POTSDAM — Nobody panicked even though the Clarkson University women’s 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.
So what did Clarkson co-coaches Matt and Shannon Desrosiers say to inspire their team?
Clarkson’s 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 Billadeau’s stuck and into the net, tying the game 2-2 at 3 minutes 42 seconds.
Syracuse’s Shiann Darkangelo was called for roughing at 7:05 of the third period and 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.
Syracuse (9-7-1) had a chance to tie the game late when Clarkson’s Christine Lambert was called for tripping with 1:27 remaining. Flanagan, a Canton native and former St. Lawrence University women’s coach, pulled Billadeau for a two-player advantage but the Orange was unable to tie the game.
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.