POTSDAM Nobody panicked even though the Clarkson University womens hockey team was 20 minutes away from its first two-game losing streak of the season.
The second-ranked Golden Knights struck for two goals in the third period and held on to edge Syracuse University 3-2 in a nonconference game Friday night at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson (14-3 overall) had controlled most of the play in the first two periods and had outshot the Orange, 32-18, yet found themselves behind 2-1. That was the same score Clarkson lost to Colgate by in its most recent home game on Dec. 1.
We were a little quiet in the dressing room, compared to what we usually are, Clarkson forward Danielle Matteucci said. When the coaches came in we got all pumped up again and we were ready to go out in the third.
So what did Clarkson co-coaches Matt and Shannon Desrosiers say to inspire their team?
We told the girls to stay the course, Matt Desrosiers said. I thought we outplayed them for the most part. We had a lot of chances.
In the second period we threw a lot at the net I dont think (SU goalie Kallie Billadeau) necessarily saw, but got a piece of.
Clarksons comeback began early as defenseman Vanessa Plante took a shot from just inside the blue line that floated toward the net and according to Syracuse coach Paul Flanagan went off the top knob of Billadeaus stuck and into the net, tying the game 2-2 at 3 minutes 42 seconds.
Syracuses Shiann Darkangelo was called for roughing at 7:05 of the third period.
Clarkson capitalized with a power-play goal by Carly Mercer off a nice pass from Erin Ambrose that left Billadeau out of position to make a save.
At that point, when we went ahead, I think everyone felt finally were on top and we deserved to be on top, Mercer said. Were not going to let this fall apart. That was an incredible pass. I didnt have to do anything but slide it in the net.
Syracuse (9-7-1) had a chance to tie the game late when Clarksons Christine Lambert was called for tripping with 1:27 remaining.
Flanagan, a Canton native and former St. Lawrence University womens coach, pulled Billadeau for a two-player advantage, but the Orange was unable to tie the game.
I thought we competed from start to finish, so were pleased with that, Flanagan said. We had a 2-1 lead, and we let it slip away. I give (Clarkson) credit for executing, but maybe we had a missed assignment here or there. Were disappointed, but pleased with certain aspects of the game.
For us, its to learn how to win those games. Did Clarkson come back and beat us or did we beat ourselves? I think its a little bit of both.
Syracuse had the chance at the upset because of two big special-teams plays.
Clarkson dominated the first few minutes of the game as Billadeau had to stop a Jamie Lee Rattray breakaway at 3:39 and then a shot from just outside the crease by Matteucci at 4:12.
But the Orange scored a power-play goal on a shot from Holly Carrie-Mattimoe at 10:47 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead and then with the game tied used a shorthanded breakaway goal from Sadie St. Germain at 6:56 of the second period to go up 2-1.
Its demoralizing when that happens, Mercer said of the short-handed goal.
You literally have to think about it for 30 seconds and put it in the back of your mind and move on, Mercer added.