Nationally-Ranked Clarkson and Mercyhurst Split Epic Series

Mark Staffieri@@MarkStaff100Contributor IIOctober 25, 2012

Photo courtesy of Mercyhurst Athletics
Photo courtesy of Mercyhurst Athletics

A weekend series between the seventh-ranked Mercyhurst Lakers and fifth-ranked Clarkson Golden Knights provided the fans at Mercyhurst Arena with many exciting moments.

Both teams feature very promising prospects, with Emily Janiga (Mercyhurst) and Erin Ambrose (Clarkson) enjoying great starts to their freshmen campaigns.

The October 19 match found Jamie Lee Rattray continuing her terrific month of October. A two-goal performance and an assist on Danielle Skirrow’s goal found Rattray extend her scoring streak to seven games.

Carly Mercer and Ambrose assisted on both of Rattray’s goals. Rattray's first marker came at the 7:46 mark of the first, during a power-play opportunity in which Mercyhurst was called for too many skaters.

Penalties continued to plague Mercyhurst as they were called for consecutive penalties within three seconds (both for hooking). The result was a 5-on-3 power play that saw Rattray log her second of the contest, as she buried the puck past Amanda Makela.

Of note, Skirrow’s goal in the second came on another power play (the Lakers were called for interference). Special teams were the key factor in the win. Mercyhurst had six power-play opportunities and could not capitalize. Erica Howe earned her second career shutout in a 36-save effort.

In the following match (on October 20), Rattray logged two goals in a 4-3 losing effort to the Lakers. Special teams proved to be the deciding factor once again, with Clarkson going 1-of-4 on the power play, while the Lakers converted on two of their seven opportunities,

Despite two first-period markers by the Lakers (scored by Niagara transfer Kaleigh Chippy and freshman Jenna Dingeldein), Rattray reduced their lead with an unassisted marker at the 3:49 mark of the second.

Jenna Hendrikx (another Niagara transfer) scored with only 1:19 left in the second to extend the Lakers lead back to 2 goals. The third period saw Rattray log her eighth marker in the season. Assisted by Carly Mercer and Erin Ambrose, Rattray’s marker was on the power play.

Offensive-minded defender Molly Byrne doubled Mercyhurst’s lead as she scored on the power play with 8:24 left in the third. Clarkson reduced the Lakers' lead as Vanessa Gagnon logged her first goal of the season for the green and gold. The goal came at the 17:27 mark of the third, but Clarkson was unable to tie the match and the series was split.