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No. 3 St. Lawrence vs. No. 5 Clarkson: ECAC Game of the Week

The Saints and Golden Knights battle for conference supremacy.

St. Lawrence goaltender Grace Harrison
St. Lawrence Athletic Dept.

Who: SB Nation No. 3 St. Lawrence (15-0-1 Overall, 8-0-0 in the ECAC) vs. No. 5 Clarkson (13-3-2 Overall, 8-0-0 in the ECAC)

When: Thursday, December 1 / Saturday December 3, 2016

Where: Potsdam, NY (Thursday) / Canton, NY (Saturday)

How to Watch: Clarkson Athletics TV / St. Lawrence Broadcast

The Skinny

It is strength on strength this week, as No. 3 Lawrence tests its top-ranked defense against No. 5 Clarkson’s third-ranked offense in a home-and-home that starts Thursday night in Potsdam. The Golden Knights are averaging 3.78 goals per game, but opponents have only scored 13 goals against the Saints in 16 games (0.81 per game).

Both teams are undefeated in the ECAC and sit tied atop the conference standings. In a weird scheduling quirk, St. Lawrence and Clarkson have already played each other in home-and-home non-conference action back in October, with the Saints winning in Canton 2-1 and the teams tying 3-3 at Clarkson.

The Golden Knights are riding a 10-game winning streak, with their only losses this year coming against No. 1 Wisconsin and the No. 3 Saints. Cayley Mercer leads the way for Clarkson, but will have her hands full trying to put one past the Saints’ Grace Harrison.

St. Lawrence Players to Watch

#16 - Kennedy Marchment, F

The ECAC leader in both points (27) and assists (18), Marchment has 10 points in her last six games, only failing to tally in her last outing on Wednesday at Penn State. Tied for second nationally in assists and third nationally in points, the junior powers the Saints No. 10-ranked offense.

#29 - Grace Harrison, G

The ECAC leader in goals against average (0.92 in 14 games started) and save percentage (.956), Harrison anchors the Saints stifling defense. The second-rated goaltender in the country behind Patty Kaz favorite Ann-Renée Desbiens, Harrison is 13-0-1 in 2016-17 with 281 saves in over 844 minutes. She has won ECAC Goaltender of the Week four times already in 2016-17.

Clarkson Players to Watch

#18 - Cayley Mercer, C

One of the top offensive players in the country, Mercer was a Patty Kaz nominee last year, tallying 50 points in 2015-16 (scoring 25 goals in the process) and winning 66.5% of her faceoff draws. She currently stands fourth in the ECAC in points (20) and tied for fourth in assists (13) with teammate Rhyen McGill. The Golden Knights’ captain, Mercer was a First Team ECAC Hockey All-Star as a junior.

#25 - Rhyen McGill, F

McGill, a sophomore, currently stands fifth in in the ECAC in points (19) and fourth in assists (13). She has nabbed at least one point in nine of her last 10 games, and had a four game 2+ point streak broken last weekend against Robert Morris. She is tied for tenth nationally in assists for Clarkson’s No. 3-ranked offense.

The Pick

These are two strong and balanced teams that could both make an NCAA run this year. Clarkson has been flying high of late, but St. Lawrence’s defense has been stifling all season long. The Saints look like the team to beat and pulls off the sweep, 2-0 and 3-1.

Pick Record for the Season: 3-1-0