POTSDAM, N.Y. — David Evans’ power play goal turned out to be all the scoring that Clarkson needed, as the Golden Knights skated past Waterloo 5-0 in an exhibition game witnessed by 2,983 at Cheel Arena.
As the puck slid in front of the Waterloo crease, goalie Jason Willard attempted to clear the puck out from the front of the net. But the puck happened to be just out of reach of Willard, and Willard was unable to recover before Evans reached the puck and put it into the net.
The goal was one of two scored on the power play in the game. Coming into the game, Clarkson was 1-for-25 on the power play.
“We’ve been getting good chances on power plays, it just hasn’t been going in,” Evans said. “A couple of [power-play] goals tonight, we feel confident.”
Waterloo had a tough time containing Clarkson, as Willard made 39 saves and allowed five goals. “We came down here looking for a challenge, and they skated all over us,” Waterloo coach Dave Cressman said. “Our goaltender played outstanding, but we didn’t shoot the puck.”
Clarkson outshot Waterloo 44-17. Waterloo only had three shots in the first period.
Waterloo had multiple 2-on-1 opportunities in the second period, but the Warriors were unable to convert them into goals as the Clarkson defense shut them down.
Clarkson’s second goal came with 1:54 remaining in the first period, as sophomore Kevin O’Flaherty scored. O’Flaherty took a feed from teammate Tristan Lush and put the puck past the glove of Willard.
The second power-play goal of the evening came in the second period. Matt Poapst won the faceoff for Clarkson in the Waterloo zone after a penalty, and the puck came back to Chris Bahen at the blue line. Bahen passed the puck to Murray Kuntz, and Kuntz shot the puck over the right shoulder of Willard four seconds into the power play, making the score 3-0.
Both teams were checking hard, and as the game went into the third period, events after the whistle began to increase. 6:17 into the third period, Rob McFeeters of Clarkson took a feed toward the net and was stopped by Willard. McFeeters collided with Willard, sending McFeeters to the ice with Willard on top, and a scuffle ensued, sending Richard Scott of Waterloo and Kuntz of Clarkson to the box. Nineteen penalties were called during the game, 10 in the third period alone.
On the ensuing 4-on-4, Clarkson picked up its fourth goal of the evening. Kerry Ellis-Toddington shot the puck into traffic, and Clarkson’s Don Smith deflected the puck in front of the net. Willard was unable to see the puck until it had already gone between his legs and into the net.
Waterloo’s best chance to score came on a Clarkson penalty with 9:25 remaining in the third period, as Mike Nixon fired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle on the right side of Clarkson goaltender Shawn Grant. The puck ringed off the goalpost.
Clarkson’s fifth goal came with 36 seconds remaining in the game, as Kuntz picked up his second goal of the game. Kuntz skated in on a line change, the puck bounced out to him, and he took the shot and put the puck in the back of the net.
Shawn Grant made 15 saves between the pipes for Clarkson. Sophomore Mike Walsh replaced Grant with 8:06 remaining in the game and picked up two saves.
“We shot the puck well, we went to the net hard, we played pretty good defense,” Clarkson coach Mark Morris said.
“It’s a confidence builder,” Kuntz said. “We’re a young team, we want these young guys to know what it feels like to win.”
Waterloo travels to Ithaca Saturday night to face Cornell, while Clarkson will host Quinnipiac on Nov. 4.