Freshman Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) was strong in goal with 27 saves, and sophomore defenseman Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE) and junior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) supplied the goals as the Clarkson University Hockey team snapped a lengthy losing skid to Union College by knocking off the 18th-ranked Dutchmen 2-1 at Cheel Arena on Friday night.
The Golden Knights, who won their second straight, have gone 3-1-2 since mid-January to improve their record to 7-13-7 overall and to 6-6-3 in ECAC Hockey. Clarkson, which is tied for fifth in the league standings, hosts Rensselaer on Saturday in a 7:00 p.m. contest. The Engineers are also tied for fifth and have won three straight after defeating St. Lawrence 4-3 in overtime in Canton on Friday.
Clarkson played a smart, solid defensive game against the defending ECAC Hockey champions to pick up its first win over Union (13-9-5, 6-5-4) since January 23, 2009, snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Dutchmen. The Knights were especially strong in specialty teams’ play, holding the second-ranked power-play unit in the country scoreless on three opportunities, while converting for a goal in two man-advantage chances against the fifth-rated penalty-killing squad.
With a solid opening 20 minutes, Clarkson held Union scoreless on 10 shots, and capitalized on one of its six shots for a 1-0 first-period lead. Labrecque tallied for his fourth goal of the season at 7:46, firing in a wrist shot from between the circles. Freshmen Simon Bessette (St. Jean, QUE) and Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) assisted.
Clarkson made it 2-0, connecting for a power play goal early in the second. Moments after Lewis made a pad save on a shorthanded breakaway attempt by Union’s David Roy, McPherson converted on a 3-1 break with a wrist shot from the right circle for his seventh goal of the season at 6:38. Juniors Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) and Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) picked up the assists on the eventual game-winner.
Bidding to extend its unbeaten streak to five games, the Dutchmen battled back late in the stanza and pulled to within one on Josh Jooris’ goal during a scramble in front at 13:37.
The Dutchmen went on their third power play of the game with 5:10 remaining, but the Knights killed that off and then held back Union in the final minutes to preserve the win over a Frozen Four team from last season. The Dutchmen pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker with just over a minute to play, but could not get another shot past Lewis.
Union outshot Clarkson 28-18. Lewis posted 10 first-period saves, six stops in the middle frame and 11 more over the final 20 minutes. Troy Grosenick started in the Dutchmen’s net and made five saves on seven shots before leaving after Clarkson’s second goal. Colin Stevens played the final 32 minutes in goal for Union and finished with 11 saves.