With a pair of first-period shorthanded markers and a goal in the third period, the Clarkson University Hockey team was able to skate away with a 3-3 tie at Rochester Institute of Technology in non-league action before a soldout crowd of 2,100 at Ritter Arena in Rochester on Friday night.
Playing with a depleted roster, with only 17 skaters dressed, after a rash of injuries suffered in this past Saturday’s win over Princeton, Clarkson played in its fifth overtime tie of the season. The Knights, who own a 2-5-5 overall record, will resume ECAC Hockey play at Central NY rivals Cornell and Colgate this coming weekend.
Junior Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) and freshman Simon Bessette (St. Jean, QUE) paced the Knights offensively with one goal and an assist apiece. Freshman Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) also scored for Clarkson, which has gone 2-1-5 since late October.
The Knights outshot the Tigers 44-29. Clarkson was 0-of-3 on the power play and killed off two of RIT’s (2-7-3, 1-4-2) three man-advantage opportunities. Freshman Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) made 26 saves and was especially strong late in regulation and in the five-minute overtime with several key stops.
The Knights jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the strength of a pair of shorthanded tallies. Just 17 seconds into the first power play of the game, Clarkson grabbed the lead when Bessette picked up a loose puck in the RIT zone, skated down the left wing and snapped off a shot from the top of the circle for the Knights’ first shorthanded goal of the season and his second career score at 6:27.
At 17:16, the Green and Gold struck again while skating a man-down to take a 2-0 lead. Zarbo gathered in a pass from senior defenseman Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) along the left boards and broke in a on a 2-on-1 with Megannety. Zarbo sent a cross-ice pass to Megannety at the right circle who connected for his fifth goal of the season at 17:16, just 13 seconds into the man-down situation.
The Tigers struck for their first goal with 38 seconds remaining in the period as Ben Lynch was able to tuck a shot pass Lewis moments after the Knights had killed off the penalty.
RIT scored again late in the second frame to make it a 2-2 game through 40 minutes. After giving up shorthanded goals on their first two power-play opportunities, the Tigers finally connected for a power-play marker at 17:54 of the second as Mike Colavecchia connected on a blast from the left circle.
The Tigers took their only lead of the game with a goal by Brad McGowan at 4:39 of the third, but Clarkson came right back 61 seconds later when Zarbo jammed in a rebound off a shot by Bessette at the top of the crease. Freshman Christian Finch (Claremont, ONT) also assisted.