Cayley Mercer helps Clarkson hand St. Lawrence first loss


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CANTON, N.Y. — In the rematch of Thursday’s furious paced 3-3 tie between Clarkson and St. Lawrence, Cayley Mercer recorded four points to lead the Golden Knights to a 4-1 victory, handing the Saints their first loss of the season. Clarkson freshman Michaela Pejzlova continued her strong play with three points.

“It’s awesome,” said Mercer. “There’s always a big rivalry between us and SLU, and we knew they had a big target on their back. We just wanted to come out a play a good game and take it to them in their own barn, and it feels really good to hand them that first loss.”

The Golden Knights collected a goal in each of the first two periods to hold a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. Savannah Harmon collected her seventh goal of the season on the power play at the 9:32 mark of the first period to get Clarkson on the board. Michaela Pejzlova centered the puck, which kicked around in the crease and popped out to Harmon in the right circle. She blasted a one-timer past the outstretched Grace Harrison.

Mercer netted her ninth of the season late in the second period, tapping home a pass from Genevieve Bannon on a 2-on-1 with 3:35 remaining in the middle frame. She also helped set up goals from Pejzlova and Bannon late in the second and early in the third to put the Golden Knights up 4-0.

“We got on the forecheck, and Bannon did a great job of getting the puck and finding me alone in the slot,” said Pejzlova of her goal, which came late in the second and helped Clarkson take the wind out of the sails of St. Lawrence. Pejzlova, who hails from the Czech Republic, has 20 points in 18 games as a rookie, and hasn’t felt out of place for a minute in college hockey.

“It was a really easy transition because this is a really good team, and all of us freshmen felt really welcome,” said Pejzlova about her adjustment to the college game.

“I think there was a bit of an adjustment period, but I don’t think it was very long,” said her coach, Matt Desrosiers. “I think she needed to realize you need to move pucks a little quicker, but once she started figuring that our, her game has really taken off.”

Pejzlova’s play was solid, but ultimately it was Mercer’s four points that powered the Golden Knights to victory, and Desrosiers lauded his captains all-around value to the team.

“She does everything for us. She brings the energy, she puts the points on the board, she is one of our best defensive players,” said Desrosiers. “She is that kid who does everything, and she sticks for the system. It works for her and it works for the team.”

Saints coach Chris Wells, was disappointed about the loss and the end of the streak, but not the performance of his team during the game.

“It was a nice first half, and we’re pretty happy with where we’re at,” said Wells. “Quite honestly, we were happy about our effort tonight. You have to earn every single inch against them.”

“Bannon and Mercer scored a pair of goals together in this series, and they were fabulous with weekend.  (Savannah) Harmon was super. Any time the puck got dumped into her corner, we had trouble getting any pursuit.”

The Saints are off for a month before facing Carleton in an exhibition game on January 4th while Clarkson plays a home-and-home with Syracuse next weekend.