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No. 1 Clarkson blanks Quinnipiac in Hamden

Video by: Tom Krosnowski

Article by: Mike Dalton

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team faced the Clarkson Golden Knights in its last home game of the regular season on Saturday.

Coming into the game, the Golden Knights were ranked the top team in the country according to the USCHO.com poll. The Golden Knights have only lost three times this season. Yet one of those loses came at the hands of the Bobcats on Nov. 17 in a 3-2 overtime thriller in Potsdam.

The Bobcats, who are known for getting off to fast starts in games proved that to the Golden Knights.

Quinnipiac controlled the puck for the majority of the first period and was able to keep the play out of its own end. The Bobcats had several scoring chances in the offensive zone, but the Golden Knights matched the Bobcats’ high level of intensity with good defense.

The second period was a different story. The Golden Knights controlled the puck and were in Bobcat territory for the first four minutes of the period. The Bobcats responded with a good offensive series and had two quality scoring chances, but once again couldn’t find the back of the net.

Halfway through the game, Clarkson forward Cassidy Vinkle checked Quinnipiac’s Kenzie Lancaster, and Lancaster responded with a check to Vinkle’s head and neck area. Lancaster’s reward for retaliating was two minutes in the penalty box.

The Golden Knights were able to get their revenge on the scoreboard, thanks to a power play goal by Elizabeth Giguere.

Several minutes after the Giguere goal, the Bobcats saw trouble as starting goaltender Abbie Ives went down to the ice in pain.

She eventually got to her feet and told the athletic trainers that she was good to go, however that was short lived. Less than a minute later after a whistle, Ives quickly made her way to the bench and down the tunnel, while Allison Small made her way onto the ice.

“[Abbie]’s definitely a big part of our team,” Senior forward Raquel Pennoyer said. “But when someone goes down someone has to step up, and we’re always rallying for Abbie Ives and the person right behind her, [Allison Small], and we had complete confidence in Small.”

Given the situation Small was put into, down by a goal against the top ranked team in the country, she did in fact step up for the Bobcats.

Small played 10 less minutes than Ives, but made 16 saves. Several of those saves Small had to make mid-shot adjustments for as well.

A little later, forward Grace Markey went hard head-first into the corner boards. Like Ives, Markey was also able to get up under her own power, but she went straight to the bench and down the tunnel.

“After the second intermission, we kind of just wanted to reset and come out fresh and strong,” Pennoyer said. “We had a good start to the first period so we wanted to do that again and catch [Clarkson] off guard.”

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, things didn’t get better in the third period.

Just thirty-four seconds in, Kati Tabin turned the puck over in the Bobcats own zone to Rhyen McGill who took advantage of the turnover, scoring a short-handed goal and giving the Knights a 2-0 lead.

As the game went deeper into the final period, the Golden Knights seemed to get better in every aspect of the game, while it looked like the Bobcats had lost a step.

For the final few minutes of the game, Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner wasn’t present on the bench, and none of the coaches were available to speak to the media after the game.

Even though the Bobcats only got one out of four possible points this weekend, but they aren’t too frustrated.

“It was a great weekend,” Senior captain and defenseman Alicia Barry said. “There were obviously moments that we know we can work on going in to the last weekend and in to the playoffs, but I think overall we grew as a team. It was definitely a closer weekend than the last time we played these guys especially Saint Lawrence. We learned a lot that we can do to improve on.”

The Bobcats last two games will be on the road. First they’ll face Brown on Friday Feb. 16, then Yale in New Haven the next day. After that is the playoffs. For most hockey players, the playoffs are the most wonderful time of the year.

“It’s do or die,” Pennoyer said. “This is so exciting for us because everything that you’ve worked for all season is right on the line. There’s so much more emotion and you almost have to work even harder to keep it contained.”

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