Although the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team came up short in its bid for the ECAC Hockey regular season title, the fifth-ranked Golden Knights will go into the playoffs with some momentum after rallying for a 3-3 tie against sixth-ranked Harvard University before 454 fans at Cheel Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Knights, who completed the regular season with a 20-9-5 overall record and a second-place finish in ECAC Hockey with a 14-5-3 league mark, will now host archrival St. Lawrence University in the best-of-three quarterfinal series in Potsdam next weekend.
The Knights and Saints will meet on Friday in a 4:00 p.m. start at Cheel Arena, and play again on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The North Country foes will play a deciding third game, if necessary, on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Clarkson built a 2-0 lead early in the second period against Harvard, but the Crimson (17-6-5, 12-6-3) answered back with three straight goals to take command through 40 minutes.
Late in the third period, the Knights' leading scorer, senior Dominique Thibault (L'Orignal, ONT) found a loose puck during a pileup in front of the Harvard net and lifted in a shot from the bottom of the right circle for her team-high 19th goal of the season to tie the game 3-3 at 13:35. Classmates Britney Selina (Thornhill, ONT) and Genevieve Lavoie (Delson, QUE) assisted on the tying goal to highlight Clarkson's Senior Day.
Junior Melissa Waldie (Newmarket, ONT) started the game, scoring her team-high ninth power-play marker of the season and 15th goal overall on a tip-in off sophomore Juana Baribeau's (Amos, QUE) shot at 12:49 of the first period. Selina also assisted.
Sophomore Gabrielle Kosziwka (Limehouse, ONT) put the Knights on the scoreboard again, knocking in a rebound at the top of the crease just as a Clarkson power play ended at 5:27 of the second for her fourth goal of the season. Lavoie and sophomore Kali Gillanders (Kyle, SASK) assisted.
Three straight goals by Harvard's Randi Griffin put the visitors in front late in the second period. Griffin began the Crimson's rally 43 seconds after Kosziwka's goal, scoring eight seconds into a power play on a shot from the corner that deflected in off a Clarkson stick and up and over Knights' junior goaltender Lauren Dahm (Baldwinsville, NY).
At 8:23, Griffin beat a Clarkson defender to a loose puck in the high slot and fired off a quick wrist from between the circles to tie the game. Griffin connected again at 16:17 for her ninth goal of the season to complete her hat trick. Cori Bassett picked up her second assist of the game on the go-ahead goal.
Both teams finished with 28 shots. Dahm and Harvard's Laura Bellamy posted 25 saves each. The Knights' were 1-of-6 on the power play, while the Crimson were 1-of-2 with the man-advantage.