The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team earned a 1-1 tie with Clarkson University on Friday afternoon at Cheel Arena in a non-conference game between the two North Country rivals.
St. Lawrence (1-1-1) was helped by a solid 30-save performance by first-year goalie Caitlyn Lahonen, who stopped several point-blank chances by the Golden Knights in the final minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Clarkson snapped a four-game losing skid and moves to 0-4-1 on the young season.
"That was wide open hockey that turned out to be very entertaining at the end," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells, whose team is now 12-5-3 in the all-time series with Clarkson. "Both teams were progressively getting better as the game went on, and we look forward to another exciting one tomorrow."
The Saints grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period only 12 seconds into a 5-on-3 power play try. First-year student Bailey Habscheid drilled a slap shot that hit off the glove of Clarkson goalie Lauren Dahm and trickled towards the far post. Classmate Rylee Smith was there to cash in on her second goal of the season at 10:41 to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Despite a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal in the opening period, Clarkson settled in and began applying more pressure throughout the second stanza. Though Lahonen made several crucial saves, Danielle Skirrow would even the scoring at 1-1 at 5:03 of the second period. Brittany Mulligan sprung Skirrow into the Saints' zone, and the Clarkson forward threaded a high wrist shot under the cross bar for her first goal of the season.
Both teams had some excellent chances to take the lead throughout the remaining stages of the game. Clarkson took advantage of a few St. Lawrence turnovers in the neutral zone to create breakaway chances on Lahonen, by the Warman, SK native cut down her angles beautifully and helped her team earn the 1-1 draw.
Lahonen's 30 save performance is the most in her short collegiate career, while Dahm turned in 27 stops for the Golden Knights. Clarkson finished with a narrow 31-28 advantage in shots on goal, but were unable to get much going on their six power play tries thanks to the sound penalty killing by St. Lawrence, anchored by senior assistant captain Kirsten Roach and junior Josee Belanger. Clarkson was 0-for-6 with the extra skater, while St. Lawrence finished 1-of-6 on the power play.
St. Lawrence will play its first home game of the season at Appleton Arena tomorrow, Saturday, October 16 against Clarkson. The puck will drop on the Saints and Golden Knights at 2:00pm.