Clarkson Shades Colgate For Key ECAC Win
Headed into the evening in second place in a tight ECAC regular season race, the Clarkson Golden Knights hit the road to Hamilton, NY to square off against Colgate in a conference clash.
While special teams were a major story, it was a late even strength goal that wrote the final chapter in a 3-2 Clarkson win. Goaltending was on display in the opening 20 minutes as both Ethan Haider and Carter Gylander set aside quality scoring chances for each team.
Special teams and strong goaltending were on display in the first frame. Clarkson killed off two Colgate power plays, one of which featured a sensational save by Haider on a one-time attempt from between the faceoff circles. At the other end, Clarkson could not convert on its' first power play, however earned a second opportunity when Josh Dunne bulled his way to the net, forcing a Colgate defender to take Dunne down to stop a scoring chance with just 55.9 seconds left. Immediately, that advantage generated good scoring chances that Gylander fended off and the power play carried over to the second stanza.
The second period saw a goal off that carry-over power play, however it was Colgate's Josh McKechney who tallied a short handed score just :48 into the middle frame. The Raiders followed that up with a power play goal at 12:52 of the period from Nick Austin. Clarkson struck right back with a power play goal of its' own just 1:02 later. The Golden Knights worked the puck around the perimeter and Zack Tsekos was able to draw coverage away from Jack Jacome at the top of the right circle. Tsekos fed Jacome who immediately tapped the puck in between the faceoff circles to Anthony Romano for the one-timer past Gylander. The goal was Romano's eighth of the campaign (second on the power play) with Jacome and Tsekos picking up the helpers at 13:54.
Another Clarkson man advantage was cut short just :04 when Romano took a tripping infraction at 18:21 and it looked like the teams would skate four-on-four into the intermission. However, a major penalty call against Alex Young on a hit to Brian Hurley at 19:16 left Clarkson with a four-on-three advantage. Dunne had the best opportunity before the break when he deflected a pass from Tsekos at the top of the crease with :01 left in the frame, but Gylander made the stop at the horn as the four-on-three moved over into the final period.
No scoring materialized until just past midway in the third period when the Green and Gold's power play struck again. Connor McCarthy was parked in the left circle and sent a shot past Gylander. However, it hit the post solidly. Clarkson was able to re-establish possession of the puck in the offensive zone when Tsekos controlled the puck at the mid-point. He was able to guide it through traffic and Romano got a rebound chance that was turned aside. McCarthy never left the circle and collected the loose puck and worked it past Gylander for McCarthy's third goal of the season, tying the game at: two. With the match-up on the cusp of heading to overtime, the Golden Knights would get a needed score. Michael Underwood took a loose puck deep in his own end and fed Dunne between the faceoff circles. Dunne floated the puck into space in the neutral zone for Romano. Romano tipped it up the right side into the Colgate zone, raced forward, controlled the puck and used the defenseman as a screen when shooting the puck along the ice past Gylander for his second of the contest, ninth of the campaign and eventual game-winning goal at: 17:56.
Haider made 24 stops on the evening while Gylander halted 36 shots. Romano's three points is a single- game career high.
Clarkson's power play has found its' groove. The Golden Knights have five power play scores in the last four outings.
With the win, Clarkson is now 10-7-4 overall and 5-4-4 in ECAC games. The two teams meet again at 4:00 on Sunday afternoon at Cheel Arena.
Note: Thanks to Mike Vaillencourt for this report from Hamilton, NY: