Potsdam, NY – Five different Golden Knights scored on Friday afternoon as the 7th/9th ranked Clarkson University Women's Hockey team cruised by the Providence Friars 5-1 in game one of a two game weekend series at Cheel Arena.
The win improves the Golden Knights to 9-3-2 (3-2-1 ECAC Hockey) on the season while the Friars drop to 4-9 (1-5 Hockey East) on the year. The loss is the sixth straight for Providence and the two teams meet again tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 pm at Cheel Arena.
"We did a great job tonight sticking together and playing a good team game," stated co-head coach Matt Desrosiers. "We had good energy throughout the game and took advantage of the chances we had. I really liked how well we focused on and executed a lot of the little things needed to win games. I especially liked how we were willing to jump in front of shots tonight especially on the penalty kill at the end of the game. It really showed how bad we wanted to preserve the win."
Senior captain Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) had the first scoring opportunity in the game as the puck bounced behind the Providence net and back around to Mercer's stick. She had an uncontested shot that was saved by Friar goaltender Sarah Bryant to keep the game scoreless.
Both teams had chances on the power-play early in the game. Clarkson found themselves on the positive side of a 4-on-3 advantage, but sophomore Erin Ambrose's (Keswick, ONT) slap shot from the point was deflected wide.
Providence gained the man-advantage at the 10:36 mark and immediately tested senior goaltender Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT), but it was the Knights who had the best chance during the penalty as senior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) stole the puck and beat the defense, but Bryant kept the game scoreless.
With less than two minutes to go in the first period, junior Christine Lambert (Thetford Mines, QUE) gave Clarkson the lead. In an attempt to dump the puck into the Providence zone to change lines, Daniella Matteucci (Fruitvale, BC) controlled the puck in front of the Clarkson bench and passed to Olivia Howe (Moose Jaw, SASK) who found Lambert, and despite the four Providence players in the area, Lambert was able to beat Bryant to put the Knights up 1-0.
Clarkson outshot Providence 9-6 in the first period and both teams committed two penalties.
Penalties on both sides at the 3:27 mark of the second period led to a 4-on-4 opportunity and Clarkson took full advantage. Sophomore Shannon MacAulay (Mt. Herbert, PEI) controlled the puck behind the Friars' net and dished to senior Shelby Nisbet (Wiseton, SASK) in front of the net, who would beat Bryant to put the Green and Gold up 2-0.
Matching major penalties again led to a 4-on-4 and senior Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB) capitalized less than a minute into the penalty. Rattray brought the puck out of Clarkson's defensive zone and her pass split the two defenders and went to Styner, who held the puck for as long as she could before sneaking a shot by Bryant to give Clarkson the 3-0 lead.
Howe stopped a point blank shot with her body late in the second period to keep the Friars off the scoreboard.
The scoring continued early in the third period as freshman Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, QUE) was in the right place at the right time to put Clarkson up 4-0. Carly Mercer held the puck behind the net and passed to her sister, sophomore Cayley Mercer (Exeter, ONT) in front. Cayley passed across to a wide-open Bannon who finished for the goal.
The Friars quickly answered as Janine Weber found Stephanie Demars, who took a shot from the blue line that was deflected and floated over Howe's glove to cut the Clarkson lead to 4-1.
The Knights immediately answered as freshman Corie Jacobson (Warren, ONT) started the charge and found MacAulay, who passed ahead to Olivia Howe in the Providence zone. Howe netted her second goal of the year to stretch the lead to 5-1 in favor of the Knights.
Bryant entered the game with a 3.21 goals-against average, and Clarkson took advantage, beating her five times throughout the game.
The Golden Knights outshot the Friars 27-18 on the afternoon, and Howe recorded 17 saves in the win.