Bolstered by its most productive outing of the season on the power play and backed by a stingy defensive effort the Clarkson University Hockey team broke out of a four-game winless stretch with a convincing 3-1 victory over Princeton in ECAC Hockey action at Cheel Arena on Friday night.
With one game remaining in the regular season, the Golden Knights remain in contention for a first-round bye in the upcoming league playoffs, just one point out of fourth. Clarkson stands at 11-9-1 in ECAC Hockey and 18-14-3 overall. The Green and Gold, who host Quinnipiac Saturday on Senior Night, can finish from fourth to sixth in the conference standings.
Nearing the end of their collegiate careers, Clarkson's Class of 2014 came up big against Princeton with three seniors accounting for the goals. Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT), Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) and Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) led the way offensively against Princeton (4-17, 5-23) with one goal and one assist apiece. Sophomore Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) made 16 saves to improve his record to 9-5-1.
The Knights enjoyed their best outing on the man-advantage in over a year with a 3-of-6 performance while outshooting the Tigers 30-17.
Despite a dominating first-period effort, the Golden Knights found themselves tied 1-1 after the opening 20 minutes. Clarkson's leading scorer, McPherson put the Green and Gold on top early with a power-play goal at 4:20. McPherson took a pass from Burton at the right circle and snapped in a wrist shot into the far top corner glove side just 15 seconds into the man-advantage for his 12th goal of the season and 40th career marker. Sophomore defenseman Paul Geiger (Stouffville, ONT) also assisted.
The Tigers, who were outshot 10-3 in the stanza, capitalized on a Clarkson turnover at the blueline and tied it with Andrew Calof's breakaway goal with 1:13 remaining before the break.
Clarkson came out with another solid effort in the middle frame and skated away with a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. At 5:58, Frederick finished off a perfect pass into the slot by sophomore Jeff DiNallo (Aurora, ONT) and tapped in his sixth goal of the season. McPherson also assisted on the power-play tally.
The man-advantage unit continued to click and connected again midway through the period. Burton made it 3-0 when he scored from the bottom of the right circle at 10:32 after taking a pass from out of the corner by Frederick. DiNallo also assisted.
The Knights outshot Princeton 12-8 in the final period.
The Tigers Colton Phinney kept the game close for the visitors with a 27-save effort.