Freshman left wing Shannon MacAulay scored on the power play midway through the third period for the game-winning goal as No. 2 Clarkson defeated third-ranked Cornell 2-1 in ECAC Hockey action before 751 fans at Cheel Arena on Friday.
The Golden Knights, who won their fifth consecutive match, improved their record to 13-2 overall and to 7-0 in the conference.
The Knights were able to capitalize late in the final power play of the contest to gain the victory. With 28 seconds remaining in the Green and Gold’s ninth man-advantage, MacAulay picked up a cross-crease pass from junior Vanessa Gagnon and lifted in her fourth goal of the season at 12:03 of the third period. Junior defenseman Vanessa Plante also assisted.
Clarkson had four power plays in the first period and outshot the Big Red 10-5. The Knights’ best scoring opportunity came midway through the first power play when senior Danielle Skirrow fired a shot, but was turned away by Cornell’s Lauren Slebodnick at the five-minute mark. Clarkson, which blocked 10 shots in the first period, held the Big Red without a shot on goal through the game’s opening 10 minutes.
The teams traded goals in a three-minute span in the middle frame to make it a one-goal game through 40 minutes. Clarkson struck first when junior Brittany Styner knocked in a rebound at the top of the crease off a shot by classmate Carly Mercer at 5:24 for her fourth goal of the season. Senior defender Hailey Wood set up the play with a pass from the left circle.
Cornell came back at 8:23 during a 4-on-4 situation. Lauriane Rougeau was credited with the Big Red’s only goal when her shot from the top of the right circle, deflected in off a skate of Clarkson defender in front and past the Knights’ junior goaltender Erica Howe. Erin Barley-Maloney and Alyssa Gagliardi earned assists.
Both teams had opportunities to score the go-ahead goal early in the final frame. Laura Fortino had the Big Red’s best chance with a shot in close, but was denied by Howe. The Knights came right back with a break-away opportunity by Gagnon, but was turned away by a pad save from Slebodnick.
Both teams had 30 shots on goal. Howe, who has not allowed more than one goal in each of the past five games, finished with 29 saves, including 12 in both the second and third periods. Slebodnick made 28 saves for Cornell.
Clarkson went 1-of-9 on the power play and shut down the Big Red’s three man-advantage opportunities.