Freshman Steve Perry (Ligonier, PA) posted 23 saves and four different Golden Knights provided the goals as the Clarkson University Hockey team defeated Cornell 4-1 in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, NY on Saturday night.
The Knights, who lost the series opener 2-1 on Friday, will battle Cornell on Sunday in the best-of-three-game series deciding contest, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Sunday's winner will move on the ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament in Lake Placid next weekend.
Clarkson, which improves to 21-16-4 overall, jumped out a 3-0 lead over Cornell (16-9-5) and held off a late push by the Big Red to snap a seven-game losing skid at Lynah Rink, winning for the first time in Ithaca since January 2008. Cornell outshot the Green and Gold 24-15, but Perry was strong in the Clarkson crease, including 10 third-period stops, and the Knights' specialty teams were sharp. Clarkson went 2-of-5 On the power play and killed off all five of Cornell's man-advantage chances.
Sophomore Jeff DiNallo (Aurora, ONT) opened the game for Clarkson, connecting on the power play seven minutes in for his 11th goal of the season off a great feed from senior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT). Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT), the Knights' leading playmaker, also assisted.
The Knights built their lead to 3-0 with a pair of goals 1:34 apart early in the middle frame. Sophomore Christian Powers (Carlisle, ONT) kept the Knights' momentum rolling to start the second period when he scored his first career goal tipping in a shot by sophomore defenseman Paul Geiger (Stouffville, ONT) over the glove of Big Red goaltender Andy Iles at 5:52. McPherson also assisted. At 7:33, sophomore defenseman James de Haas (Mississauga, ONT) continued his recent scoring burst with a power-play tally off assists from DiNallo and Sexton, his 22nd helper of the year. For de Haas that was his sixth goal of the season and third in the past three games.
Cornell got on the scoreboard at 11:09 of the second when Patrick McCarron took advantage of a Clarkson turnover in its own end and stuffed a shot past Perry to bring the Lynah crowd to life. The Big Red had an excellent opportunity to add another goal with a power play shortly after McCarron's score. The Knights' man-down unit came up strong, however, killing of the man-advantage to keep Cornell from getting on a roll.
The home team pressured in the third, limiting the Knights to just three shots, but Clarkson was able to hold off the Big Red and then iced the game with senior Jarrett Burton's (Echo Bay, ONT) empty-net tally with 7.4 seconds left on the clock. Classmate Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) picked up the assist.