ERIE, Pa. — Mercyhurst wanted to change a couple trends going into tonight’s game against Clarkson. The Lakers had won four games by a 2-1 margin, including last night’s, and Mercyhurst didn’t want this one to be as close. They may have turned the corner tonight by handily beating the Golden Knights, 4-1.
The Lakers (5-2-1) took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission and the route appeared to be on. Clarkson (2-2-2) played with little intensity and was outshot 11-3. Clarkson struggled getting the puck out of its zone and consistently surrendered it to the harder-working Mercyhurst team. The Lakers did not ever extend their advantage, however.
Clarkson coach Rick Seeley had worried of a let down after last night’s narrow defeat.
Seeley said, “We expected the possibility of a let down, and clearly we did in the first period, but I thought it was great character the way we came out in the second and third and kept it close, and we did it with hard work.”
Sophomore Julia Colizza started the scoring in the first period when she rifled one at Clarkson goalie Kira McDonald. McDonald made the save, but the rebound hit a teammate and bounced over her shoulder.
The Lakers were starting to feel the pressure of not scoring goals and Colizza was happy to contribute.
Colizza said, “It’s been really hard for us to just finish. We have been working hard but haven’t been able to capitalize and finish on our chances. It’s been really hurting us right now.”
The Lakers’ second goal came from senior Teresa Marchese. The goal proved to be the game winner and it was a thing of beauty. Marchese stole the puck at center ice, skated around three players, shot the puck, picked up her own rebound and stuffed it home.
“I picked up the puck off of a bad pass and they were on a power play,” said Marchese modestly describing her goal. “I read the players and realized I didn’t have to dump it so I went to the net and it went in.”
Colizza added her second goal with two minutes to go in the first period.
The second period was a back and forth affair with only Clarkson leading scorer Jill Nolan putting the puck past a gloveless Desi Clark.
Mercyhurst has a history of tenacious defense in the third period, and that trend didn’t change. The Lakers defense held the Golden Knights to only four shots and didn’t allow Clarkson to gain any momentum.
Senior captain Chrissy Yule finished the scoring when she scored her first goal of the year for Mercyhurst off a one timer from Justine Jackson at the 11:40 mark.
Mercyhurst assistant coach Maria Lewis liked the way the Lakers performed today.
Lewis said, “I think we are starting to come together as a team more. It took a few games for us to get going here, but I think coming off the St. Lawrence weekend the girls are starting to find each other better and they’re starting to click.”
Clarkson visits Providence and Northeastern next weekend while Mercyhurst travels to conference foe Niagara for two games.