Syracuse, NY - Junior Carly Mercer (Exeter, ONT) scored a pair a power-play goal and what proved to be the game-winner in the third period as the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team swept a weekend series against Syracuse University with a 5-4 victory on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Knights, ranked second in the country in the latest polls, improved to 15-3-0 overall and are off until early January when they travel to Boston to take on Boston College and Northeastern University. Syracuse fell to 9-8-1 overall, dropping both games in a weekend against the same opponent for the first time this season.
After coming from behind in Friday's 3-2 win, Clarkson continued to play well on offense in the early going, claiming a 1-0 lead just three minutes into Saturday's contest. Junior Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, ONT) scored her team-best 15th goal of the season at 3:03 with an assist going to freshman Taylor Gedig (Kelowna, BC). The advantage would be short-lived, however, as Holly Carrie-Mattimoe and Syracuse were able to capitalize on a Clarkson penalty. Just 27 seconds into a checking penalty on the Knights, the Orange knotted the game up 1-1 at 6:51 with Carrie-Mattimoe's fourth power-play goal, and ninth overall, this season.
Syracuse gained the lead at the 13:31 mark on a rebound by Allie Lacombe, Jacquie Greco took the first shot of the scoring chance, but was denied by Erica Howe (Ottawa, ONT). Fortunately for the Orange, Lacombe was able to finish off the play and gave Syracuse a 2-1 lead.
After the first intermission, Clarkson quickly gathered its offnesive firepower together and scored four goals in the next 25 minutes. Mercer scored a power-play goal at 3:51 in the second period, just 14 seconds into the penalty. Freshman Erin Ambrose (Keswick, ONT) took the initial shot and was stopped, but Mercer cleaned up the play for her seventh goal of the year. Eight minutes later, Clarkson's two seniors combined to give the Knights the lead when Danielle Skirrow (Trenton, ONT) scored her ninth goal of the season, with the assist going to Hailey Wood (Lethbridge, ALB). Early on in the third period Clarkson continued to extend its advantage when Christine Lambert (Thetford Mines, QUE) scored at the 3:49 mark, and just over a minute later Mercer tallied an unassisted marker to give the Knights a 5-2 edge.
Syracuse made a quick comeback with a goal at 7:05, but trailed by two goals until late in the contest. A penalty on the Golden Knights in the final minutes allowed the Orange to enjoy a two-skater advantage when the team pulled its goaltender, and Syracuse once again capitalized by scoring a power play goal at 18:44. Hoping to send the game into overtime, Syracuse kept Julie Bengis out of the goal, but Clarkson held the Orange without a shot in the final minute and clung to its one-goal lead for a 5-4 victory.
Syracuse enjoyed a modest advantage in shots, 37-35, and went 2-for-5 on the power play while Clarkson was 1-for-3. Erica Howe made 33 saves in the victory for Clarkson, while Jenesica Drinkwater made 20 stops in 45 minutes before being relieved by Julie Bengis, who made 10 saves in the final 15 minutes.