POTSDAM, N.Y. — Clarkson utilized two first-period tallies to get past Providence 2-0 Saturday night before 2,599 at Cheel Arena. It looked as though the Golden Knights were going to easily handle the Friars after scoring early, but Providence tightened up the defense the rest of the way to keep the Clarkson offense in check.
“I think it was a little bit them and a little bit us; they worked hard, you have to give them credit, they came and played hard for 60 minutes,” said Clarkson head coach George Roll, “But I thought we turned the puck over, again, got into a little too much one-on-one stuff. That’s a credit to them too, but we played into that.”
Junior Shea Guthrie put the Knights ahead to stay just 2:47 into play. Classmate Dan Tuttle collected the puck at Clarkson’s own blueline and found Guthrie on a two-line pass. Guthrie harnessed the puck and skated in on goal with no one to face but senior goalie Tyler Sims. Guthrie faked to the five-hole before flipping a backhander past Sims’ right side for the eventual game-winner.
The Friars nearly knotted the score with under six minutes to play when freshman Kyle MacKinnon hit the left pipe from the right faceoff circle.
Clarkson added an insurance tally with 4:13 remaining in the opening period on a Providence defensive mishap. With sophomore Tim Marks in the box for hitting from behind, the Knights found themselves shorthanded and defending their one-goal margin.
Clarkson sophomore Matt Beca got his stick on the puck when Providence attempted to pass out of the defensive zone. After the puck deflected high into the air, Beca settled the bouncing puck and found senior Steve Zalewski on the left side where he poked the puck past Sims.
That would prove to be all Clarkson needed as neither team lit the lamp the rest of the way. Both teams picked up two penalties each, but were unable to capitalize on the man advantage.
Clarkson’s defensive play was vital throughout the game. Most importantly was senior netminder David Leggio between the pipes, as Providence outshot the Knights 19-10 in the second and third periods combined.
Clarkson did not allow Providence to convert on any of its three power plays and has yet to allow a power-play goal this season.
“Obviously our power play, I thought that was maybe the best part of our game. We didn’t give them a sniff on their power play,” said Roll.
Clarkson moved to 2-1-0 on the young season while the Friars wrapped up an unsuccessful trip to the North Country and fell to 0-2-0. Clarkson opens ECACHL play next weekend against St. Lawrence while Providence begins Hockey East play at Northeastern.