Site Navigation

No. 7 Cornell to Face No. 2 Clarkson in NCAA Quarterfinals

No. 7 Cornell to Face No. 2 Clarkson in NCAA Quarterfinals

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The No. 7-seeded Cornell Big Red will face off against No. 2-seeded Clarkson Golden Knights for the fourth time this season in the National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Championship.

The Big Red fell to Clarkson by a 1-0 margin in the ECAC Hockey Championship final on March 5. With the victory, the Golden Knights secured a sweep of the ECAC Hockey regular-season and tournament titles, as well as the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

Cornell was one of four at-large berths to the eight-team championship event. The Big Red bested Clarkson in their first meeting of the 2016-17 season, downing the Golden Knights, 2-1, on their home ice on Jan. 20 to put an end to the team’s 18-game unbeaten streak. But Clarkson has won the last two meetings, topping the Big Red in overtime in Ithaca, 5-4, on the final weekend of ECAC Hockey regular-season play and again last weekend in the ECAC Hockey Championship finale.

The NCAA tournament quarterfinal will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, at Clarkson’s Cheel Arena in Potsdam, N.Y. The arena also served as the site for the team’s previous meeting in the ECAC Hockey Championship on March 5.

Cornell boasts a 20-8-5 record heading into NCAA play, while Clarkson sits at 29-4-5. The Big Red offensive attack is powered by Ivy League Player of the Year Hanna Bunton (10-18—28) and Ivy League Rookie of the Year Kristin O’Neill (14-12—26). Bunton was a third-team All-ECAC Hockey honoree, while O’Neill was an All-Rookie Team member. Sophomore defenseman Micah Hart, who was a first-team All-Ivy and All-ECAC Hockey selection, is a key cog in the Cornell back line.

The Big Red also boast the nation’s top goaltending tandem in senior Paula Voorheis and sophomore Marlene Boissonnault, who both rank among the top 10 nationally in goals against average and top 20 in save percentage.

Clarkson is led by ECAC Hockey Player of the Year senior Cayley Mercer, who tallied 20 goals in conference en route to a league-best 42 points in ECAC Hockey play. Mercer, who is one of the three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award, is currently the nation’s leading goal scorer with 25 on the year.

The winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal will advance to the 2017 Women’s Frozen Four at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. The victor will take on the winner of No. 3-seeded Minnesota-Duluth and No. 6-seeded Minnesota in the national semifinals on March 17.