With her second hat trick early in the season, sophomore defenseman Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) powered the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team past archrival St. Lawrence University 5-2 in non-conference action before 630 fans at Cheel Arena on Friday night.
The Golden Knights, who have outscored the opposition 17-3 in their first two games, will travel down Route 11 on Saturday to battle the Saints (1-2) in the second game of the non-league weekend series at 3:00 p.m. in Appleton Arena.
"We saw a lot of good things tonight that we can build from, but also saw some areas that we need to focus on moving forward," stated Clarkson co-head coach Matt Desrosiers. "Overall we are very pleased with the effort and ability to execute that our team has shown in the first two games of the season."
Coming off a five-point effort, including her first career three-goal outing, in last Saturday's season-opening 12-1 victory against RIT, Ambrose's play from the point was the difference against St. Lawrence. "Obviously Erin is playing with a lot of confidence right now," stated Matt Desrosiers. "She's able to make things happen on the ice because she is so heads up and poised with the puck. We have really been working with Erin on the offensive side of her game and things seem to be clicking for her right now."
Last year's ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year opened the scoring early in the first period. Ambrose took a pass from freshman Corie Jacobson (Candiac, QUE) and fired in a one-timer from top of circle at 6:41.
The Saints came right back, however, scoring 35 second later when Dayle Wilkinson picked up a bouncing puck off the end boards and knocked in a power-play marker at 7:16.
Clarkson took the lead for good late in the opening stanza with its own power-play goal. Ambrose connected on a one-timer from the top of the circle off a pass from senior captain Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) 14 seconds into a man-advantage opportunity at 16:13. Senior Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB) also assisted.
Ambrose, who only scored six goals last season, completed her second hat trick of the 2013-14 campaign midway through the second period. Senior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) set up Ambrose at the top of the left circle, where the blueliner fired a shot into the top right corner at 11:25. Carly Mercer also assisted.
Just 13 seconds into the final frame, the Knights built their lead to 4-1 as Styner finished off a pass from senior defenseman Vanessa Plante (Riviere-du-Loup, QUE) on a 3-on-1 rush for her first goal of the season. Ambrose picked up her fourth point of the night with the second assist.
St. Lawrence refused to go down easy and answered back with its second goal just 15 seconds later as Brooke Webster completed a 2-on-1 rush with Wilkinson assisting.
With 3:54 remaining the Saints pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker and put pressure on the Knights. Clarkson, however, was able to seal its fourth victory over St. Lawrence in their last five meetings with an empty-net goal by Rattray with three minutes left on the clock. The Mercer sisters, Carly and sophomore Cayley assisted on Rattray's 50th career goal.
Clarkson outshot St. Lawrence 36-27 in the penalty-filled contest. The Knights went 1-of-7 on the power play while the Saints were 1-of-8 with the man-advantage.
Senior Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) posted 25 saves in the Knights' crease. Giulia Mazzocchi made 31 stops for St. Lawrence.