POTSDAM, N.Y. — Clarkson and Harvard scored three goals combined in the first 10 minutes in what proved to be the only scoring action of the game between the ECAC foes. The Crimson outshot the Golden Knights, 26-22, but was unable to make more than one count before 2,643 at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson looked well on their way early, scoring just one minute into play. Senior defensemen Grant Clitsome fired a shot from the point and had it deflect off of freshman netminder Kyle Richter. Sophomore Matt Beca collected the rebound and flipped it past Richters right side for an early 1-0 advantage.
We wanted to get pucks on net, be patient down-low, they play a man-on-man system and we know with our forwards were going to get opportunities and beat them down-low, said Clarkson head coach George Roll.
Harvard knotted the game at one three-and-a-half minutes later on a tipped shot in traffic while on the power play. Sophomore Alex Biega fired a shot from the point only to have it deflected by senior teammate Alex Meintel right in front of senior goalie David Leggio. Leggio was unable to recover on the redirection as the puck found the net for the equalizer.
The Knights broke through with the winning goal with 10:31 still to play in the opening period. Senior Steve Zalewski worked hard against the Harvard defense on the right side, working the puck to the right post where he sent a pass in front of Richter and through the crease. Sophomore Tim Marks was the last man with a chance at a shot on net and was able to flip the puck home for a 2-1 mark, his second tally of the young season.
I thought the first period they had a little extra jump, they came out and did a good job on their fore-check and got pucks to the net, said Roll.
Harvard had perhaps their best chance to tie the game come in the second period on a play by junior forward Nick Coskren. Coskren beat freshman defenseman Bryan Rufenach along the boards in the neutral zone and skated in on Leggio with Rufenach trailing. Coskren was stopped cold by a sprawling Leggio who made the save to his right to preserve the lead.
We had a tough time getting that second goal, we probably gave them their first two goals a little easier than we would have liked, reflected Harvard head coach Ted Donato.
The Crimson had another solid opportunity with 6:33 to play in the third period, finding themselves on the power play due to a holding penalty on junior defensemen Tyrell Mason. The Crimson was unable to convert however as they went 1-for-5 on the man-advantage for the night. The Knights, on the other hand, were held scoreless on the power play but were able to muster enough offense otherwise.
I think both teams had good chances, both goal tenders made some big saves, neither power play got great opportunities, said Donato. I was very impressed with the way Kyle Richter played; he made some saves and gave us a chance to stay in the game.
Clarkson welcomes Dartmouth Saturday night who defeated St. Lawrence 2-1 in other ECAC action. Harvard will consequently trade places and face the Saints at Appleton Arena in their Saturday night matchup.