POTSDAM, N.Y. — On an unusually warm Friday afternoon, Clarkson defeated Concordia 4-1 in a friendly exhibition match up. As the Golden Knights are preparing for their first season in the ECAC, this contest served as an excellent barometer to measure their progress thus far.
Freshman Brooke Beazer, the highly touted MVP of the North American Hockey Academy last year, and sophomore Ashley Shaidle, the team’s top returning scorer from last year, showed their promise as impact players this season. Beazer led all scorers with a goal and two assists, while Shaidle had a goal and an assist. As NAHA MVP, Beazer follows in the footsteps of Providence’s Sonny Watrous, who was Hockey East Rookie of the Year last year.
Shaidle gave Clarkson a lasting lead with just 14 seconds left in the first period. On the power play, Jill Nolan hit the right post with a shot from the point and the rebound dropped right to Shaidle, who beat Stingers goalie Cecilia Anderson top shelf for the 2-1 lead.
All three goals in the first period came on the power play as nine penalties were issued. Clarkson opened the scoring as sophomore Emma Madigan took a pass from Beazer and beat Stingers goalie Cecilia Anderson glove side at 6:57 in the first. Six minutes later, Concordia countered with its own power-play goal as Isabelle Caron fired a shot that ricocheted off of the post, struck between the numbers of Clarkson goaltender Kira McDonald, and then trickled over the line before McDonald could locate the puck.
The Knights dominated play throughout the second, outshooting Concordia 20-0 with unrelenting offensive pressure and a suffocating defense. Seven penalties were issued in the second period, and Clarkson had three 5-on-3 situations with which to extend its lead, but failed to capitalize on any of them. At the 15:18 mark, however, Nolan got to a puck behind the Stingers net and found Carolynn Zidek with a fantastic centering pass to double the Clarkson lead to 3-1.
The penalty parade slowed in the third as only three infractions were whistled, but the Clarkson barrage did not. Just 5:11 into the period, Nolan picked up her third assist of the game as she threaded a pass across the crease to Beazer who buried the puck in the back of the Stingers net to put the game out of reach.
There were 19 penalties by the end of the game. Clarkson outshot Concordia 46-18.
The Golden Knights’ season officially gets underway next weekend when they host ECAC foe Union for two games, 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.