Penalties Haunt Saints in 3-1 Loss at No. 6 Clarkson
Feb. 1: The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team fell to nationally-ranked No. 6 Clarkson University on Friday by the score of 3-1 at Cheel Arena in Potsdam, NY. The Saints were unable to overcome nine penalties, as Clarkson scored two power play goals including the game-winner.
The Saints fall to 14-11-2 (9-5-1) heading into Saturday's rematch at Appleton Arena, while the Golden Knights improve to 21-6-0 (13-2-0).
"That was a very solid effort in all aspects by Clarkson," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "I thought our penalty kill did a really good job despite giving up two. (Clarkson) played hard and strong all over the puck and created a game full of momentum."
The momentum started for the Knights only 44 seconds into the game, as Brittany Styner beat St. Lawrence goalie Carmen MacDonald for her eighth of the season. Carly Mercer picked up her 100th career point with an assist on the play, while Jamie Lee Rattray's centering pass into the slot is what set up the 1-0 lead for Clarkson.
Clarkson would finish with a 10-5 advantage in shots in the period, though senior captain Kelly Sabatine had a pair of solid scoring chances on Knights' goaltender Erica Howe. Sabatine had one shot ring off the cross bar and another bid from the goal line get snagged by Howe's glove to keep the home team on top 1-0 after one.
Rattray would extend the lead to 2-0 at 7:38 of the second period on the power play with her 17th of the season. Styner returned the favor with an assist along with Erin Ambrose, as Rattray sniped a beautiful wrist shot past MacDonald.
St. Lawrence would respond in the final minutes of the second, pulling back to within a goal at 2-1 on the power play. Sabatine cut into the Clarkson zone, and though her shot was blocked, the puck came right to classmate Brooke Fernandez who one-timed a shot past Howe for her sixth goal of the season. The goal was also Fernandez's 24th of her career, only one behind Anne Guay '08 for the University record for goals by a defenseman.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Clarkson rebounded early in the third on the power play to recapture its two goal lead at 3-1. Renata Fast's slap shot from outside the circle was kicked away by MacDonald, but ricocheted off a Saints defender back into the net at 3:28. Shelby Nisbet and Vanessa Plante assisted on the insurance goal.
Though the Saints would create several solid chances throughout the period, Howe and the Golden Knight defense was up to the task and ensured the 3-1 victory.
"We gave it a good bid at the end, but couldn't get one behind Howe," added Coach Wells. "We have a great group of kids and will be back up on the horse tomorrow."
MacDonald closed with 27 saves in the game, while Howe finished with 14 as Clarkson closed with a 30-15 lead in shots on goal. The Knights finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while the Saints were 1-for-5.
Clarkson University hosted a fundraiser at Friday's game, with all proceeds from ticket sales and donations going to "Lending Hands" in Potsdam. Both Clarkson President Tony Collins and St. Lawrence President Bill Fox participated in a shooting contest at the end of the second period to promote the event.
St. Lawrence will look for redemption tomorrow, Saturday, February 1 when the two North Country rivals meet at Appleton Arena at 3:00pm. St. Lawrence will host "Saints Go Social," with a variety of social media activities and contests held during the game to promote safe and fun usage of the different social platforms. For more information on "Saints Go Social," click here.