime

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Forward Dominique Thibault knocked in a loose puck from in front of the net 17 seconds into overtime for the game-winning goal as No. 3 Clarkson rallied for a 3-2 win over Yale Friday night at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs were 2:19 away from pulling off the upset in regulation, but a goal by defenseman Carlee Eusepi tied the game. Yale's goals came from senior defenseman Alyssa Clarke and freshman forward Alyssa Zupon.

The Golden Knights outshot Yale 16-4 in the first period and had their first Grade-A scoring chance just two minutes in, when a turnover in the Yale zone gave forward Kali Gillanders a chance at a wrist shot that junior goalie Jackee Snikeris saved.

Thibault, tied for the ECAC Hockey lead in goals and points at the start of the night, had her first golden opportunity with eight minutes left in the first, but Snikeris denied her attempt right at the doorstep. Thibault also had a pair of chances during a Clarkson power play late in the period, but Snikeris stopped them and, after spending the first 90 seconds of the penalty kill in their own zone, the Bulldogs finally got a clear from sophomore forward Aleca Hughes to help finish off the kill.

Yale only put four shots on goal in the first, but there were a pair of near misses for the Bulldogs in the final three minutes. First, a Clarkson defender fell down while going after a loose puck in transition just outside the Golden Knights' zone. But as Hughes went after the puck she tripped over the fallen defender, negating the chance for a breakaway. Right after that Yale got a faceoff in the Clarkson zone and Clarke hit the post with a hard shot from above the left circle.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead 2:04 into the second when Clarke sent a shot from the blue line through traffic and past goalie Lauren Dahm. Sophomore forward Becky Mantell and freshman forward Danielle Moncion assisted on the play.

Yale put together a great power play on its first opportunity, as junior defenseman Samantha MacLean drew a hooking penalty on the Golden Knights at 6:13. But Dahm set the tone by gloving a slap shot by junior forward Bray Ketchum right after the faceoff. Dahm would make several more big saves as the Bulldogs spent nearly the entire two minutes on offense but could not extend their lead. Dahm made a huge kick save on a shot by Mantell right as the penalty expired.

Snikeris made a pair of back-to-back saves with seven minutes left in the period, stuffing one attempt with her left leg and then getting a piece of the rebound attempt with her blocker to send it harmlessly into the corner.

Yale's second penalty of the game saw the Bulldogs start the kill off with Mantell joined by three freshmen -- Moncion, defenseman Jamie Gray and defenseman Tara Tomimoto. The youngsters took care of their shift, ending it with Gray getting a clear, and Snikeris then denied defenseman Danielle Boudreau from right in front after an apparent icing by the Golden Knights went uncalled. MacLean finished off the successful penalty kill by slapping the puck out of the Yale zone and on net at the other end, where Dahm stopped it.

The Golden Knights evened the score at 1-1 on a slap shot by defenseman Hailey Wood from just inside the blue line with 2:39 left in the second. Ketchum almost un-tied it three minutes into the third, weaving her way through the Clarkson defense for a wrist shot that sailed just high. Dahm then denied a trio of rapid-fire shots from Clarke, senior forward Berit Johnson and freshman forward Jen Matichuk.

With less than 12 minutes to play, Tomimoto made a nice defensive play, blocking a shot to break up a Clarkson 2-on-1. Right after that the Bulldogs went on the power play again, and this time they converted. After Zupon won the faceoff in the left circle, she took a pass back from Hughes and immediately sent it up top to Tomimoto. The blue liner sent a shot on goal that Zupon deflected in at 10:22.

It began looking as if that lead would stand up as Yale got another power play with 6:56 to play, enabling the Bulldogs to continue to control the play. Snikeris had to make a stick save on forward Ashleigh Moorehead with 4:30 left, but other than that the Golden Knights were not able to generate many threats. In the end, though, an innocent dump in by Eusepi from the neutral zone turned tragic for Yale, as Snikeris gloved it but could not control it. The loose puck trickled in behind her to tie the game with 2:19 left.

Snikeris rallied to turn aside a hard slap shot by forward Juana Baribeau in the final minute, then made another save on Gillanders before gloving a Moorehead shot with .6 seconds on the clock. Zupon won the faceoff in the Yale zone to send the game into OT, but Clarkson quickly ended it when Thibault got to a loose puck after Snikeris stopped a shot by Baribeau.

Snikeris finished with 40 saves, while Dahm made 28. Yale returns to action Saturday vs. St. Lawrence at 4 p.m. It is Yale Employee Day at Ingalls Rink. Employees can pick up two complimentary tickets at the Ingalls Rink ticket booth starting 90 minutes before the game. Children 14 and under receive free admission.  

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

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