Potsdam, NY – A two-goal lead in the third period was erased by three unanswered goals as the second-rated Clarkson University Women’s Hockey team suffered a tough 4-3 loss to Northeastern University Friday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights lost their second straight game to a Beantown-foe and fell to 15-5 overall with the loss while ninth-ranked Northeastern improved 11-6-2. Clarkson is currently without junior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT), the team’s leading scorer, and freshman Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT), the team’s top scoring defensemen. The pair is playing with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team at the 2013 Meco Cup in Germany this week.
The two teams went scoreless in the first period, with the Golden Knights struggling on offense in the opening frame. Clarkson was without a shot until the 8:36 mark of the period, while Northeastern had just a hand full before getting several more down the stretch to end with a 12-5 edge in shots.
In the second period, the stranglehold by the defense relented as the Knights broke the scoreless tie at the midway point. Lucie Povova was whistled for a hooking penalty at the 10:00 minute mark and Clarkson capitalized by scoring just 29 seconds later. Brittany Styner (Calgary, ALB) took a shot from the top of the right circle which was stopped, but the rebound came right to the stick of Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT), who finished off the play on the glove side of Chloe Desjardins for her 10th goal of the season. Northeastern responded quickly by evening the score less than three minutes later as center Kelly Wallace collected a pass in the slot and wristed a shot past the glove of Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT) at the 13:10 mark.
The Knights caught a break on their second goal of the period as the Huskies were in an offensive transition when Clarkson regained control of the puck. Daniella Matteucci (Fruitvale, BC) stopped the rush and ticked the puck forward from the blue line to center ice where it was just Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) and a Northeastern defender. Mercer saw the puck first and broke in the other direction, gaining possession at the other blue line and skating in alone for the goal with only 2:52 to go.
Clarkson appeared to have all the momentum at the start of the third period, earning a two-goal advantage just three minutes into the frame. In its own defensive end, Clarkson won the faceoff at the right circle and created a quick rush in the other direction. The Knights finished off the play at the other end when Vanessa Gagnon (St. Constant, QUE) tallied her third score of the year, with assists going to Styner and Shelby Nisbet (Wiseton, SASK).
The Huskies were unfazed by the turn of events, however, and responded with a goal only 42 seconds later and took over the remainder of the game. Jordan Hampton scored on Howe’s glove-side from the bottom of the left circle to pull the Huskies within one and Northeastern followed with a pair of goals just two minutes apart in the final nine minutes. Paige Savage sent a pass across the slot to Brittany Esposito and beat a diving Howe on her stick side at 11:32 to tie the score at 3-3, and Savage then completed the Huskies’ comeback by tipping in a slap shot from the point by Jordan Hampton at 13:11.
The Huskies were called for a penalty late in the contest, allowing Clarkson to skate the final 91 seconds with two extra skaters, thanks to Howe vacating the Golden Knights' goal. However, the final 30 seconds had Clarkson on defense as they attempted to deny an empty-net score.
Howe was busy in the Clarkson net, making 33 saves, as the Huskies out shot the Golden Knights 37-25. Chloe Desjardins made 22 saves for Northeastern. The Huskies had just one power play chance and didn't score, while the Knights went 1-for-4 with an extra attacker.