POTSDAM, N.Y. — Making his first career start in the Harvard Crimson goal, sophomore Justin Tobe posted 27 saves to backbone Harvard to a 3-2 victory over Clarkson before 1,928 fans at Cheel Arena Saturday night.
Tobe, who played at Michigan State two years ago before playing in the USHL last season, posted 20 of his saves over the final 40 minutes to lead the Crimson to their fifth win in their last six games. Harvard, which lost at St. Lawrence 4-2 on Friday, improved its record to 5-3-1 overall and to 3-3-1 in the ECACHL. The Golden Knights, who lost their third straight, fall to 3-9-1 overall and to 1-5-1 in the league.
Harvard took advantage of early Clarkson penalty troubles to start the scoring when junior Charlie Johnson knocked in a rebound off a shot by senior Andrew Lederman while the Crimson were on a 5-on-3 power play at 5:34 of the first. The Crimson extended their lead to 2-0 early in the middle frame with another power-play goal. Senior defenseman Noah Welch one-timed a pass from sophomore Dylan Reese with a slap shot from the top of the left circle for his third goal of the year, at 6:36.
Clarkson, which controlled play in the second period, outshooting Harvard 13-3, finally got on the scoreboard with a pair of goals 31 seconds apart early in the third period to tie the game. Freshman Steve Zalewski tallied his second goal of the weekend and fifth of the season, redirecting a shot from the point by classmate Grant Clitsome at 1:44. Freshman Shawn Weller also assisted. At 2:15, sophomore defenseman Michael Grenzy evened the contest with his first goal of the season when his shot in front deflected off a Harvard defenseman. Freshmen Matt Isbister and David Cayer set up the score.
Senior Tom Cavanagh, the Crimson’s leading scorer, who help set up the first two Harvard scores, netted the gamewinner at 7:49, connecting off an assist from freshman Mike Taylor in front for his team-high fifth goal of the season.
Clarkson out shot Harvard 29-18, including a 22-10 margin over the last two periods. Junior Dustin Traylen made 15 saves for the Knights. The Crimson were 2-of-7 on the power play, while Clarkson was 0-of-5 on the man-advantage.