Game Day Skate: ECAC Semifinals

#1 Clarkson (24-9-3) vs. #4 Cornell (18-10-3), 1 p.m. EST

The Golden Knights swept Dartmouth handily last week in the first round of the ECAC playoffs. They picked up a 6-0 win on Friday, with Cayley Mercer scoring twice and totaling three points on the night. Olivia Howe’s two-assist effort led Clarkson to a 4-1 victory on Saturday as they closed out the series and advanced.

Cornell had a tough match-up against St. Lawrence in last week’s quarterfinals, but still came out on top. Jess Brown snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period to lead the Big Red to a 3-1 win in the first game. In the second game, Cornell trailed 2-0 after 40 minutes of play, but scored three goals in the final 20 to complete the sweep and advance.

Clarkson is still looking for a win against the Big Red this year, but did a much better job of managing their offense in a 1-1 tie after an 8-3 loss earlier in the season. The Golden Knights did not have player of the same caliber as Brianne Jenner or Jillian Saulnier, but their defense is tougher and more tested. Goaltending is also in edge, even with a rookie in net; Shea Tiley ranks among the nation’s leaders with a .944 save percentage and 1.28 goals-against average. Clarkson needs to control play from the defense out and not let the Big Red get the better of attempts at quality chances. Cornell needs to be prepared to match that defense and not give up anything itself.

Key Players for Clarkson: F Olivia Howe, F Christine Lambert, D Savannah Harmon, G Shea Tiley

Key Players for Cornell: F Brianne Jenner, F Jillian Saulnier, D Cassandra Poudrier, F Erin O’Connor

#2 Harvard (23-5-3) vs. #3 Quinnipiac (26-7-3), 4 p.m. EST

The Crimson moved on to the semifinals with a sweep over Yale, defeating the Bulldogs 2-1 and 3-0 last weekend. Miye D’Oench and Sydney Daniels scored in the first game to erase Yale’s lead and give Harvard the edge. On Saturday, Daniels scored the game-winner again and Emerance Maschmeyer posted a 24-save shutout to finish off the Bulldogs.

Quinnipiac’s offense finally got going again against Princeton last week, as the Bobcats defeated the Tigers, 7-0, in the opening game of their quarterfinal series. Taylar Cianfarano scored twice, and Nicole Connery and Emma Woods each notched a goal and an assist. Quinnipiac clinched the series win with a 2-0 win on Saturday.

Harvard has edged the Bobcats in both games against them this season, winning 2-1 on both occasions. While Quinnipiac has its way with possession when playing weaker teams, it’s usually more content to sit back against opponents with more offensive talent, so there ends up being a lot of back-and-forth action. The Crimson have had plenty of success taking advantage of opportunities in those kinds of games, and they’ve also got the goaltending to keep them in a low-scoring game.

Key Players for Harvard: F Miye D’Oench, G Emerance Maschmeyer, F Kalley Armstrong

Key Players for Quinnipiac: F Taylar Cianfarano, F Nicole Connery, D Cydney Roesler, G Chelsea Laden

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