February 4, 2012

Third-Period Clarkson Outburst Too Much for Bulldogs

Golden Knights Break Open 1-0 Game in Final Period

POTSDAM, N.Y. – For the second time in as many days, the Yale women's ice hockey team entered the third period trailing by just one goal against a tough North Country foe. But unfortunately for Yale Saturday's game at Clarkson ended much the way that Friday night's game at St. Lawrence had -- with a flurry of goals by the opposition. The Saints scored three times in the third Friday night for a 6-2 win, and the Golden Knights scored six times Saturday for a 7-0 win.

Both teams struggled offensively in the early going. Yale did not get a shot on goal until more than six minutes had elapsed, when sophomore forward Jackie Raines fought through a pair of defenders to put one on the Golden Knights' Erica Howe. Clarkson had only two shots on goal itself at that point, but began generating some more chances as the period wore on. Senior goalie Genny Ladiges gloved a shot from forward Danielle Skirrow in transition at the 10:10 mark, when Skirrow tried to use a Yale defender as a screen.

Right after that junior forward Danielle Moncion generated one of Yale's best chances of the period, as she skated the puck in and tried a tricky backhander from low in the right circle. Howe got just enough of that one with her shoulder, deflecting it barely wide of the goal behind her.

Clarkson very nearly got a gift goal with 6:10 to play in the first, when a pass almost turned into a shot on goal. The puck deflected off a skate in front of the net and came dangerously close to going in before sliding past the far post.

Yale's inability to clear the puck gave the Golden Knights the chance to take the lead, as Skirrow grabbed the puck low in the right circle and freed herself up to wrist one past Ladiges at 15:22. Clarkson went into the first intermission up 1-0.

Howe made one of her best saves of the day two minutes into the second, denying freshman forward Stephanie Mock's attempt to backhand in a rebound. The Bulldogs put more pressure on the Clarkson net in the second but could not get the game tied up. Yale got the first power play of the game when Mock drew a holding penalty at the 13:28 mark, but Howe made the save on a slap shot from junior defenseman Jamie Gray, and after junior defenseman Natalie Wedell sent one wide The Golden Knights cleared.

Still on the power play, Yale got the puck back into the Clarkson zone and set up senior defenseman Heather Grant for a slap shot that went high, and Clarkson's long clearing attempt nearly turned disastrous for Yale. As the penalty was ending, forward Vanessa Gagnon came off the Clarkson bench and skated in all alone with the puck. But when she tried to go five-hole Ladiges sticked the puck aside, keeping the Bulldogs within one heading into the final period.

The Bulldogs had a great chance to tie the game 30 seconds into the third, when Mock fed junior forward Alyssa Zupon from behind the net, but that shot went a few inches wide.

Right after that Yale killed off its first penalty of the game, but the Golden Knights got on the board a few minutes later to start their scoring flurry. A turnover in the Yale zone gave Clarkson a 2-on-1, and Skirrow held the puck as long as she could as she drove through the right circle before feeding it across to forward Jamie Lee Rattray to put Clarkson up 2-0 with 14:37 to play.

Less than two minutes later, forward Juana Baribeau made it 3-0 with her 15th goal of the year. And two minutes after that, the Bulldogs caught a tough break when a shot by forward Shelby Nisbet bounced in off a Yale skate for the Golden Knights' fourth goal. Then, a minute later, forward Carly Mercer tacked on one more to make it 5-0. A power play goal by Skirrow increased the deficit to six with 6:44 to play.

Junior goalie Erin Callahan came on in relief of Ladiges at that point. Callahan was hurt by a tough bounce, as the lone goal she allowed was deflected in off a Clarkson skate and a video review determined that since it had not been kicked, the goal counted. Forward Brittany Styner got credited for that goal, which made the final 7-0.

Yale hosts Colgate and Cornell in the final two home games of the season next Friday and Saturday.

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

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