POTSDAM, N.Y. – Down two players in the final 75 seconds, No. 2 Clarkson was able to hold off a late charge by Syracuse to claim a 3-2 non-league victory Friday at Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights improved to 14-3-0 overall while Syracuse fell to 9-7-1.
The Golden Knights jumped out on offense, but were unable to come away with any goals in the opening minutes. Syracuse goaltender Kallie Billadeau stopped a pair of shots in the first four minutes, including a quick shot from Jamie Lee Rattray that was pushed away. Despite the early onslaught, it was Syracuse that got the first goal of the contest, thanks to a hooking penalty that provided an extra attacker. Just 17 seconds into the 5-on-4, Margot Scharfe sent a pass across the crease and found Holly Carrie-Mattimoe on the far side to give the Orange a 1-0 lead.
Clarkson responded less than three minutes later, as Vanessa Plante picked up a loose puck near the blue line and skated around the back side of the net. From there, she whipped a pass to an open Daniella Matteucci near the top of the left circle. Matteucci wristed a shot into the net.
The Knights held an edge in shots in the second period (20-9), but it was the Orange that headed into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead. Clarkson was able to go on its second power play early in the period and had numerous chances at earning the lead, but it was Sadie St. Germain of Syracuse that broke the tie. Deflecting a pass near the blue line, St. Germain outraced Clarkson defenders and slid the puck past Erica Howe for a short-handed goal at 6:56.
Through two periods, Clarkson held a 32-18 lead in shots and the advantage would finally begin to pay off in the final period of the game. Less than four minutes into the period, the Knights knotted the score up at two when Carly Mercer took a shot that was deflected in. Jamie Lee Rattray was credited with the assist. Less than four minutes later, Clarkson was able to take its first lead of the contest on the power play. Erin Ambrose passed the puck to Brittany Styner at the top of the left circle. Styner returned the puck to Ambrose and she sent a quick pass to Mercer, who gave Clarkson a 3-2 lead at 7:39 in the third period.
Christine Lambert was whistled for tripping in the last few minutes of play, giving the Orange a chance to tie the score up in the final 90 seconds. Despite some solid chances by Syracuse, the Clarkson defense was able to hold the puck in the corner as the last seconds ticked away.
Clarkson finished with a 45-27 lead in shots, just two short of its season-high set during the third game of the season. Erica Howe closed with 25 stops, while Billadeau made 42 saves. Clarkson went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Syracuse was 1-for-3.