POTSDAM, N.Y. — Junior defenseman Michael Grenzy’s first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner, as Clarkson University defeated Harvard University 4-3 before 2,500 fans at Cheel Arena in ECACHL action between two of the top teams in the conference on Friday night.
Grenzy tallied on the power play midway through the second period to give the Golden Knights a 4-2 lead, and junior Kyle McNulty posted 14 of his 30 saves in the third period to hold off the Crimson as Clarkson snapped a four-game losing streak to Harvard.
Ranked 19th in the nation and tied for third in the ECACHL entering the weekend, Clarkson, which won its fourth straight game and is 7-1-1 since late October, improved its record to 9-3-1overall and to 5-1-1 in the league. Harvard, ranked 14th in the nation and tied for first in the league prior to Friday, saw its five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) come to an end as it fell to 6-3-1 overall and to 5-3 in the ECACHL.
Clarkson came out strong to start the game and grabbed a quick 1-0 lead at 3:15 on sophomore defenseman Grant Clitsome’s shorthanded marker off assists from classmate Nick Dodge and junior Brodie Rutherglen. Clitsome took a pass from Dodge at the top of the circles and wristed in his second goal of the season.
The leading rookie scorer in the ECACHL, freshman Shea Guthrie put the Knights on top 2-0 with his sixth goal of the year, off an assist from sophomore Shawn Weller at 13:58.
Harvard took the wind out of Clarkson’s sails late in the first period with a pair of goals scored four-on-four 40 seconds apart. Junior defenseman Dylan Reese scored on a shot from the point which found its way through traffic in front for his second goal of the year at 17:33. Senior blueline partner Tom Walsh assisted.
The Crimson came right back at 18:13 as junior Ryan Maki finished off a passing combination from freshman Brian McCafferty and sophomore Paul Dufault to tie the game.
Clarkson used its potent power play to regain control in the second period, scoring twice in the opening 13 minutes of the stanza to hold a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes. Senior Jeff Genovy one-timed a pass from Dodge for his fifth goal of the season at 1:45. Freshman Chris D’Alvise also set up the power-play marker. At 12:22, Grenzy picked up his first goal of the year as he one-timed a pass from Rutherglen from the point to give the Green and Gold a two-goal lead. D’Alvise recorded his second assist of the game.
Harvard made it a one-goal game 5:00 into the third as junior Steve Mandes scored at the top of the crease off of sophomore Mike Taylor’s assist. The Crimson continued to pressure throughout the period, but the Knights, behind steady goaltending from McNulty and strong penalty-kill play, were able to hold off Harvard. Dodge, who won 16 of 27 face offs, was especially strong on draws in the final minutes when he won four straight in the defensive zone while the Crimson had the extra attacker on after pulling junior goaltender Justin Tobe with 48 seconds remaining.
Clarkson was 2-of-6 on the power play while Harvard was 0-of-6 with the man advantage. Both teams had 33 shots on goal. Senior John Daigneau started in the Crimson net and posted 20 aves while allowing all four goals through 40 minutes. Tobe played the final period for Harvard and finished with nine stops.