MANKATO, Minn. — Clarkson gained a split in its weekend series in Mankato, Minnesota by hanging on to defeat Minnesota State University Mankato 5-4 Saturday before a crowd of 2,715 at the Midwest Wireless Civic Center. On Friday, the Golden Knights lost to the Mavericks 6-3. Clarkson, with a 6-6-3 overall record, returns to Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) play next weekend at Rensselaer and Union.
Sophomore Kevin O’Flaherty and senior Don Smith, who earned First and Third Stars respectively in Saturday’s game, each scored two goals as the Knights snapped the Mavericks’
five-game winning streak.
Smith opened the scoring at 5:35 of the first as he one-timed a pass in the slot from junior David Evans. MSU tied the game at 15:07 and then scored 28 seconds into the second frame to grab a 2-1 advantage.
The Knights’ offense than kicked into gear with three unanswered goals as Clarkson built a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes. O’Flaherty started the Knights’ outburst flipping in a rebound off a shot from junior defenseman Kerry Ellis-Toddington, while the Green and Gold were on the power play at 2:49.
Just over a minute and a half later, Smith picked up his second goal of the game, tipping in a shot by sophomore blueliner Chris Bahen at the top of the crease.
Ellis-Toddington closed out the scoring in the second frame when his shot from the point trickled in off the goaltender’s glove and over the goal line at 16:32.
At 2:21 of the third, O’Flaherty tallied his second power play goal of the game to make it 5-2.
The Knights had a chance to add to their lead with a two-man advantage on the powerplay at 8:25, but could not covert. The Mavericks rallied from their penalty kill and scored their third goal at 10:55, and then made it 5-4 with a power play marker at 16:10. Clarkson, however, held off the MSU threat to hang on for the one-goal victory.
Clarkson was 2-of-7 on the power play, while MSU was 2-of-6. The Knights outshot the Mavericks 27-23. Junior Shawn Grant posted 19 saves to record his sixth win of the season between the pipes