Less than eight minutes into overtime, senior co-captain Liz Zorn backhanded a pass from behind Clarkson’s net to sophomore forward Kendice Ogilvie, who flicked the puck over the shoulder of a sprawling Golden Knights’ goaltender, and just like that, the women’s hockey team’s dream season reached new heights with the program’s first ever ECAC Championship.
Equipment flew into the air as the Red bench emptied and the fans at Lynah erupted. For the first time all day, the Golden Knight pep-band fell deathly silent.
The Red started off the weekend on Friday night, with a 5-4 win over Rensselaer in the ECAC semifinals. They led the Engineers 5-1 after two periods, with a pair of goals by Zorn and one each from recently named ECAC Player of the Year sophomore forward Catherine White, senior forward Laura Danforth and junior defender/forward Amber Overguard. However, the Red allowed the Engineers back into the game, surrendering three unanswered goals in the third period. Still, the Red managed to preserve the win, securing its place in the ECAC Championship game.
“We were a little disappointed because we knew we had taken the 3rd period for granted,” Karpenko said. “We let the game slip away from us, but we were fortunate enough to have a second chance on Sunday.”
Fresh off of a 3-2 victory over Harvard, the second-seeded Golden Knights came to town on Sunday with the season series knotted at one game apiece. The Red and Golden Knights proved themselves to be the two best teams in ECAC all year long, so it was only fitting that the championship game would come down to them.
The Red continued its attack in the second, with goals from freshman defender Laura Fortino and Karpenko. After Karpenko’s wrist shot beat Dahm top left corner to put the Red up three, the Golden Knights’ coaching staff called a timeout to give their squad a chance to regroup.
The strategy appeared to work, as the Golden Knights scored once in the second and twice in the third to tie the score at three. After their third goal, which came on a power play with less than four minutes left to play in regulation, it was obvious that the momentum was with Clarkson. Still, the Red refused to give in, and went into the locker room before overtime knowing that it was still its game to win.
“We’ve been great all season at keeping each other up,” said senior forward Melanie Jue. “[In the locker room] each and every one of us was confident that we’d get it back. We were all shocked, but at the same time we were all confident that this was going to happen; that’s how we’ve felt all season long.”
Neither team appeared as if they would give in, until Ogilvie’s shot hit the back of the net at the 7:52 mark of overtime to propel the Red to its first ECAC Championship ever with a final score of 4-3.
“It was the most incredible feeling,” Jue said. “Especially for the seniors, because it’s been tough; as freshmen we won four games. To go from that to an ECAC Championship, unbelievable.”
Original Author: Ware Cady