POTSDAM, N.Y. — Sophomore center Steve Zalewski scored two goals and classmate Grant Clitsome added a goal and two assists to lead Clarkson University to a 6-4 exhibition win over the U.S. Under-18 team at Cheel Arena on Saturday night.
The Golden Knights built a 5-1 lead early into the third period and then held off a late rally by Team USA to gain its second exhibition win of the weekend.
Hampered by two early penalties, Clarkson was slow to generate offense in the opening half of the first period. The Knights soon got on track, however, and capitalized on their second power-play opportunity of the stanza. Zalewski put Clarkson on the scoreboard when he chipped in a rebound from the top of the crease at 16:23.
The Knights opened the second with a flurry, scoring three times in less than three minutes to grab a 4-1 lead. Junior defenseman Michael Grenzy started the outburst by scoring off a rebound in the slot at 3:17. Senior Jeff Genovy tipped in a shot from the point by freshman blueliner Philippe Paquet just as a Clarkson power play ended at 5:01, and sophomore Shawn Weller tallied with the man advantage at 5:53 to give Clarkson a commanding three-goal margin.
Team USA got its first score of the game at 12:15, a power-play marker by Kevin Montgomery.
The Knights took a 5-1 lead early in the third as Clitsome recorded his third point of the game with a goal just two seconds after a Clarkson power-play chance came to an end at 4:53.
Team USA made things uncomfortable for the Knights with three unanswered goals in a span of 6:55. Luke Popko tallied the visitors’ second goal at 6:11. The U.S. Under-18 Team cut the deficit to two goals with Patrick Kane’s wrap-around score at 8:58, and then pulled to within one as Rhett Rakhshani got a shot through a screen at 14:06.
Zalewski put an end to Team USA’s surge when he one-time a pass from Shea Guthrie one second after a power play ended to give Clarkson a two-goal cushion.