POTSDAM, N.Y. — Junior Mike Sullivan scored both Clarkson University goals as the Golden Knights defeated Princeton University, 2-1, in Game 1 of the ECAC Hockey League first-round series at Cheel Arena Friday night. Clarkson (17-15-3) and the Tigers (10-17-3) will face off on Saturday night in Game 2 of the best-of-three game series.
After a scoreless first period, Clarkson took the initial lead in the contest early in the second. Sullivan knocked in his own rebound at the top of the crease at 5:20 after sophomore linemates David Cayer and Nick Dodge worked the puck free from the corner and centered it out to the slot. Sullivan was able to poke his second shot past Princeton senior goaltender Eric Leroux.
The Tigers came back at 11:19 to make it 1-1 when sophomore Kyle Hagel scored on Princeton’s third power play of the game. Hagel tallied his fifth of the season on a quick wrist shot from the left circle after junior Grant Goeckner-Zoeller won a faceoff in the Clarkson end. The Knights had an opportunity to take the lead going into the second with a 2-on-1 rush, but junior Max Kolu’s shot rang off the crossbar.
Sullivan came through with the game-winner at 6:27 of the third period during a four-on-four situation. Sullivan took a high pass off the glass by freshman defenseman Tyrell Mason and snapped in a wrist shot from the right circle over the glove hand of Leroux for his 14th goal of the season and third goal in as many games.
Princeton pulled Leroux for the extra attacker with 71 seconds remaining in regulation, but the Knights, behind some key defensive zone faceoff wins by Dodge, were able to hold off the Tigers.
Princeton outshot Clarkson, 24-19, but sophomore David Leggio, making his seventh consecutive start in the Knights’ goal, posted 23 saves to earn his 10th win of the year. Leggio’s biggest stop of the night came 1:31 into the second when he robbed Goeckner-Zoeller, Princeton’s leading scorer, with a glove save in tight. Leroux finished with 17 stops. Clarkson was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Princeton was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.