First collegiate goals by a trio of freshmen highlighted the Clarkson University Hockey team’s 5-1 victory over Bentley University in non-conference action before 2,550 fans at Cheel Arena on Friday night. Rookies Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT), David Pratt (Napanee, ONT) and Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) tallied the Golden Knights’ first three goals and junior Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) was solid in the Clarkson net with 24 saves.
Clarkson, at 3-2, and Bentley, at 0-3 will face off again on Saturday in Potsdam in a 7:30 p.m. start to complete the weekend series between ECAC Hockey and Atlantic Hockey foes.
The Knights came out with a dominating first-period effort out shooting the Falcons 20-9 en route to a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes. A pair of freshmen tallied their first collegiate goals 1:55 a part midway through the stanza to put Clarkson in controlled. At 7:59, Sexton picked up a rebound off sophomore Adam Pawlick’s (Utica, NY) shot at the bottom of the right circle and fired in the game’s first goal. Zarbo also assisted.
Less than two minutes later, the Knights connected on a 2-on-1 break with Pratt finishing off a cross-crease pass from senior Scott Freeman (Whitby, ONT), slipping in a shorthanded marker in front at 9:54. Senior defenseman Bryan Rufenach (Barrie, ONT) also assisted.
Clarkson continued to roll in the middle frame, adding two more goals to extend its lead to 4-0 after 40 minutes of action. Zarbo opened the period with his first collegiate goal, scoring from the left circle on a wrist shot just under the crossbar at 3:05.
Sexton set up the goal with a pass to earn the assist. At 11:32, junior Nick Tremblay (Candiac, QUE) swept in a loose puck at the side of the net behind the Bentley goaltender for his first goal of the season. Junior linemates Louke Oakley (Whitby, ONT) and Julien Cayer (Lonqueuil, QUE) set up the goal with strong work behind the goal.
Bentley, playing its third straight ECAC Hockey foe on the road, got on the scoreboard with Jamie Nudy’s power-play marker at 3:37 of the third, but that was all the scoring for the visitors. Pawlick closed out the scoring with the Knights’ fifth goal at 17:12, finishing off a nice feed from behind the net by Sexton. Zarbo also recorded his second assist of the night on the goal.
Clarkson out shot Bentley 53-25. Joe Calvi made 48 stops for the Falcons. The Knights were 0-of-5 on the power play, while Bentley was 1-of-4 with the man-advantage.