Clarkson Skates to Tie with No. 1 Mercyhurst

Photo by Melanie Kimbler-Lago/Watertown Daily Times
Photo by Melanie Kimbler-Lago/Watertown Daily Times

Five different Golden Knights scored goals as the Clarkson University Women's Hockey team and Mercyhurst College put on an impressive offensive display Saturday afternoon as the two Top-5 ranked programs battled to a 5-5 tie before a crowd of 998 at the Mercyhurst Ice Arena.

Senior captain Britney Selina (Thornhill, ONT) and classmate Dominique Thibault (L'Orignal, ONT), juniors Daris Tendler (Verwood, SASK) and Melissa Waldie (Newmarket, ONT), and sophomore Juana Baribeau (Amos, QUE) scored in the Knights' most productive offensive showing since late October. Clarkson's leading scorer with 28 points (14-14), Thibault, who also recorded two points in Friday's 6-3 loss to the Lakers, paced the Green and Gold with three points (1-2) in Saturday's draw.

Ranked fourth in the nation entering the weekend series against #1-ranked Mercyhurst, Clarkson closes out a six-game road trip with a journey to New England next weekend. The Knights, at 15-5-3 overall, and in first place in ECAC Hockey with a 9-1-1 conference mark, will face league competition the rest of the way starting with Yale on Friday and Brown on Saturday.

In a see-saw battle on Saturday, the Golden Knights overcame deficits of 1-0, 3-1, and 4-2 to take a 5-4 lead early in the third period against Mercyhurst. An unassisted tally by Vicki Bendus with 3:40 left in regulation tied the game for the home team, spoiling Clarkson's bid of an upset over the top-rated Lakers.

Trailing 4-2 late in the second period, Waldie started a three-goal rally by the Knights at 15:28.with an unassisted goal 20 seconds after Mercyhurst grabbed a three-goal advantage. Baribeau made it a 4-4 contest after two periods with a shorthanded marker at 17:56 of the middle frame.

The Knights took their first lead of the game at 5-4 when Selina finished off assists from Baribeau and Waldie for a power-play goal at 4:16 of the third.

Bendus opened the high-scoring affair with a power-play tally at 4:45 of the first period. Tendler notched her third goal of the season, off assists from senior Genevieve Lavoie (Delson, QUE) and Thibault at 9:22 to make it 1-1 through the first 20 minutes.

The Lakers scored twice early in the second, and after Thibault netted her team-high 14th goal of the season at 9:42 of the period, Pamela Zgoda gave Mercyhurst a 4-2 lead at 15:08.

The Lakers outshot Clarkson 36-28. Junior Lauren Dahm (Baldwinsville, NY) made 31 saves through 65 minutes of play, including three in the five-minute overtime session. The Knights were 2-of-6 on the power play, while Mercyhurst went 2-of-5 with the man-advantage.