POTSDAM, N.Y. — It wasn’t a very pretty game and it was worse for the Rensselaer Engineers. The Engineers dropped a 4-1 decision to engineering rival Clarkson at Cheel Arena on Friday night.
The game did not feature many shots, and a penalty-filled end to the contest only added fuel to the fire of the rematch between the two in February for the Big Red Freakout.
With the loss, the Engineers fall to 7-7-2 (2-4-2 ECAC). Clarkson goes to 8-7-3 (4-0-2) and remains the lone undefeated team in the league.
“Our game seems to be sharper than it was in the first half,” said Clarkson head coach Mark Morris. “They’re more confident in themselves and we know we can produce and get a goal here or there.”
The Golden Knights had a five-on-three advantage as Eric Cavosie and Steve Munn were in the box for the Engineers and Kerry Ellis-Toddington’s wrist shot found a space between Nathan Marsters’ blocker and the right post for the goal and the 1-0 lead.
The Engineers would tie it when Steve Munn led a rush up the far side of the ice and dished it off to Marc Cavosie. Cavosie found Vic Pereira, who had just come out of the penalty box, for the open net and the tie score.
But the Golden Knights regained the one-goal lead when Marsters tried to dive to cover a puck up in front of the crease, only to see Adam Campana dive and chip the puck over Marsters to make it 2-1 Clarkson.
In the third period, the Knights made it 3-1 on the power play when Scuderi wristed one from the blueline and Kevin O’Flaherty got a soft tip and put it past Marsters.
Then the Knights made it 4-1 when Matt Syroczynski muscled his way past Blake Pickett and scored.
“We come out in the second and tie it up and then they got one back, and going into the third we had a chance to win the hockey game,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “We come out in the third down one goal and we take a penalty. It was a weak shot from the point. You have to make that save.
“Then we just got outmuscled on the puck and they got that fourth goal.”
Nathan Marsters made 19 saves for the Engineers while Mike Walsh made 21 for the Golden Knights, including a point-blank stoning of Nolan Graham to preserve the 2-1 lead.
“Top notch, he was tonight,” said Morris of Walsh’s play. “In the early going he made some key saves for us and we didn’t give up many opportunities.”
“We had some good opportunities to score some goals, but it’s just not happening right now. Your big scorers need to get some goals and you have to make some saves.”
The Golden Knights were 2-of-4 on the power play while the Engineers were 0-for-2.
“Those are situations that are out of your control,” said Fridgen. “From a team perspective we needed to play a little smarter, as far as getting into penalty trouble, they’re already up a man, you have to be very, very careful.”
Clarkson is still without the services of Jay Latulippe, whose back is still bothering him, and the Knights lost Rob McFeeters tonight with a knee injury. According to Morris, he may be lost for the season.
The Knights will host Union on Saturday evening looking for a weekend sweep, while the Engineers travel to St. Lawrence as both teams try to get points on the weekend.