POTSDAM — A convincing win over Rensselaer Saturday sent the Clarkson University women’s hockey team on its way to next weekend’s ECAC Hockey semifinals in Ithaca.
Clarkson (28-8 overall) scored the first three goals of the game and went on to beat RPI 5-2 at Cheel Arena to sweep a quarterfinal series two games to none.
The Golden Knights, who are the second seed in the tournament, will meet No. 3 Harvard in a semifinal on Friday at Cornell University. Clarkson won two games against the Crimson by 3-1 scores this season. The other semifinal will feature top-seeded Cornell against either No. 4 Quinnipiac or No. 5 St. Lawrence University. That series is going to a decisive third game this afternoon in Hamden, Conn.
Clarkson won the opening game of the series 3-2 in overtime on Friday.
But on Saturday the Golden Knights did not allow RPI (10-22-4) to stay close.
Clarkson took the lead for good with 34 seconds left in the first period on an unassisted goal by Shannon MacAulay.
Then Jamie Lee Rattray took over in the second period and effectively ended any chance for the Engineers to force a game three.
Rattray scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 11 minutes, 53 seconds of the second period to extend Clarkson’s lead to 2-0.
Then, just under three minutes later, Rattray scored again while she was falling to the ice to make it 3-0 at 14:51. It was the second goal of the weekend for Rattray after she had been knocked down by an RPI player.
Rattray, a junior, leads Clarkson in scoring with 22 goals and 28 assists, and she produced three goals in the two-game series. She also played a physical game and won several fights for the puck along the boards.
The cold tub in Clarkson’s training room was a popular destination after both games of the series.
RPI scored its first goal of the game at 10:43 of the third period on a shot by Lauren Wash, but Clarkson answered with goals from Olivia Howe at 13:50 and an empty-net goal from Vanessa Gagnon at 17:36.
The Engineers closed out the scoring with a goal from Katie Daniels with 12 seconds left.
Saturday’s game was the last the Golden Knights could lose and not be eliminated from a postseason tournament. From this point on every game is single-elimination.