POTSDAM, N.Y. — On Friday night Quinnipiac took game one of the ECAC quarterfinals with a 4-1 win over Clarkson. The loss marks the first time since Oct.29 that Clarkson lost at Cheel Arena.
Quinnipiac’s Victoria Vigilanti made 22 saves in the win, while Clarkson’s Erica Howe turned away 25.
The Bobcats jumped on the board early in the first period on an uncharacteristic play from Clarkson goaltender Erica Howe. At 4:05 into the opening period, Quinnipiac’s Erica Uden Johansson skated the puck into the Golden Knights’ end on the left side and sent a soft wrister on net. The puck floated off Howe’s glove and into the back of the net.
Just 1:21 later, the Bobcats extended their lead to 2-0. Kelly Babstock worked the puck behind the Clarkson net and centered the puck for Nicole Kosta, who tipped the puck with her backhand and lifted it over the Howe’s glove.
Quinnipiac still wasn’t done, as 1:23 later Babstock scored a goal of her own. This time, Kosta fed Babstock near the left post. The first shot couldn’t get through the Clarkson defense and came free on the right side. Babstock chased down the rebound and buried it past Howe to put the Bobcats up by a trio.
Before Clarkson could catch its breath, the Bobcats were ahead three goals.
“We wanted to get out to a fast start,” Quinnipiac coach Rick Seeley said with a smile. “And we obviously did that tonight.”
Clarkson co-head coach Matt Desrosiers admitted that Clarkson was not ready for Quinnipiac’s quick attack.
“We weren’t ready to play tonight, I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “A couple of soft goals and they just took the wind out of our sails.”
Clarkson cut the lead to 3-1 with 6:04 left in the third period on a rocket off the stick of Katelyn Ptolemy. Jamie Lee Rattray fed Ptolemy at the right point, and she skated into the puck and drove it just inside the right post.
The energy immediately escalated, as Clarkson continued to cycle and put pucks to the net.
“We said after the second period that we need to be able to lift ourselves even without scoring a goal,” Desrosiers said.
Unfortunately for Clarkson, the Bobcats proved too much in the final minutes for any kind of comeback.
Kosta added an empty-netter 3:04 later to seal the deal.
“Playing with [Uden Johansson and Babstock] is amazing,” Kosta said. “Playing with two players that are that fast and that good with the puck is just awesome.”
The Bobcats will look for the sweep tomorrow, as puck drop is set for 4 p.m. at Cheel Arena.