BOSTON — In Friday night’s battle at the Bright Hockey Center, visiting Clarkson brought a band, a crowd and a pair of Zarbos.
Harvard came empty-handed and fared accordingly.
Sophomore wing Joe Zarbo earned his first career hat trick and added an assist, brother Matt had a helper and seniors Andrew Himelson and Adam Pawlick also lit the lamp for the Golden Knights (5-12-6, 4-5-2 ECAC) in the 5-1 win. Rookie goalie Greg Lewis made 30 saves for his fifth career win.
The Crimson (5-12-1, 3-10-0) went 0-for-6 on the power play, with freshman sensation Jimmy Vesey scoring their lone goal early in the opening period. Junior Raphael Girard stopped 34 shots in defeat.
Vesey opened the scoring early, burying a Colin Blackwell rebound for his eighth of the year. The Crimson dominated play early, outshooting the Knights 9-2 over the game’s opening seven minutes, but Clarkson stormed back with 18 of the period’s final 23 shots and led 20-14 in that category at the first intermission.
“I thought we played pretty well from the drop of the puck,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones mused. “They had a bounce early on and we had a couple good saves after that from Greg Lewis and then we settled in. We played pretty hard tonight and that definitely led us into the second period.”
A high-energy second period nearly went in the books with no effect on the result and it would have were it not for a nine-second stretch late in the frame. With 2:19 on the clock, Himelson ripped a wobbly cannonball through a maze of legs and into the back of the net to draw the game even. Before the celebration was over, it seemed, the Knights had scored another as Zarbo beat Girard under the arm.
The two goals were the second-fastest in Clarkson history, behind Tommy Meeker’s two-goal, five-second feat in 1955.
The visitors extended the lead less than two minutes into the third on another screened salvo. Zarbo tallied this one as well, firing from the left-wing point and eluding Girard to the glove side.
The Grand Island, N.Y., native extended his team-high goal total to 10 with his first hat trick since junior hockey.
“I got it from my ‘D’ on the far side,: Zarbo recalled. “I used a Harvard defenseman as a screen – shot it through his legs – and it went in far side.”
Harvard earned three straight power plays following the goal, but failed to capitalize on the advantage for the fifth straight game. Pawlick put the Crimson to bed in the game’s 54th minute, poking the puck past Girard from within a mess of bodies and Zarbo hit the trifecta on a late empty-netter.
“I thought we were in control of the game in the third period, but then taking three penalties definitely gave them the opportunity to get back in the game, unfortunately,” said Jones. “But we did a good job with the penalty kill, we blocked some good shots and we’re getting better at that – that’s been a bone of contention around here for some time.”