Dutchwomen Capture League Win
SCHENECTADY, NY - Senior Emilie Arseneault scored a short handed
goal late into the second period to give the Union College women's
ice hockey team a 2-1 conference win over Clarkson University. The
Dutchwomen move to 3-7 overall with a 1-1 ECAC record, while the
Golden Knights are now 4-3-4 and 0-2-1 in conference play.
This is Union's first ECAC win since the 2009-2010 season, and the second ECAC win since 2004.
The game-winner came at the 2:53 mark in the second frame after senior Lauren Hoffman took a penalty for checking. With both squads battling at center ice for possession, Arseneault suddenly broke away from the huddle and flew down into the Golden Knight's zone. After faking a shot to the left, the forward went back hand and buried the puck in the top left corner of the net. The unassisted goal was her fourth of the season.
Momentum would be a key factor in the ECAC match up. The Dutchwomen produced the majority of the scoring chances early on in the game, with sophomore Stefanie Thomson stealing a Clarkson pass just three minutes in. The forward moved in on sophomore goaltender Erica Howe, but her shot went wide.
Sophomore Jamie Rattray, the Golden Knight's leading point scorer with 15, had the next great chance. The Ontario native carried the puck up the right side and took a commanding shot at Union netminder Kate Gallagher. The senior, however, was unyielding. She also had a consistent ally in sophomore Maddy Norton, who blocked several shots and was a playmaker throughout the match.
The first period was a clear indication that the pacesetters would be goaltenders Gallagher and Howe. The Clarkson sophomore had back-to-back saves after junior Rhianna Kurio drove the puck down the ice, while Gallagher fended off multiple shots during a pile up in the waning minutes. Both made nearly impossible saves that kept the first 20 minutes scoreless.
Clarkson's defense came out strong at the beginning of the second period, with senior Katelyn Ptolemy and sophomore Vanessa Gagnon blocking shots from Hoffman and freshman Alex Tancrell-Fontaine. The Golden Knights also successfully prevented Union from capitalizing on their two power play chances.
The Dutchwomen's drive began to increase after a tremendous save from Gallagher. Clarkson junior Danielle Skirrow charged down on the left and fired a low shot while the senior was facing towards the right. Gallagher managed to catch sight of Skirrow advancing, and made a challenging kick save to keep the game at 0-0.
Union, though, would be first on the board only moments later. Thomson took possession of the puck in the bottom right corner of Clarkson's zone and fed a pass to sophomore Mac Purvis. Purvis found junior Nicole Bartlett at the left of Howe, and she managed to score top shelf just a foot back from the net. Bartlett put the Dutchwomen up 1-0 for her first goal of the season.
Arseneault would make it 2-0 just minutes later, after senior Dania Simmonds performed excellently for Union on the penalty kill. The defender blocked five shots throughout the game.
At the start of the third period, the Dutchwomen had a chance for a third goal when the squad went on the power play. However, shots from Simmonds and senior Chelsey Heinhuis were deflected wide. Coming off the penatly kill, Clarkson would immediately push back offensively. Gallagher faced back-to-back shots from sophomore Brittany Styner and junior Hailey Wood at the 12 minute mark, but remained solid in net.
Clarkson sophomore Carly Mercer had one of the best chances all game when she rushed Gallagher on the right with an attempt to go top shelf. The netminder somehow made the save, sliding to bat the puck away. The Golden Knights continued to pepper Gallagher with shots, tallying 17 in the third period alone.
At the 1:40 mark, Clarkson gained an extra attacker as Howe went to the bench. The Golden Knights took over Union's zone, with Rattray, who had seven shots in the third period, and Skirrow continuing to apply offensive pressure. Finally, with 23 seconds left in the game, Mercer scored an unassisted goal to cut the Dutchwomen's lead to 2-1.
With time running out, a pile up appeared in front of Gallagher and created a chaotic chance for Clarkson to tie the game. Union, however, battled the Golden Knights until the end to gain their first ECAC win of the season.
Howe made 17 saves for Clarkson, while Gallagher earned her first win of the season after making 33 saves. The Golden Knights outshot the Dutchwomen 34-19.
Union is back in action tomorrow, November 5th, against St. Lawrence. They take on the Saints at Messa Rink at 4:00 p.m. for their fourth conference game in a row.