Nationally-ranked University of New Hampshire, benefitting from a couple of fortunate bounces and a strong goaltending effort, handed the Clarkson University Hockey team its first loss of the season, a 4-1 setback in the first round of the Ice Breaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis on Friday afternoon.
Clarkson, which owns a 2-1 overall record, will play Mercyhurst College, in the consolation contest on Saturday, beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST.
The Golden Knights outshot UNH 34-33 on the Olympic Ice sheet at Mariucci Arena and went 1-of-5 on the power play while killing off all four of the Wildcats' man-advantage opportunities, allowing only three power-pay shots.
The Knights generated offensive opportunities in the first period, but it was UNH that made the most its chances to take a 2-1 lead through the opening 20 minutes. Eric Knodel started the scoring for the Wildcats at 14:27 with a goal that bounced in off a leg in front. Clarkson came right back, however, with its third power-play goal of the season.
Freshman defenseman James de Hass (Mississauga, ONT) tied the game with his first collegiate point as his shot from the point deflected off a UNH defender in front at 15:50. Sophomore Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) and junior Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) assisted.
Just 38 seconds later, however, UNH went back on top as Tyler Kelleher capitalized on a Clarkson turnover and knocked in a rebound off the right post at 16:29. Matt Willows made in 3-1 in UNH's favor early in the middle frame with a tip-in off a Clarkson stick. The Wildcats got a another break to start the third period when Dan Correale's shot ricocheted off a Clarkson defender's stick and under the crossbar at 1:54 for a 4-1 UNH lead.
Clarkson outshot UNH 34-33. Sophomore Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) posted 29 saves, including 15 stops in the second period. Jeff Wyer finished with 33 saves, including 13 third-period stops.