HAMDEN, Conn. — On Friday night the Clarkson Golden Knights traveled to Hamden to seek revenge against the Quinnipiac Bobcats after falling 3-2 in overtime back on Jan. 8 in Potsdam.
This time it was the Golden Knights coming away with the 3-2 overtime victory. Danielle Skirrow’s two third period goals lead the way for Clarkson along with Erica Howe’s 26 saves. Quinnipiac’s Victoria Vigilanti made 30 saves in the losing effort.
A scoreless first period yielded little offensive action and few tough saves for either goaltender.
The best chance of the first came from Quinnipiac’s attack when Jordan Elkins ripped a slap shot wide of the Clarkson net. The puck rebounded off the end boards to Kelly Babstock, who quickly sent a one-timer backhanded on Howe. Howe, playing at the top of her crease looking for the save on Elkins, slid back to rob Babstock of her 21st goal of the season.
“Howe has been solid for us all season and so has Dahm. Right now it is really just the job of trying to play the hot goaltender on the right night.” said Clarkson head coach Matt Desrosiers.
Quinnipiac got on the board first just under half-way through the second period on Brittany Lyons seventh goal of the season. After Clarkson’s Katelyn Ptolemy was whistled for a hooking call the Bobcats when on their second power play of the night.
With just 40 seconds to go in the advantage the Golden Knights looked to clear the puck. Thanks to the leaping effort by Elkins to keep the puck in at the point, the Bobcat’s attack was still alive. Great cycling by Quinnipiac’s forwards found Lyons open in the slot. Lyons ripped a wrist shot top shelf to beat Howe glove side.
Just three minutes later Quinnipiac’s special teams were at it again, but this time it was the penalty kill causing troubles for the Golden Knights. After a bad pass cleared the QU zone, Babstock got on her horse to gain a shorthanded breakaway. In all alone, Babstock made three stick moves through the slot getting Howe to aggressively attack the puck. Once Howe had committed, Babstock flipped the puck in the gaping net.
This marks the first game that Babstock has been moved to the second line with Erica-Uden Johansson and Amanda Colin. The all-freshman line leaves room for an experienced first line with Lyons, Kelley Davies and Kate Wheeler.
“We like what we have with the Davies line,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley. “We had good production from them last week and more from them tonight.”
After allowing the shorthanded goal, Howe made the save of the game to keep her Golden Knights within striking distance. Quinnipiac’s Davies entered the Clarkson zone with one defender in front of her and teammate Kristen Eklund on her right. Davies shoveled a pass to Eklund who wristed the puck on Howe. Howe had just enough time to lie down, stack the pads, and make the swinging glove save to deny Eklund at the mouth of the crease.
Entering the third period Clarkson, down 2-0, had some catching up to do.
The Golden Knights wasted no time as Danielle Skirrow cut the lead in half 7:37 into the third period. After great puck control in the Bobcat’s zone, CU’s Hailey Wood sent a pass from the right point to the left wing circle where Skirrow quickly wristed the puck through Vigilanti’s leg pads to beat her five-hole.
With Skirrow’s eighth goal of the season came some much need momentum. After a flurry of shots were turned away by Vigilanti and the Bobcat’s defense, the Golden Knights were finally able to tie the game. With just 1:33 left on the clock, it was Skirrow picking up her second of the night after her shot deflected high off another Clarkson player. The puck flipped over Vigilanti’s right shoulder and into the back of the net.
“We have talked about getting the ugly goal and Skirrow put the puck on the net and allowed for the deflection. At that point we knew we had some momentum.” coach Matt Desrosiers said.
Heading into overtime it was clear that the Golden Knights held the upper hand. Quinnipiac rushed out of the gates in the extra frame, but could not score. Now CU had a chance for revenge.
With under a minute left in the overtime, Clarkson broke out in an even two-on-two rush. Daris Tendler led the way as she connected with Brittany Mulligan on the left wing who slipped the shot in between the diving attempt from Vigilanti and the left post.
“These girls are going to give me a heart attack,” said Desrosiers, “I told them to make sure to keep the momentum we have and to be sure that we stay focused on defense.” The latter of the two proved to be the difference maker with exceptional defense to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard through the third period and overtime period.
For Quinnipiac coach Seeley is hoping that a new team and a new day will yield different results. “We have to just move on and look at tomorrow. I mean that is what college hockey is about.”