Despite jumping out to a quick lead and outshooting the visitors 31-20, the Clarkson University Hockey team could not carry over the momentum from Friday night’s victory as the Golden Knights fell to Harvard 6-2 in the final regular season game at Cheel Arena on Saturday.
The Golden Knights, who suffered their third straight Saturday night loss, own a 9-16-7 overall record and stand in seventh place in the ECAC Hockey standings with an 8-9-3 league mark. Clarkson closes out the regular season next weekend in New York’s Capital District region, playing at Rensselaer and Union. The Knights, who shut out Dartmouth 4-0 on Friday, can still finish anywhere from 3rd-11th in the standings. The Green and Gold need just two points to secure a home-ice berth in the upcoming conference playoffs.
Clarkson opened the scoring with a power-play goal by junior captain Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) at 5:24 of the first period. Sexton fired a shot from the bottom of the right circle, which deflected in off a Harvard defender’s skate in front for his fifth goal of the season. Senior assistant captain Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) and junior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) assisted.
Harvard (8-16-3, 5-13-2) answered back with two goals 69 seconds apart by Kyle Criscuolo to take the lead. Criscuolo tapped in a pass in front from Brian Hart for a power-play goal at 7:44. Defenseman Jimmy Vesey also assisted. Criscuolo tallied again, connecting on a 2-on-1 rush with a shot from the right circle at 8:53. Hart assisted on the goal.
With just 23.6 seconds remaining in the opening period, freshman Greg Gozzo knocked in a rebound off a shot by Alex Fallstrom for his first collegiate goal to give the Crimson the 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Clarkson controlled play in the middle frame, outshooting the Crimson 15-3 in the stanza, and finally connected for its second goal late in the period. Freshman Simon Bessette (St. Jean, QUE) knocked in his own rebound from the bottom of the right circle with 1:29 remaining in the stanza to make it a 3-2 game after 40 minutes.
Harvard, however, skated away in the third by scoring on three of its first four shots in the period to take a commanding four-goal lead.
Connor Morrison began the Crimson’s third-period scoring, connecting on a rising wrist shot from the left circle at 6:41. Fifty-three seconds later, Gozzo snuck in a shot at the near post to make it 5-2 with his second goal of the night. At 8:49, Brayden Jaw scored his first collegiate goal to complete the outburst.
Both teams were 1-of-3 on the power play.
Peter Traber made 29 saves for the Crimson. Freshman Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) started in the Clarkson goal and posted 13 saves on 19 shots before leaving after Harvard’s sixth goal. Senior Cody Rosen (Kingston, ONT) played the final 11:11 in the Knights’ crease and turned aside the only shot he faced.