By CAP CAREY
POTSDAM The Clarkson University womens hockey team set an aggressive tone right from the start and went on to rout Quinnipiac 6-0 in an ECAC Hockey semifinal game Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson (28-4-5 overall), which won the regular-season title, will meet Cornell in the championship game at 1 p.m. today at Cheel Arena.
One thing we talked about was getting off to a good start, Clarkson co-coach Matt Desrosiers said. Obviously we did a really good job of that. We just came wave after wave, each player just focusing on the first couple shifts each to get the momentum in our favor.
The Golden Knights started well from the opening faceoff, playing in Quinnipiacs zone for the first six minutes of the game, almost looking as if they were on a power play.
Senior captain Carly Mercer took advantage of Clarksons offensive pressure and scored the first goal of the game at 6 minutes, 8 seconds, with a shot from behind the circle.
We played one of the best games weve played all year, Mercer said. It was completely a team effort. Everyone was going, and thats kind of what we need down the stretch.
The Golden Knights extended the lead to 2-0 early in the second period when Erin Ambrose put in the rebound of a shot by Jamie Lee Rattray, which hit the post.
Clarkson scored another goal late in the third period on a shot from Shannon MacAulay at 19:24. That goal helped the Golden Knights turn the game into a blowout.
I think (the goal) gave us good energy going into the third for sure, MacAulay said. With that amount of time left, everyone was pretty happy and a power-play goal. It was something we needed for the weekend to get our PP going.
Shelby Nisbet started the run with a goal at 3:55 of the period, making it 4-0, and then Christine Lambert scored at 5:25 to extend the lead to 5-0.
Clarksons final goal came on a power play at 13:24 of the third period on a shot from MacAulay.
The only negative on the day came with about five minutes remaining in the third period when Clarksons Ambrose, a defenseman who was one of the 10 Patty Kazmaier finalists, was injured after colliding with a Quinnipiac player.
Ambrose could not put any pressure on her ankle and had to be helped off the ice by teammates. Clarkson probably will not know the severity of her injury until Monday.
Quinnipiac (22-6-9), led by former Clarkson coach Rick Seeley, had tied the Golden Knights 3-3 at Cheel Arena on Feb. 7, but never got into Saturdays game, being outshot 26-12.
It might have been the best Ive ever seen (Clarkson) play, Seeley said. Their skill level and talent level is obvious, but they were working so hard and everything about their game was almost perfect.
CORNELL 6, HARVARD 4
The No. 3 Big Red (23-5-4) overcame a 4-2 deficit against No. 2 Harvard with a three-goal third period in the other semifinal.
The game featured several lead changes. Harvard scored first on a shot by Gina McDonald at 4:24 of the first, then Cornell took a 2-1 lead off goals from Emily Fulton and Jessica Campbell.
In the first period I thought we looked a little bit off, Derraugh said. Maybe we were too hyped before the game. In the second and third I thought we were better. We played more our style and we were more aggressive.
Harvard then scored three straight goals to go up 4-2. Miye DOench started the spurt with a goal at 8:15 of the second period and then Norfolk native Jessica Harvey scored her third goal of the season at 13:13 to give the Crimson a 3-2 lead. DOench added another goal at 18:07.
It was pretty awesome scoring in front of family and friends, Harvey said. Its something you dream about, playing at home.
The Big Red started its comeback at 18:53 of the second period with the first of two straight goals from Jillian Saulnier. Saulnier tied the game with a goal 2:06 into the third period.
Jess Brown scored on a power play at 12:44 of the third period to give Cornell the lead for good, and Fulton added an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left in the game.