Despite a good effort on the road with over a 2-to-1 shot advantage and two quick goals to open the game, the Clarkson University Hockey team came out of Saturday evening's non-league contest at UMass-Lowell tough-luck losers, falling to the River Hawks for the second time in three games, 4-3 at Tsongas Center.
The Golden Knights, winless in their last four games (0-3-1), fall to 12-6-2 overall. Entering the weekend ranked 9th/11th in the national polls, the Green and Gold close out a six-game stretch against Hockey East competition when they host Merrimack College next weekend at Cheel Arena for their first games in Potsdam since early December.
Clarkson started out strong against Lowell (14-5-1), in their third straight game against the Top-10 River Hawks, and carried the effort throughout the 60 minutes, outshooting the home team 32-14.
The Knights set the tone early with a pair of goals 2:28 apart to take the initial lead in a game for the first time since November 15.
A healthy scratch from the lineup in the previous two games, freshman A. J. Fossen (Maple Grove, MN) made his presence felt in the opening minutes and put the Knights on the scoreboard first. At 3:11, Fossen put in a rebound off a hard shot from the left point by rookie defenseman Bryan Sinz (Anchorage, AK) for his second goal of the season. Sinz, playing in his second NCAA game, picked up the lone assist.
Clarkson continued its surge to start the game and made it 2-0 when senior Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) knocked in a backhand, finishing off assists from sophomore defenseman Kevin Tansey (Hammond, ONT) and freshman Jordan Boucher (Sainte-Thérèse, QUE) at 5:39.
Midway through the period, Lowell got one back with a goal by Scott Wilson at 9:45.
Clarkson outshot the River Hawks 12-6 through the opening 20 minutes.
Lowell came out strong to start the second and took a 3-2 lead midway through the frame. Ryan McGrath scored the home team's second goal, converting a rebound at 5:46. Four minutes later Chris Maniccia gave the River Hawks the lead scoring during a scramble in front for their third straight goal.
Junior Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE) put an end to Lowell's run and tied the game 3-3 with his second goal of the weekend and fifth of the season at 11:25 with Fossen and freshman Troy Josephs (Whitby, ONT) assisting.
The Knights held a 13-5 shot advantage in the second.
Clarkson controlled play in the final period, had back-to-back power plays in the middle of the stanza and outshoot Lowell 7-3. The River Hawks, however, were able to capitalize on one of their few scoring opportunities when Joseph Pendenza tipped in a shot at 9:55 for the game-winner.
The Knights finished 0-of-2 on the power play, while Lowell failed to score on its only man-advantage opportunity.
Making back-to-back starts in the Clarkson goal for the first time this season, freshman Steve Perry (Ligonier, PA) made 10 saves. Perry posted a career-high 38 stops in Friday's 1-1 tie with Lowell.