POTSDAM, N.Y. — Freshman right wing Matt Beca scored his second goal of the game with 3.3 seconds remaining in regulation to enable Clarkson to salvage a 3-3 overtime tie with Rensselaer in ECACHL action before 3,159 fans at Cheel Arena on Saturday night.
The Golden Knights, who own a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1), stand in second place in the ECACHL, owning a 12-4-4 league mark with two games remaining. Ranked ninth in the nation, Clarkson owns a 20-7-5 overall record and will close out the regular season at Princeton and Quinnipiac next weekend.
With junior goaltender David Leggio pulled for the extra attacker and skating on its ninth power play of the night, Clarkson sent the home crowd into frenzy when Beca scored his 10th goal of the season during a wild scramble in front to tie the game. Junior linemates Shawn Weller and Steve Zalewski assisted on the goal, which came while the Knights had a 6-on-4 advantage.
Clarkson had several excellent chances to pull out the win in the five-minute overtime, holding a 2-0 shot advantage, but could not come up the fourth goal.
Trailing 2-1 late in the contest, Rensselaer, which spent the majority of the game killing penalties, made the most of two power-play opportunities in the final five minutes of regulation to take the lead.
Senior Kirk MacDonald scored his 10th goal of the season to tie the game 2-2 at 15:33 while the Engineers were on a two-man advantage. Sophomores Seth Klerer and Andrei Uryadov assisted. Just 20 seconds later RPI took a 3-2 lead with another power-play tally, this time from freshman Paul Kerins off assists from junior Jake Morissette and sophomore Kurt Colling.
RPI got on the scoreboard first when senior center Oren Eizenman tallied his eighth goal, redirecting a shot from the point by rookie defenseman Peter Merth at 14:49 of the opening period. Klerer also assisted.
Clarkson came right back to tie it 79 seconds later on junior captain Nick Dodge’s team-high 16th goal of the year. The Knights’ leading scorer, Dodge won a puck along the boards and skated into the slot where he lifted in a backhand past Engineer sophomore goaltender Mathias Lange. Junior David Cayer and sophomore defenseman Adam Bellows earned the assists.
Six straight power plays, including two lengthy two-man advantages, gave the Knights plenty of opportunities to take the lead in the second.
After struggling through their first four power-plays in the stanza, Clarkson finally connected for the go-ahead goal midway through the frame, at 11:36. Skating on the Knights’ second two-man opportunity of the period, Beca knocked in a rebound off sophomore Chris D’Alvise. Sophomore Shea Guthrie also assisted.
Both teams had 32 shots on goal. Clarkson finished 2-of-9 on the power play, while the Engineers were 2-of-5 with the man advantage.