POTSDAM, N.Y. — Senior Paul Kilfoy’s first goal of the season was the difference as the Union defense, along with solid goaltending from Brandon Snee, helped the Dutchmen come from behind and win their second straight game at Cheel Arena, 2-1, over Clarkson on Friday.
“One of the plays we have is we try to bring it up low,” said Kilfoy. “[Jeff Wilson] gave me a great pass. I went in, and I meant to go five-hole, their guy hooked and it hit his pads, and the rebound came back to me. It’s a good feeling.”
The goal was only the second collegiate goal for Kilfoy.
“I thought [Clarkson] played hard, and it was a good college hockey game,” Union coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I thought it was a very defensive battle. I’m real proud of our guys. I didn’t think we gave them too many grade A opportunities, and when we did Brandon was there to make the save.
“We played a lot more disciplined tonight, from a systems standpoint. We didn’t take any really dumb penalties. I’m proud of our guys tonight. It’s three games in a row where we’ve played real disciplined.”
Both teams came out of the gate skating well, and for the first few minutes play was back-and-forth. However Clarkson jumped out to the early lead at 7:08 in the first.
A penalty to Union’s Ales Havlik for obstruction-interference gave the Golden Knights the man advantage at 5:59, and Clarkson (13-9-3, 8-5-2 ECAC) made it count. The puck cycled to defenseman Kerry Ellis-Toddington at the blue line, and Ellis-Toddington put the puck on net. Snee made the initial save, but could not control the rebound, and David Evans was on the doorstep to recover the rebound and put Clarkson in front 1-0.
Union (10-12-3, 6-8-1 ECAC) bounced back from the early deficit in the second period, as senior Clark Jones picked up only his second goal of the season. Just 28 seconds into the frame, Jones took a rebound from in front of goaltender Mike Walsh and put it home, tying the game at 1.
The game-winner for the Dutchmen came late in the same period. Kilfoy got the puck at the blue line, and skated into the Clarkson zone unobstructed. Walsh saved his first shot, but the rebound bounced back out to Kilfoy’s stick, and he lifted the puck past the prone netminder for a 2-1 lead.
“I think the only time we created a lot of traffic was on the power play where David Evans knocked in a rebound,” said Clarkson coach Mark Morris. “They did a great job picking us up, and they were gritty in their own zone. We never really got to the net. Credit Union, they played a good game.”
The power play was the only offense for Clarkson, as the Golden Knights went 1-for-2 with the extra man, while Union only had one shot at the power play, but failed to capitalize.
Goaltending was big for both teams as Snee stopped 23 shots in the win for Union, while Walsh came up with 18 saves and allowed both goals. Walsh was pulled in favor of the extra attacker late in the third period, but the Golden Knights were unable to cash in.
Speculation surrounds the co-captains for Clarkson, as both Kent Huskins and Don Smith left the game with injuries. Both are questionable for Saturday’s game, as Huskins left with a sprained shoulder, while Smith had a twisted ankle.
Union travels to Canton, N.Y., on Saturday to face St. Lawrence, while Rensselaer heads to Potsdam to take on Clarkson.