HAMILTON, N.Y. — Clarkson goaltender Mike Walsh recorded his third straight shutout of Colgate, as the visiting Golden Knights blanked the Raiders 3-0 at Starr Rink on Saturday.
The Raiders appeared to find the key to Walsh midway through the second period when defenseman Rob Brown crashed the net and chipped a rebound of an Adam Mitchell shot over the Clarkson netminder.
But referee Scott Hansen, who was calling a delayed penalty against the Knights, ruled that a defender had briefly controlled the puck before the goal had been scored. Instead of cutting a then 2-0 Clarkson lead in half, the home team had to settle for a power play.
“In [Hansen's] mind, he is absolutely, 100% correct,” said a perturbed Colgate coach Don Vaughan. “He said that, in his mind, the kid had possession of the puck. Unbelievable. Turning point in the game, in my opinion. I thought we had some pretty good play right up to that point, and he takes it away on us. But in his mind, he’s right. He thinks he made the right call.”
On the ensuing power play, Clarkson further buried any momentum Colgate may have been developing. After a bouncing puck eluded Mitchell at the Golden Knights’ blue line, Trevor Edwards scooped up the loose puck and beat sprawling Raider goaltender David Cann for a shorthanded goal.
“[Trevor]‘s been playing really well,” said Clarkson head coach Fred Parker. “For the last four or five games he’s been a real consistent performer, and he just keeps getting better and better.”
The tally gave the visitors a three-goal cushion, which they would not relinquish. Walsh fended off all 21 shots he faced, including seven in the final period, to earn his fifth win of the season.
“I thought he played pretty well,” said Parker. “We played a good team game in front of him, and eliminated the chances against him. When he was tested, he was solid.”
Clarkson found the net early in the first period by taking advantage of an odd-man rush. Cann stretched out to make a tough right pad save on Edwards, but an uncovered Matt Syroczynski jammed the rebound home for his third goal on the year.
“Well, Matt’s been playing better too,” added Parker, “and normally when he scores we do pretty well in the game.”
Colgate failed to convert on six power-play chances throughout the game, despite generating eight shots with the extra skater.
“I didn’t think we got inside much,” said Vaughan. “We didn’t really hang around, and weren’t able to get the rebounds. And we missed the net a lot tonight. I don’t know what that is. Guys were open, guys had clear shots, and they just sailed it wide. I was just asking them to hit the goalie with the puck. You have got to make the goalie make a save if you want to get a rebound.”
Clarkson added to the lead seven minutes in to the second period. Defenseman Chris Brekelmans walked untested inside the left circle and fired a low blast through Cann’s legs and into the net to give the Golden Knights a two-goal edge.
After the deflation of the disallowed goal, however, the Raiders could not find a way to penetrate the stifling Clarkson defense, as the visitors cruised the rest of the way.
“It’s the worst-case scenario,” said Vaughan. “You go from making the game 2-1 to five seconds later having it be 3-0. It’s unfortunate, it really is. The game’s all about momentum, and it certainly went back and forth, but their opportunities went in and ours did not … except for the one that went in but didn’t count, I guess.”
Clarkson’s victory extended its streak against Colgate, as the Knights have not suffered defeat to the Raiders since 2000. The Knights will host Union on Friday, while the Raiders play the first of a home-and-home series with rival Cornell on Thursday night.