Coming off a sweep of rival Union last weekend, the Red women’s hockey team had hoped to make a push for the playoffs down the home stretch of the season. However, with a 2-1 loss to No. 9 Clarkson (20-9-1, 11-5-0) and a 5-1 loss to No. 3 St. Lawrence (24-3-2, 12-2-2) this past weekend, any hopes of a playoff run were swiftly put to rest. The pair of losses drops the Red to 8-16-0 overall, 4-14-0 in ECACHL play.
In a contest that would come down to the final minutes of play, the Red dropped a heartbreaker to the Golden Knights on Friday night. The game was close from the outset, and the first goal did not come until the second period when sophomore Molly McDonald scored her first goal of the year 5:48 into the action to give the Red a 1-0 lead.
McDonald, who was set up at the blue line, took a pass from junior Caroline Scott and fired the puck into the traffic in front of Clarkson goalie Kira Hurley. The puck managed to squeeze through the crowd and found its way past the outstretched arm of Hurley.
That would be the only goal of the period, as the Red went to the dressing room for the second intermission clinging to a 1-0 lead.
As the third period got under way, it was clear that the Knights were on the attack. However, due in large part to the play of junior goaltender Beth Baronick, the Red was able to turn back each Clarkson attempt. Baronick, who made 20 saves in the third period alone, finished with 47 on the night.
“Beth is really a terrific goalie, and I think she is showing that to everyone this year, and I can’t wait to see what she does next year,” said junior Halina Kristalyn.
The Knights finally got onto the board with just 4:20 left in the game after a shot from the point by Sophie Doyon was stopped by Baronick but caromed directly to Jessica Cloutier. Cloutier slammed the puck into the back of the net to knot the score at one and suck some wind out of the Red’s sails.
If Cloutier’s goal knocked the wind out of the Red, then Amanda Dittmer delivered the knockout punch just 1:25 later with the Knights on a power play. Dittmer was able to capitalize on the man-advantage to score her third goal of the year, which proved to be the game winner.
“I think everyone on our team thought this before, but we showed [Clarkson] that we could really play with them,” Kristalyn said. “It was just a lack of discipline and penalties that killed us in the end.”
Saturday afternoon’s contest against St. Lawrence was much less of a nail-biter, with the Saints leading from wire to wire. The Red was able to hold St. Lawrence scoreless through much of the first period until Alison Domenico broke the tie with a backhander from just inside the right face-off circle at the 15:17 mark. Less than four minutes later the Saints extended the lead to 2-0 when Sabrina Harbec, the nation’s leading scorer, slipped a wraparound past Baronick for her 19th goal of the year.
“They just kept up the pressure on the power play and took advantage of our mistakes,” Kristalyn said. “That’s the hallmark of a good team.”
St. Lawrence did not let up once the second period began, scoring its third goal of the game just 24 seconds into the period. Emilie Berlinguette skated in over the blue line and hit a streaking Domenico in front of the Red net. Domenico finished the play with her second goal of the game, giving her team a 3-0 lead. Thirteen minutes later and with the Red on a power play, Forgues snapped a wrist shot past Saints goaltender Jessica Moffat for the Red’s only goal of the afternoon and Forgues’ team-leading 11th of the season.
The Saints would extend their lead in the third period on power-play goals from Annie Guay and Harbec to make the final score 5-1.
The Red next takes the ice on Friday in Cambridge, Mass., for a match-up with ECAC rival Harvard. Following the game against the Crimson, the Red travels to Hanover, N.H., to take on Dartmouth.
“We’re just excited to play our last two league games,” said Kristalyn. “I think we can take a lot out of this past weekend’s games to help us against Harvard and Dartmouth.”
Archived article by Jacob Lieberman
Sun Staff Writer