The women's hockey team flew by Clarkson in its NCAA quarterfinal game on Saturday, demolishing the Golden Knights 5-1. From the very first whistle, the team controlled the match, with three Lady Eagles scoring in the 5-1 win. The team was able to bounce back from its Hockey East championship loss to BU and prove any doubters wrong with a convincing victory.
The Lady Eagles' momentum was fueled early in the game when Clarkson got called for a bench minor 43 seconds in. Although the Lady Eagles were unable to capitalize on the man advantage, they had some good opportunities and played with the fire and intensity that has been representative of their play all season. The Eagles were coming up big on offense and defense, really pressing the Golden Knights in the offensive zone and halting any progress into the BC zone.
Alex Carpenter, a 2015 Patty Kazmaier Award finalist, opened up the scoring with an impressive glove side goal 11:38 into the first period, leaving Clarkson goalie Shea Tiley dumbfounded. The second period, though, was were the Lady Eagles shined; 23 seconds into the period, Carpenter, once again, netted a laser to double BC's lead. Carpenter took advantage of a mishandled puck at center ice, worked her way into the Clarkson zone, and maneuvered her way around a sprawling Clarkson defender—sliding the puck right through Tiley's five hole.
Kristyn Capizzano added onto that cushion 16 minutes into the second when she scored the spirit-crushing third goal of the night. Capizzano took advantage of a displaced Tiley and found the open net, hitting a one-timer off a deflection off the boards.
Even on the disadvantage, the Lady Eagles still created opportunities on net and held off a desperate Knights' offense. They effectively killed off two minor penalties to keep Clarkson off the board and keep the score 3-0 going into the third period.
Clarkson was able to cut the lead down when the team netted one about a minute into the third, but that only fueled the Eagles more. Haley Skarupa scored 14 minutes into the third to extend the lead to three once again. With a lot of congestion in front of the Clarkson net, Carpenter was able to pull a defender away while feeding Skarupa with a nice backhand. Skarupa then hit the one time shot and, as if it was child's play, chipped the puck right over Tiley's diving body.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Clarkson made one final move of desperation to save its season. A pulled goalie backfired as Toni Ann Miano took advantage of a turnover in the Clarkson zone and hammered home the empty net goal to extend the goal margin to four. The score would stand after that final tally by Miano. The Lady Eagles proved their dominance on the ice, outcompeting the Knights in every facet of the game.
With that victory, the women's hockey team advances to its fifth Frozen Four and will play the Harvard Crimson at 9pm on March 20th. In the last match between these two teams, Harvard shocked the previously unbeaten Eagles to take the Beanpot Championship. Something tells me that these ladies are heading into Friday with a major chip on their shoulder as they look to avenge February's loss and advance to the National Championship game.
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