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Big Green Offense Stymied in 2-0 Defeat at No. 3 Clarkson

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By Doug Austin
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POTSDAM, N.Y. – The Dartmouth women’s hockey team dropped the second game of its best-of-three ECAC Hockey Tournament Quarterfinal series to No. 3 Clarkson, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon at Cheel Arena.

The top-seeded Golden Knights swept the series, 2-0, versus the eighth-seeded Big Green to advance to and host next weekend’s semifinals.

With the loss, Dartmouth concludes the 2013-14 season with a record of 9-20-1 overall, while posting an 8-13-1 mark in ECAC Hockey tilts. The Big Green have not appeared in the top-12 in the PairWise Rankings all year, which mimic the method used by the NCAA selection committee as it chooses the eight teams that make the NCAA Tournament. After the early exit, Dartmouth's season will most likely come to an end.

For the second straight contest, senior goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft kept the Big Green in the game making key saves. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native turned aside 28 shots, including 12 in the opening period in a losing effort. On the opposite end, Erica Howe continued her strong play, registering her third shutout against Dartmouth this year. Howe stopped all 16 shots she faced to help Clarkson advance.

The Golden Knights controlled the tempo early in the contest, holding Dartmouth to just one shot on goal over the first 20 minutes. Clarkson broke through with just over one minute left in the first period to take a lead heding into the intermission. Cayley Mercer scored her third goal of the season to give the home team an early, 1-0, edge. Olivia Howe registered the primary assist on the marker, while Carly Mercer added her league-leading 31st helper after starting the play.

In the second period, Dartmouth pressured Howe and the Golden Knights defense, firing 13 shots on goal. However, Howe was up to the task, stopping all the shots she faced and 11:07 into the period Christine Lambert stretch the Clarkson lead to 2-0.

Laura Stacey had a team-high four shots on target, while Ali Winkel, Eleni Tebano, Morgan Illikainen and Kennedy Ottenbreit each peppered Howe with two shots on goal.

Special teams was factor in the contest as the two conference foes combined to go 0-for-16 with the extra skater. Dartmouth failed to convert any of its nine opportunities, while Clarkson came up empty on all seven of its power-play chances.

Since advancing to the conference championship game in 2011, The Green and White have been bounced from the ECAC Hockey Tournament in the first round the last three seasons.

The game marked the final three seniors on the Dartmouth roster. During their tenure, the Class of 2014 posted a 63-48-8 overall record, a 46-31-7 mark in ECAC Hockey and a 20-12-4 Ivy record. As freshmen, they won four straight postseason games to advance to the ECAC Hockey championship game. The seniors also appeared in the ECAC Hockey Tournament four times.