A bid by the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team to extend its season-opening winning streak to a school-record six games was upended by national powerhouse Mercyhurst University on Friday afternoon as the Lakers handed the Golden Knights a 2-0 loss at Cheel Arena.
Ranked third in the country, Clarkson stands at 5-1 overall. The Knights will look to bounce back from their first shutout loss since February 26, 2012, when they host Mercyhurst again on Saturday, at 3:00 p.m. The Lakers own a 3-3 record.
"I thought Mercyhurst came to play tonight and brought a good effort right from the opening face off," stated Clarkson co-head coach Matt Desrosiers. "We weren't able to get our legs underneath us tonight and killed any momentum we tried to gain by taking some penalties. If we want to come a away with a split on the weekend we are going to have to bring a much better effort and make things a lot more difficult on them. I thought tonight we made things much too easy on them which you can't do against a good team like Mercyhurst."
Mercyhurst controlled the game from the start, outshooting the Green and Gold 16-4 in the first period en route to a 1-0 lead. Kaleigh Chippy tallied the only goal the visitors would need when she scored in front for a power-play marker at 16:06 for her second goal of the year. Shelby Bram and Emily Janiga picked up the assists.
The Lakers were strong defensively in the opening stanza, holding the Knights to a season-low shots in the period. Clarkson did not register its first shot on goal until there was under seven minutes to play in the period.
Mercyhurst out shot Clarkson 9-5 in a scoreless middle frame.
The Knights had their chances in the final period with four power-play opportunities, including a lengthy two-man advantage early in the stanza. The Lakers, behind a strong effort in the crease by goaltender Amanda Makela kept Clarkson off the scoreboard, however, and sealed the road win with a late empty-net goal. With 69 seconds remaining Christie Cicero put the game away for Mercyhurst with her third goal of the season.
Senior Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) was strong in the Clarkson net with 27 saves, including 15 first-period stops.
Mercyhurst outshot the Knights 29-19. The Lakers were 1-of-7 on the power play and killed off all eight of Clarkson's man-advantage chances.