POTSDAM, N.Y. – The No. 6-seeded Quinnipiac women's ice hockey team was edged by No. 3-seeded Clarkson, 2-1, in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena. The result now pits the squads against each other for the third and deciding game of the series tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, Feb. 26, when the Bobcats and Golden Knights hit the ice at 4 p.m. With the loss, Quinnipiac falls to 18-15-2 overall on the season, while Clarkson improves to 22-9-5 overall.
Sophomore forward Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) tallied Quinnipiac's lone goal on a power-play score with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game, but the Golden Knights defense refused to allow a subsequent game-tying score despite a frenzied finish from the Bobcats.
After only two total penalties all game during last night's contest (both against the Golden Knights) a total of 10 penalties were called during this afternoon's game. Overall, the Golden Knights were whistled for six penalties, while Quinnipiac was only called for four infractions. Quinnipiac was 1-for-6 on the afternoon, while the Bobcats held the Golden Knights scoreless on their three extra skater opportunities.
Junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) played another aggressive game in goal for Quinnipiac and made a game-high 21 saves, while sophomore goalie Erica Howe turned away 14 shots for Clarkson.
Clarkson tallied the first goal of the game at the 11:55 mark into the opening frame on junior forward Danielle Skirrow's 17th goal of the season. Skirrow was able to backhand in the shot past junior goaltender Victoria Vigilanti (Woodbridge, Ontario) following a short pass from senior forward Gabrielle Kosziwka. Sophomore forward Jamie Lee Rattray earned the second assist on the score, after her shot was blocked in front by senior defender Bethany Dymarczyk (Hamden, Conn.).
The Golden Knights proceeded to extend its lead to 2-0 just 3:33 into the second period of action, as Rattray potted an unassisted goal off a strong snap shot from top of the faceoff circle.
Quinnipiac nearly cut the lead in half with just under six minutes remaining in the second stanza, as sophomore forward Kelly Babstock's (Mississauga, Ontario) point-blank wrister was glove-saved by Howe. Babstock had beaten her defender in front and seemed to have an open look at the net, but Howe fully extended to snag the puck out of the air, preserving the two-goal lead.
Despite conceding one goal in the period, the Bobcats seemed to frustrate Clarkson in the second, as the Golden Knights were whistled for four penalties. Quinnipiac applied pressure during its extra skater advantages, but two pipes, one by senior forward Kate Wheeler (Oakville, Ontario) and one by junior defender Regan Boulton (Brandon, Manitoba), and six blocked shots by Clarkson's penalty kill unit kept Quinnipiac off the board.
Quinnipiac's persistent effort finally produced its first goal of the game on a power-play score from sophomore forward Erica Uden Johansson (Sundsvall, Sweden) at the 7:33 mark into the final frame. Uden Johansson held the puck just inside the top of the faceoff circle before she unleashed a shot on net which jumped over the shoulder of Howe. The goal for Uden Johansson was her second of the playoffs and eighth of the season, while freshman forward Nicole Kosta (Mississauga, Ontario) and junior forward Breann Frykas (East St. Paul, Manitoba) were each awarded an assist on the score.
Coming out of a timeout with 1:07 minutes remaining in the game, the Bobcats pulled Vigilanti to give them a 6-on-5 advantage for the remainder of the contest. Boulton and senior defender Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, Alaska) each targeted shots on net, yet Clarkson's defense held strong to even the series.
Quinnipiac and Clarkson will play Game 3 tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, Feb. 26, when puck drop at Cheel Arena is set for 4 p.m. No. 1-seeded Cornell, No. 2-seeded Harvard and No. 5-seeded St. Lawrence have all advanced to the ECAC Hockey Semifinals.
ECAC Hockey Playoff Schedule
No. 8 BROWN at No. 1 CORNELL (Cornell wins series, 2-0)
Friday: Cornel-4 Brown-2
Saturday: Cornell-6 Brown-0
No. 7 PRINCETON at No. 2 HARVARD (Harvard leads series, 2-0)
Friday: Harvard-5 Princeton-3
Saturday: Harvard-4 Princeton-3 (Overtime)
No. 6 QUINNIPIAC at No. 3 CLARKSON (Series tied, 1-1)
Friday: :Quinnipiac-4 Clarkson-1
Saturday: Clarkson-2 Quinnipiac-1
Sunday: 4 p.m.
No. 5 ST. LAWRENCE at No. 4 DARTMOUTH (St. Lawrence wins series, 2-0)
Friday: St. Lawrence-4 Dartmouth-3 (Overtime)
Saturday: St.. Lawrence-2 Dartmouth-0
Contact: Ross Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org