After two big wins over its archrival last week, the Clarkson University Hockey team could not continue its momentum in the final game of the 2012 portion of the schedule as the Golden Knights fell to Mercyhurst 3-1 in non-conference play before 1,983 fans at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson, which took two from St. Lawrence last week (4-1, 3-1), closed out first half of the season with a 4-8-5 overall record. The Knights are now off until early in the New Year when they host UMass-Lowell on January 4-5.
Playing in its first home game since mid-November, Clarkson had a strong effort against Mercyhurst (7-6-1), outshooting the Lakers 43-28. The Knights, however, could not capitalize on their chances as Mercyhurst picked up its first win ever over Clarkson, snapping a stretch of five consecutive losses to the Green and Gold.
Both teams came out skating hard in the first with the Knights holding a 14-11 advantage in shots. It was the Lakers, however, who took the initial lead by taking advantage of a five-minute major penalty to Clarkson midway through the stanza.
Mercyhurst, boasting the third best power play in the nation, connected 80 seconds into the five-minute man-advantage when Chris Bodo tipped in a shot going wide at 11:39 with Tyler Shiplo and Mychal Monteith assisting.
The Lakers made it 2-0 at 8:51 of the middle frame, despite being outshot 17-8 in the stanza, when Kyle Cook picked up a pass behind the Clarkson net and stuffed in a shot at the side of the crease for his first career goal. Zac Frischmon assisted.
The Knights got on the scoreboard late in the second with sophomore Patrick Marsh’s (Oakville, ONT) second goal of the season. Marsh finished off pass play from linemates, junior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) and freshman Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) with a hard shot from inside the right circle at 15:39.
Early in the third, Mercyhurst regained its two-goal advantage. After a collision at mid-ice between a Golden Knight and a Laker, Trent Frey picked up a loose puck and set up Cook at the top of the left circle. Cook fired in a slapshot at 2:18 for second goal of the game.
Making his second start of the season, and his first appearance in the crease since a relief role on November 16, senior Cody Rosen (Kingston, ONT) was strong between the pipes for Clarkson, posting 25 saves.
Clarkson was 0-of-3 on the power play and killed off six of the Lakers’ seven man-advantage opportunities.