After winning numerous one-goal games early in the season, the Clarkson University Hockey team came out on the wrong end of a pair of close contests at the Catamount Cup after UMass-Lowell edged the Golden Knights 3-1 on Sunday evening at Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, VT.
In tournament first round action on Saturday, Clarkson lost to the University of Vermont 3-2.
The Knights, who suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season, stand at 12-5-1 overall. Ranked ninth in the country entering the weekend, Clarkson and 10th-ranked Lowell (13-5) will continue their rivalry at Tsongas Center this weekend. The Knights will face-off against the River Hawks at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and then complete the three-game stretch with a 4:00 p.m. contest on Saturday at Lowell.
Sophomore Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) kept Clarkson close against Lowell, but the Green and Gold's offense struggled to connect after the long layoff coming into the tournament. Lewis finished with 31 saves as the River Hawks held a 34-19 shot advantage.
Lowell scored twice on the power-play and sealed its eighth victory over the past nine games with a late goal as Lewis was skating out of the net in a bid to get Clarkson an extra attacker.
Clarkson's penalty kill came up strong in the first period, killing off both of the River Hawks power-play opportunities. Lewis made 10 stops, including a sprawling pad save in the final seconds of the period while Lowell was skating shorthanded.
Lowell was able to beat Lewis early in the middle frame. Skating on their third power play of the day, the River Hawks got the game's first goal at 3:06 when Josh Holmstrom followed up his own rebound.
Just 38 seconds into the final stanza, Clarkson tied the game. Senior Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) lifted up wrist shot over the stick-side shoulder of Lowell goaltender Doug Carr for a power-play goal 38 seconds in. Senior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) and sophomore defenseman Kevin Tansey (Hammond, ONT) assisted.
Late in the third period, however, Lowell broke the deadlock when Scott Wilson connected on the power play with a rising wrist shot from the slot that beat Lewis high on the glove side at 14:21 for the game-winner.
With just 62 seconds left in regulation Evan Campbell sealed the win for the River Hawks, knocking in a rebound past a diving Lewis.
Lowell finished 2-of-5 on the power play, while the Knights went 1-of-2 with the man-advantage.