POTSDAM, N.Y. — Friday night, the Golden Knights of Clarkson outshot the Mercyhurst Lakers 37-14 en route to a solid 2-0 win.
Both teams were creative and entertaining on offense throughout the game, but Mercyhurst never got much of a chance to set itself up for quality scoring opportunities. Good forechecking and cycling allowed the Golden Knights to maintain possession of the puck for long stretches, especially during the first and third periods. Whenever the Lakers managed to create turnovers, prompt penalties on their part gave possession right back to Clarkson.
Hence, Clarkson’s victory was due largely to puck control. In addition to their superiority in shots, the Knights had more power-play opportunities (10) than their opponents (3). Indeed, the Lakers had 24 penalty minutes on the evening, while Clarkson only accrued 12.
Clarkson goaltender Mike Walsh maintained a clean slate throughout the game, while his counterpart Peter Aubry gave up two goals for a .946 save percentage on the evening.
Although the Knights did dominate the bulk of the contest, Aubry played well, managing to keep the Lakers from falling out of striking distance until late in the game. He was solved toward the end of the first period by Clarkson forward Chris Blight, but turned away 11 shots in the second, and four more in the third.
“Aubry’s a tough guy to beat,” said Clarkson coach Mark Morris after the game. “He’s a big kid. He gave them life and energy in the second and third periods. I give them a lot of credit for hanging in there and making it a tough game. They gave us all we could handle.”
Matt Syroczynski, a freshman dressing for only the third time this season, finally netted Clarkson’s insurance goal with 5:08 remaining in regulation. The 6’4″ Syroczynski used his size to his advantage, reaching across the crease to poke in the final tally of the evening after a nifty pass from behind the net by linemate Dave Evans. The goal was Syroczynski’s first career point at Clarkson.
Morris was pleased to see Syroczynski and Evans find success late in the game.
“David made a great feed,” he said. “It was a real power forward’s goal. Matt worked hard. He’s a big kid with a physical presence, and I think that with a little more game experience he could become a valuable contributor for us. He’s a strong kid, he shoots the puck well, and he’s hard to move out in front.”
Mercyhurst and Clarkson square off again on Saturday night at 7:00 to complete their weekend series. The game will be the final nonleague match of the regular season for each team.