CU Strives for First ECAC Hockey Title

By knocking off archrival St. Lawrence in the quarterfinal round last weekend and defeating perennial national powerhouse Harvard in the semifinal round on Friday, the Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team advances to its first ECAC Hockey Championship game in the seven-year history of the program. Ranked sixth in the country, the Golden Knights will battle ECAC Hockey Regular Season Champion Cornell University in today’s title game at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, NY, beginning at 4:00 p.m.

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NCAA Selection Show - The 2010 NCAA Women's Hockey Championship selection show will be streamed online via www.NCAA.com on Sunday, March 7. The show is set to air 7:30 p.m. EST. The eight-team bracket will also be posted on www.NCAA.com.

Guided by second-year head coaches Shannon and Matt Desrosiers, Clarkson owns a 23-10-5 overall record, one victory shy of tying the school’s single-season win mark. The Knights placed second in the standings, three points behind Cornell, with a 14-5-3 ECAC Hockey slate. The Green and Gold, led by senior captain Britney Selina (Thornhill, ONT) and senior assistant captain Carlee Eusepi (Oakville, ONT), enter the title game with momentum and confidence after knocking off preseason favorite St. Lawrence 2-1 in last weekend’s first-round series in Potsdam. Clarkson dominated Game 1 of the best-of-three series, skating to a 5-0 shutout over the Saints. SLU eked out a 2-1 win last Saturday, forcing Sunday’s third game. Clarkson controlled the deciding game, jumping out to a 3-0 lead early in the third en route to a 4-1 triumph.

In Friday’s semifinal game against the highly-rated Crimson at Cheel Arena, the Knights displayed their depth. Harvard bottled up Clarkson’s top offensive threats, but checking line forwards, junior Daris Tendler (Verwood, SASK) and sophomores Brittany Mulligan (London, ONT) and Gabrielle Kosziwka (Limehouse, ONT) came through with the goals, while junior Lauren Dahm (Baldwinsville, NY) was solid again in goal to lead Clarkson to the 3-2 victory.

Clarkson is 6-11 all-time in the ECAC playoffs, 3-4 in quarterfinal series and 1-1 in semifinal games. The Knights are 9-4-1 all-time against Cornell. The teams split during the regular season with Clarkson winning 2-1 in Potsdam on January 30 after losing in Ithaca 2-0 on November 13. The Knights are 5-2 all-time at Lynah Rink, but have lost their last two games in Ithaca. Clarkson is 7-7-3 on the road this season.

Senior Dominique Thibault (L’Orignal, ONT), a third team ECAC All-Star, leads the Clarkson offense with 39 points, including a team-high 21 goals. Two other Knights are recording over 30 points. Sophomore standout Juana Baribeau (Amos, QUE) has 35 points on 16 goals and 19 assists. Clarkson’s all-time leading scorer, Selina, a second-team ECAC All-Star, has tallied a team-high 24 assists to go along with 10 goals for 34 points. Selina, named the ECAC Best Defensive Forward, has amassed 146 career points on 50 goals and 96 assists through 146 games. Junior Melissa Waldie (Newmarket, ONT) has 28 points (16-12) and leads the team in power-play markers with 10. Named the league’s Best Defensive-Defenseman, Eusepi powers the offense from the blueline with 18 points (6-12). Selected as a second-team All-Star, Eusepi was chosen ECAC Player of the Week.

A Second-team ECAC All-Star, Dahm backbones one of the nation’s stingiest defensive units. She holds a .936 save percentage, 1.50 goals against average and is second in the nation in shutouts (9).

Ranked eighth in the nation, Cornell owns an 18-8-6 overall record and claimed the regular season league title with a 14-2-6 conference mark. The Big Red have won eight straight and are 10-1-4 since January 15. The lone setback during that span was a 2-1 loss at Clarkson on January 30. Cornell defeated RPI 5-4 in the semifinals at Lynah Rink on Friday after disposing of Colgate 2-0 (2-1, 5-0) in the quarterfinal round. The Big Red are 12-5-2 in Ithaca this season. Their last loss at Lynah was a 2-1 setback to Syracuse on January 5.

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