Monday, 6 October 2014

Clarkson Golden Knights raise championship banner in winning style

After Clarkson began its 12th season in defense of its Frozen Four title with a visceral 5-3 road loss to archrival St. Lawrence, the season’s second game would yield a better result. Playing on home ice against St. Lawrence, the game began with a banner raising ceremony, honoring the program’s 2014 NCAA Frozen Four. Seniors from that team returned for the ceremony, as all members were honored with championship rings.

A record attendance of over 2,500 saw the rivals engage in a tight defensive struggle that saw only one goal scored in each period. Clarkson would open the scoring at the 11:17 mark of the first period, as freshman Amanda Titus would score her first NCAA goal on home ice.

The first 18 minutes of the second stanza was a defensive stalemate as Clarkson struggled to add to their lead. Clarkson freshman goalie Shea Tiley and St. Lawrence junior goalie Carmen MacDonald both kept their teams in contention. As a side note, both goalies have won gold for Canada at the IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds.

Despite Clarkson outshooting St. Lawrence by a 15-5 mark in the second, it was St. Lawrence that made an impact on the scoreboard. With 1:15 remaining in the second, St. Lawrence forward Brooke Webster slipped the puck past the freshman backstop to even the score, her third goal of the two-game series.

Once again, the third period resulted in the same defensive struggle as neither team scored during the first 18 minutes. Clarkson’s veteran leadership would rise to the occasion. With St. Lawrence serving a penalty, it would prove to be costly.

At the 18:16 mark, Erin Ambrose scored on the power play for the 2-1 advantage. Headed towards the right circle, she would release a shot that found its way in the top corner. Assists were logged by Shannon MacAulay and Cayley Mercer, all prominent veterans for the green and gold.

It would prove to be the game winning tally as Ambrose logged the 21st goal of her NCAA career. Amrbose and Mercer would lead all skaters with 7 shots on the game. Of note, Ambrose and St. Lawrence backstop MacDonald were teammates on Canada’s 2010 IIHF U18 gold medal winning roster.
This season, the Golden Knights shall compete in another two games against St. Lawrence, part of a 22-game scheduled against ECAC Hockey opponents. In addition, eight games this season shall take place against squads from last year's NCAA Tournament.

On January 3, 2015, Clarkson shall compete in an exhibition against McGill University. Melodie Daoust, a member of Canada’s gold medal winning contingent at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games is a member of McGill’s roster.

In addition, Clarkson shall also take part in its first-ever tournament to take place during the regular season. The Nutmeg Classic, hosted by the University of Connecticut Huskies program, takes place on Thanksgiving Weekend and will also include Quinnipiac or Yale.

Shannon MacAulay, who scored one of the most important goals in NCAA women's hockey (the game winning goal that beat Minnesota and made Clarkson the first non-WCHA program to win the Frozen Four) was bestowed the honor of the captaincy. All-America defender Erin Ambrose, plus Renata Fast and Olivia Howe have been recognized as Assistant Captains. 

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