POTSDAM, N.Y. — Clarkson looked dead in the water after one period of play Saturday night. The Golden Knights fell behind 3-0 to St. Lawrence after just 19:15 of play before 3,695 fans at Cheel Arena. Clarkson turned the momentum in their favor partway through the second period, however, and fueled a comeback that culminated in an overtime victory.
The Saints struck first with 12:06 remaining in the first period. Junior Kevin DeVergilio got off a shot while falling to the ice and beat senior goalie David Leggio. DeVergilio was able to fire his shot on goal despite being contested by junior defenseman Adam Bellows.
“I thought we played a great seven, eight opening minutes, had some good chances to get the lead, but they came down and made a nice play on a one-on-one where a guy beat him and kind of changed the momentum of the game,” said Clarkson head coach George Roll.
St. Lawrence picked up their second goal just over five minutes later when junior Matt Generous poked the puck past Leggio following a scrum in front of the net.
With forty-five seconds remaining in the opening period, sophomore Alex Curran got the final tally on a breakaway after beating junior defenseman Tyrell Mason. The Saints finished the period with an 11-10 advantage in shots and an even larger margin in momentum.
Clarkson was able to redeem one goal in the second period on freshman Tom Pizzo’s first collegiate tally. Pizzo collected a loose puck in the left face-off circle and dispensed the puck just inside the right post, beating sophomore netminder Alex Petizian.
The Golden Knights kept the momentum shift going, opening the third period with a power-play goal to pull themselves to within one. Sophomore Tim Marks, camped out on the right post, collected a pass from classmate Matt Beca to close the margin to 3-2 with 18:14 to play.
“I think the big thing was we didn’t want to think we had to sit on [the lead]. You have to expect a team that good is going to counter, they got some energy going on a couple power plays and that was the difference. They were oh-for on the [power play], you knew eventually that they were going to come out of it; they’re just too good of a power-play team,” said St. Lawrence head coach Joe Marsh.
Despite surrendering three first-period goals, Leggio played a large roll in keeping the Saints’ offense in check the rest of the way. Leggio made a sprawling pad save on freshman Aaron Bogosian halfway through the final frame.
“David made the saves he had to make, especially on the breakaway there when we were on the power play; that was a huge save to give us the momentum to keep it going. He stood tall when we needed him,” said Roll.
Senior Steve Zalewski knotted the contest at 3-3 with 6:47 to play on a St. Lawrence turnover. Zalewski picked up a loose puck between the circles but had his initial shot blocked by Petizian. The assistant captain quickly collected the rebound with a backhand and flipped the puck past Petizian with a forehand attempt.
With 5:19 remaining, following a flurry in front of the net, freshman Lauri Tuohimaa collected his first career goal with a poke past Petizian.
Clarkson looked in control the rest of the way, thwarting any attempt by the Saints to tie the game. With 37.8 seconds on the clock, however, senior Charlie Giffin fired a shot from the point for his third tally of the season to tie the game at four apiece.
St. Lawrence made the first mistake of the overtime session when junior Shawn Fensel was whistled for holding. The Golden Knights capitalized on the opportunity just fifty-one seconds later when Zalewski sent a puck through the crease and junior Chris D’Alvise put the puck home to push Clarkson past their rivals.
“These types of losses, as much as they stink, can really bring a team together. I think you get tighter as a club out of necessity in games like this, maybe more than in wins,” reflected Marsh.
Clarkson, who outshot the Saints 16-6 over the course of the third and overtime period, moved to 3-1-0 on the season overall and 1-0-0 in ECAC play. St. Lawrence, meanwhile, dropped to 2-2-0 on the season and 0-1-0 in c