POTSDAM, N.Y. — Union didn’t work as hard against Clarkson on Saturday like it did Friday against St. Lawrence. That prevented the Dutchmen from sweeping the North Country trip for the second straight year. The Dutchmen managed just 20 shots on goal and got only one power-play attempt in their 4-1 ECAC loss to the Golden Knights at Cheel Arena.
It was Clarkson’s first win over Union at Cheel since the 1998-99 season. The Dutchmen had won the last three meetings here.
“We got outworked,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “There’s no excuse, we got outworked. They were winning the races to the loose pucks. We were too much of a poke-and-go team tonight and not going through men, and they played a lot more desperate than we did.
“We’re a team that [has] to bring your ‘A’ game every night for us to be successful. Twice we haven’t brought our ‘A’ game. Twice we’ve paid the price for it.”
Union (6-2-1, 1-1-0 ECAC) was a perfect 1-for-1 on the power play. But the Dutchmen didn’t get a power-play attempt after the first period.
“That was kind of mysterious,” Leaman said. “[But] it’s part of not working hard enough. You work hard enough, you’re going to get the calls. We got a stick on us tonight, and we stopped our feet.”
The Dutchmen were fortunate to escape the first period tied, 1-1. They didn’t have much flow, and their play in the defensive end was lackluster at best. They didn’t get their first shot on goal until 7:15 into the game. At that point, Clarkson (4-2-2, 1-1-0) had four shots.
“There were some points when they had the momentum going in their corner,” Union defenseman Brent Booth said. “They were taking the body on us. It seemed like they were hitting us more than we were hitting them.”
Union took a 1-0 lead on Brent Williams’ power-play goal at 7:38. Mac Faulkner tied it just over six minutes later when he beat goalie Kris Mayotte from close range. Max Seel had a chance to give Union the lead with 8:22 left in the second period, but goalie Dustin Traylen stopped his breakaway attempt.
A few minutes later, a giveaway by Jonathan Poirier nearly led to a Clarkson goal. Jean Desrochers intercepted Poirier’s centering pass in the slot. His shot beat Mayotte, but it hit the crossbar.
The Knights did get the tiebreaking goal late in the second when Trevor Edwards fired a shot past Mayotte. Brian Kerr had a chance to tie the score with just over a minute left on a two-on-one break. But his redirect of a Jordan Webb pass just missed the open right side of the net.
Chris Blight sealed Clarkson’s win with two late third-period goals, including one into an empty net.
“I honestly thought that, for 60 minutes, we played a very good game,” Clarkson coach George Roll said. “We were solid in just about every facet. Our effort was there.”
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.