TROY, N.Y. — Rensselaer used a four-goal second period and then held off No. 14 Clarkson, 4-3, before 4,267 fans at the Houston Field House. The Engineers, who got a goal and an assist from freshman forward Kurt Colling, improve to 10-10-3 overall and 4-3-3 in league play. The Golden Knights are now 12-8-2 overall with a 5-4-1 ECACHL record.
The Golden Knights jumped out to an early lead when sophomore Nick Dodge tallied at 3:15 of the first period. Off a pass from behind the net by junior Mike Sullivan, Dodge found the puck through traffic and scored past the left side of RPI freshman netminder Mathias Lange.
The Engineers broke out offensively in the second frame with four goals. Senior defenseman Keith MCWilliams started the flurry, wristing a shot from the blue line past screened Clarkson goalie Kyle McNulty at the 5:10 mark. He was fed the puck by junior Ryan Swanson, who earned the primary assist while Seth Klerer earned the secondary.
Sophomore Dan Peace put the Engineers ahead 6:33 later when he took a pass from Colling and scored from the slot. Colling started the scoring play when he stripped the puck from a Clarkson player in neutral ice and then threaded the pass through two Clarkson defenders to Peace.
Two power-play goals put the Engineers up 4-1. Colling made it 3-1 at 14:09 when he scored from the right of the net after the shot rebounded to him. The play started when Jake Luthi took a shot from the blueline. After McNulty made the save the puck bounced over to Colling who found space to put the puck in.
“Colling had a heck of a game for us,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “And Peace played well and our defense played well. They came with pressure.”
Freshman Reed Kipp got the eventual game-winner with just 43 seconds left in the period. His second of the season was scored after he took a pass from Keith MCWilliams at the blueline and scored through traffic for a 4-1 lead.
Clarkson stormed back with two goals on 16 shots in the third period. Sophomore David Cayer pulled the Golden Knights to within two when his shot from the far boards bounced through traffic at the 12:24 mark. Less than two minutes later, Sullivan made it 4-3 score when he put the puck in off a scramble in front from the right side of the net. Dodge, who also assisted on Cayer’s goal, and Cayer, who helped set up the Knights’ first goal, earned the helpers.
“They had us on the run in the third,” said Fridgen. “They got a flukey goal, but we hung on and overall it was a great team win. The guys should be proud and in the end, Matty kept us in there.”
Lange finished with 29 saves in the RPI net, including 14 in the third period, to improve his personal record to 9-8-3. McNulty recorded 30 saves in the loss for Clarkson, which was 0-for-5 on the power play. Rensselaer finished 2-for-11 with the man-advantage.
The injury bug continues to bit the Engineers as two more Engineers went down. Tyler Eaves left the game early in the first period with an ankle injury and then Kevin Broad was injured in the second period going after a puck in the Clarkson zone. The Engineers started the game without their two captains and two other seniors. Kevin Croxton remained out of the lineup, Brad Farynuk got hurt against St. Lawrence on Friday night. Mark Yurkewecz and Alexander Valentin have both been out for extended time.
Rensselaer returns to action next weekend when it travels to ECACHL foes Brown (Friday) and Yale (Saturday). Clarkson is also in action next weekend when it travels to Colgate and Cornell. All four games begin at 7pm.