HAMDEN, Conn. – Jamie Lee Rattray scored the first two goals of the game as the Clarkson Golden Knights won their fourth game in a row and shutout the No. 5/6 Quinnipiac Bobcats, 3-0, Saturday afternoon at the High Point Solutions Arena.
Rattray’s goals were the 11th and 12th goals of the season while Erin Ambrose had a goal and an assist in the win for Clarkson (12-3-2, 5-2-1 ECAC).
“I was really happy with the way we played; I thought we played hard,” Clarkson coach Matt Desrosiers said. “We knew that Quinnipiac’s a really hard-working team; they played disciplined, so we knew we were going to have to bring a full effort for 60 minutes and I thought we did that tonight.”
The Golden Knights snapped Quinnipiac’s (10-2-4, 3-2-3 ECAC) eight-game unbeaten streak dating back to Oct. 25, when the Bobcats lost to Harvard, 4-2, in their ECAC opener.
Clarkson took a 1-0 with 9:38 remaining in the first period after Jamie Lee Rattray lifted the puck over Quinnipiac goaltender Chelsea Laden’s blocker off a centering pass from Vanessa Gagnon.
“That first goal’s always a big one, no matter who you’re playing in net, so obviously getting that first one was a big momentum shift,” Desrosiers said.
Quinnipiac (10-2-4, 3-2-3 ECAC) outshot Clarkson in the first period, 12-5, but the Golden Knights finished with 26 shots compared to 23 for the Bobcats.
“I thought we had some great chances in the first period; I think we were playing with confidence,” Quinnipiac assistant coach Paul Nemetz-Carlson said. “We ran into some penalty trouble, which is different than we usually play, but I thought we did some good things on the penalty kill.”
Cydney Roesler was whistled for hooking with 34 seconds remaining in the first period, which led to a Clarkson power play that carried over to the second period.
Rattray added a power-play goal just 1:07 into the second period when she received a pass from Erin Ambrose and skated up the left side of the ice through the faceoff circle and tucked the puck through Laden’s five-hole to give Clarkson a 2-0 lead.
“[Rattray] just brings energy every shift; she’s a workhorse out there,” Desrosiers said. “We call her a wild stallion; she’s all over the place and that’s when she’s playing her best. When she’s playing like that, she’s a force to be reckoned with.”
Erin Ambrose padded Clarkson’s lead to 3-0 with just 4:02 remaining in the third period on a wrister from the center point that found the back of the net.
“Against a team that has this much ability and this much talent, when you have a breakdown, they make you pay for it,” Nemetz-Carlson said.
Erica Howe finished with 23 saves in her third consecutive shutout, while Laden stopped 23 of 26 shots in her first loss since the Harvard loss.
“I think she made some saves when she had to, so we figured it’s going to be a tough battle if we don’t make her work to make the second and third save, and as we got first shots their ability to pick up sticks kept us from getting the second one,” Nemetz-Carlson said. “I think you have to be almost perfect when you play a team like this, and our mistakes turned into goals.”
The Golden Knights took advantage of their power-play opportunities, going 2-for-6 on the man-advantage, while the Bobcats were 0-5 in the game.
“We knew we had to match their intensity and try and bring it a lot better than they did,” Desrosiers said. “For the most part, I thought it was a really good hockey game, back and forth, each team had some chances in net.”