POTSDAM, NY — With 12 seconds left in a tight game, a 90-foot shot from near center ice snuck inside the post to complete senior Juana Baribeau’s hat trick, giving the Clarkson a 5-3 victory against No. 2 Cornell on Saturday.
The Golden Knights improved to 16-7-5 overall and 10-4-2 in ECAC Hockey, while Cornell saw its nine-game winning streak halted as the Big Red dropped to 19-3 overall and 14-2 in conference games.
A scoreless first period saw the two teams combined for just over 10 shots, but none of those chances were true scoring chances, as the best opportunities were more often than not blocked by the defense before the goaltenders had a chance to make plays. As quiet as the first period was, the second period saw a flurry of action throughout, with the Knights tallying four times.
Sophomore Jamie Lee Rattray began the offensive influx early on, scoring her team-best 15th goal of the season at the 1:37 mark. Rattray skated in hard down the center of the ice and used multiple dekes to get Cornell goaltender Lauren Slebodnick out of position, slipping the puck past the line to give Clarkson a 1-0 lead. Just a little over two minutes later, Clarkson pushed its lead to two goals when senior Juana Baribeau ripped a shot from just inside the blue line. The sailing puck went across the ice and over Slebodnick’s glove at the 4:04 mark.
The action would continue as Clarkson scored on the power play at 8:22 of the second period. Junior Danielle Skirrow out raced a pair of Cornell defenders on a mini-break away, finishing off the play by sliding the puck across the crease and into the far side of the goal for a 3-0 lead.
Cornell kept the offense rolling and ended Clarkson’s three-goal streak, with a nifty give-and-go from Erin Barley-Maloney, who fed Rebecca Johnston in front at the 10:11 mark to make the score 3-1, but the Big Red momentum was short-lived as Clarkson picked up another power play goal with 16:34 expired in the second period. Rattray kept a play alive near the end line and Carly Mercer got a shot off in front, but Slebodnick was on hand to make the save. However, the bounce off Mercer’s shot found its way to the stick of Baribeau, who lifted the puck top shelf for a 4-1 Clarkson lead.
Although Clarkson’s Erica Howe made an outstanding save on a breakaway in the first minute of the third period, doing a split on her stick side to stop a shot by Brianne Jenner, the hustle and shot by the Big Red was a harbinger of things to come. Cornell scored two quick goals in the next three minutes, and even though Clarkson had the lead, the momentum had clearly shifted to the Big Red. Cornell scored its first goal of the period at 2:18 on a quick play off the face off as the puck fluttered over to Barley-Maloney, who followed up by wristing the shot in before anyone else on the ice could react. Just a minute later, Cornell made the score 4-3 on a play that had almost ended. Howe made a stop in front, but didn’t cover the puck up and was out of position outside of the net. Gabrielle Kosziwka dove in to try and cover up the puck behind Howe, but couldn’t get there in time as Chelsea Karpenko gained control and ended the play with a goal at 3:30.
Despite several close calls in the late going, including Howe knocking down a trickling puck just in front of the goal line with less than five minutes to go, Clarkson was able to hold off the Big Red’s scoring chances late. Cornell pulled its goalie with a minute remaining and the puck remained in Clarkson’s end for most of that time, but Baribeau was able to gain control along the boards and slid the puck down ice into the net for Clarkson’s fifth goal, and her third of the game.
Clarkson finished with a 31-24 edge in shots and went 3-for-7 on the power play, while Cornell was held to one score with an extra skater. Slebodnick made 26 saves in 59 minutes for Cornell, and Howe stopped 21 shots for the Knights.