CANTON, N.Y. — It was a cold evening in Northern New York for St. Lawrence, as Clarkson shocked the 3,500 fans at Appleton Arena by defeating the Saints 7-2. Matt Poapst and Trevor Edwards each had two goals in the win for the Golden Knights.
The game began with a St. Lawrence (2-3-2, 1-1-1 ECAC) team that dominated the first few minutes of the game. The Saints kept the puck in the Clarkson (3-2-2, 1-1-1 ECAC) zone and challenged Shawn Grant early. However, it was Clarkson that struck first, as Poapst notched the game’s first goal.
Fourteen seconds into a St. Lawrence penalty, Poapst took the feed from teammate Kevin O’Flaherty at the top of the right faceoff circle. The shot beat St. Lawrence goaltender Jeremy Symington over his left shoulder at 5:58 in the first, a power-play goal that made the score 1-0.
“It was great to see Matt Poapst play well in this building,” coach Mark Morris said. “He’s spent a lot of time watching his brother here, there’s a strong connection between his family and this building. For him to open up the scoring on the evening for us was key.”
St. Lawrence made it interesting moments later. A Clarkson penalty allowed the Saints to gain momentum, and at 9:42 in the first, Erik Anderson scored the equalizer.
Anderson took the pass from Russ Bartlett at the right face-off circle, and fired a shot that beat Grant along the ice along the left side of Grant. Anderson had a clear shot at Grant, and knotted the game at 1-1.
As the period progressed, it seemed that it would be a close game, with the Saints dominating play. However, Clarkson took the lead once again at 16:32 in the first. Tristan Lush picked up his first collegiate goal for Clarkson, as he took a feed from Kent Huskins and put it past Symington along the ice on the right-hand side, making it a 2-1 game.
The Golden Knights picked up the pace, as moments later senior co-captain Kent Huskins picked up his first goal of the season.
Huskins made a nice move at center ice, avoiding a collision and regaining control of the puck. As he skated in to the St. Lawrence zone, he took the shot from between the face-off circles, and beat Symington up high, as Symington’s view was obstructed by another Clarkson player. On the evening, both Huskins and Lush had a goal and two assists.
St. Lawrence started the second period with the same intensity it began the game with, looking to once again tie up the game. The Saints picked up their second goal of the game on a shot from Mike Gellard just 57 seconds into the period. Gellard came from behind the net and put the puck past Grant to close the gap to a 3-2 Clarkson lead.
Clarkson answered minutes later, as Edwards picked up his first goal of the game at the 2:18 of the second period. Edwards took a pass from Lush down in front of Symington, and he made it count by shooting the puck down low to beat Symington and make it a 4-2 game.
“That was a big goal.” said Saints coach Joe Marsh. “We gave up defensive position on him, and he found a seam and drilled it. After picking up the fourth goal, the Golden Knights never looked back, as they held St. Lawrence scoreless for the rest of the game.
Edwards picked up his second goal of the night exactly five minutes later in the second period. Edwards received a pass from Lush at the blue line and skated unobstructed to the goal. After skating in front of Symington, Edwards put the puck in the net behind Symington for a 5-2 lead.
After the fith goal for Clarkson, coach Joe Marsh replaced Symington with Sean Coakley.
Early in the third period, Poapst picked up his second goal of the game. On a 2-on-1 breakout from neutral ice, O’Flaherty skated in along the left side, with Poapst on the right. O’Flaherty sent the puck over to Poapst, and Poapst put the puck past Coakley on the left side for a 6-2 lead.
The final Clarkson goal of the game came at the 11:59 mark of the third period, as David Evans tallied an empty-net goal. St. Lawrence gambled with an extra attacker, but Don Smith intercepted a pass in neutral ice, and fed the puck to Evans, who took the shot at the empty net.
“[Clarkson] played really well, they had some great performances, Matt Poapst played really well,” Marsh said. “They seemed to gain energy as the game went on, they were quick to counter, they played a great hockey game, no question about it.”
Shawn Grant made 36 saves and allowed two goals for Clarkson, while Symington saw 14 shots and allowed five goals, and Coakley stopped 17 shots and allowed one goal.
There were very few penalties in the game. Clarkson went 1-for-2 on the man advantage, and St. Lawrence picked up one goal on three attempts on the power play.
Next week, Clarkson travels to the Syracuse Invitational Tournament to face fellow ECAC team Cornell in the first round Saturday, while St. Lawrence will be at North Dakota on Friday and Saturday.