POTSDAM, N.Y. — Clarkson scored four goals in the first period and never looked back, as the Golden Knights’ tough defense allowed one goal in a 6-1 win over Princeton in front of 2,957 fans at Cheel Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Rob McFeeters capped off a stellar weekend of play, picking up two goals and an assist in the game to bring his weekend point total to five. Marc Garceau, Matt Poapst and Don Smith each had a goal and an assist in the contest.
“We had an outburst in the early going and it took [Princeton] out of the game,” said Clarkson coach Mark Morris. “Our guys gained confidence as the game wore on. We expected them to be sharp especially after last night’s performance, but the early goals defused their offense.”
Clarkson wasted little time in getting on the score sheet, picking up where they left off from the night before. Garceau broke the scoreless tie just 5:06 into the first period, when he recovered a rebound from goaltender Nate Nomeland and shot it high into the net, giving the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.
A little over a minute later, Tristan Lush got the second goal of the game when he took a rebound off a Chris Bahen shot and put it low on the left side of Nomeland.
The Golden Knights showed little sign of letting up, as the third goal of the period came at the 9:46 mark. McFeeters had taken the original shot, and the puck bounced off of Nomeland and out to Poapst. Poapst took the shot down low in front of the goal and beat Nomeland, making it a 3-0 game.
The fourth goal of the period came with just over a minute left as McFeeters got his first goal of the game. Kevin O’Flaherty passed the puck from behind Nomeland to McFeeters, and McFeeters was able to beat the netminder to put Clarkson ahead 4-0.
Things settled down in the second period as Princeton began to generate some offensive chances while fighting off the Clarkson attack. However, Clarkson scored the lone goal of the period at the 16:03 mark.
Don Smith dropped the puck for Garceau as he skated into the zone. Garceau skated along the left side of the ice and then centered the puck back to Smith, who was able to beat Nomeland before he was able to close the five-hole, making the score 5-0.
In the third period, McFeeters picked up the lone Clarkson goal, as he put the rebound of a Poapst shot past Nomeland to give the Golden Knights a commanding 6-0 lead.
Princeton picked up its only goal of the evening at the 8:42 mark of the third frame. Kirk Lamb had the puck low along the boards and skated toward the net. He took a floating shot that beat goaltender Mike Walsh between the post and his right arm.
Unlike the night before for Clarkson, the game was riddled with penalties, 10 called against the Golden Knights and 11 against the Tigers. Neither team capitalized on the man advantage, as both teams went 0-for-7. Princeton could not capitalize on a 5-on-3 opportunity it had late in the game.
With the lone Princeton goal, the Tigers snapped any chance for Mike Walsh to pick up his second shutout in a row. Going back to the St. Lawrence game on Tuesday, Walsh had played a total of 112 minutes, 12 seconds without allowing a goal. On the night, Walsh turned aside 21 shots, while Nomeland allowed six goals and stopped 25 shots.
Next week, Princeton will host the Central New York combination of Cornell and Colgate, while Clarkson will play host to Capital District foes Union and Rensselaer.