Playing for the first time in 20 days, the Clarkson University Hockey team led throughout the majority of the Friday’s game against UMass-Lowell, but a pair of third-period goals by the visitors spoiled the Golden Knights’ 2013 debut as the River Hawks rallied for a 2-1 victory in non-conference play before 1,799 fans at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson, which stands at 4-9-5 overall, will host the River Hawks (8-7-1) of Hockey East again on Saturday in a 7:00 p.m. contest for its final non-league game of the season. The Knights resume ECAC Hockey action next weekend hosting Brown and Yale.
Freshman Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) was sharp in the Clarkson goal with a 28 save-effort, and the Clarkson penalty-killing unit, which struggled in the first half of the season, enjoyed a standout performance shutting down all six of Lowell’s power-play opportunities.
Showing little signs of rust from the lengthy layoff, the Golden Knights came out with a strong first-period effort against Lowell and grabbed a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes. Senior defenseman Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) opened the scoring with his first goal of the season. The Knights’ assistant captain took a pass along the boards and fired in a high shot from just inside the blueline at 3:55 for Clarkson’s first goal of 2013. Junior captain Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) and freshman Pat Megannety (Oakville, NY) earned the assists. The Knights were strong on the penalty kill in the stanza, shutting down the River Hawks on back-to-back man-advantage opportunities.
After a scoreless second period, Lowell was finally able to sneak a couple of shots past Lewis in the third frame to gain the victory and extend its win streak to four games.
Freshman defenseman Christian Folin started the River Hawks rally with his first goal of the year. Folin took the puck out of the corner and slipped in a shot at the top of the crease at 4:30 to tie the game.
At 14:53, Michael Colantone connected for the game-winner, finishing off a perfect pass into the slot by Zack Kamrass. Colin Wright also assisted on Lowell’s second goal of the game.
Clarkson, which finished 0-5 on the power-play, had an excellent opportunity to tie the game in the final minutes. The River Hawks were whistled for a penalty with 1:34 remaining and the Knights pulled Lewis for the extra attacker while on the man-advantage, but were not able to convert for their second goal.
Lowell outshot the Green and Gold 30-26. Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for the River Hawks.