One day removed from a disappointing loss to open the 2010-11 campaign, the Clarkson University Hockey team came back to post one of its most impressive victories in recent years.
Six different Golden Knights scored goals and 11 skaters wearing the Green and Gold registered a point as Clarkson skated by fourth-ranked St. Cloud State 6-2 in the second day of action at the Omaha Stampede in Nebraska on Saturday afternoon.
Senior defenseman Bryan Rufenach (Barrie, ONT) led the balanced offensive effort with one goal and two assists, while junior goaltender Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) was solid all night in goal with a 26-save effort as the Knights rebounded from Friday’s 8-0 loss to Nebraska-Omaha with their first six-goal effort since defeating Dartmouth 6-3 in Potsdam on February 20, 2009.
Head Coach George Roll postgame interview
After a scoreless first period, sophomore defenseman Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) started a flurry of Clarkson goals in the middle frame as the Green and Gold scored four times in just over a seven-minute span. Right after a successful Clarkson penalty kill, Himelson jump out of the box and took a pass from Rufenach at center ice and fired in a shot at 5:40 for his second career goal.
Strong work down low and around St. Cloud’s net led to the next three Clarkson tallies. At 9:43, senior Lauri Tuohimaa (Helsinki, Finland) knocked in a rebound under the sprawling left pad of the Huskies starting goaltender Dan Dunn for his first goal in over a year. Thirty-five seconds later, freshman Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) bounced on a rebound and chipped in the eventual game-winner for his first official tally as a Golden Knight. Less than two minutes later, junior assistant captain Jake Morley (Ogdensburg, NY) lifted in a rebound at 11:43 to give Clarkson a commanding 4-0 advantage.
Two late goals by the Huskies, a power-play marker from Tony Mosey at 17:41, and a score by Ben Hanowski at 18:16, made the game close after 40 minutes with the Knights holding a 4-2 lead.
St. Cloud had opportunities to close the gap over the final 20 minutes with three power-plays in the third period, but Clarkson sealed the victory with two late scores. Sophomore Pete Massar (Williston, VT) knocked in his own rebound at 16:51 for his first collegiate goal and less than a minute later, Rufenach took a pass from freshman Mike Garlasco (Mahwah, NJ) and fired a shot from the left point to close out scoring and put a cap on a perfect present for head coach George Roll, who celebrated his 48th birthday with the victory.
St. Cloud, benefiting from seven power-play opportunities, outshot the Green and Gold 28-23. The Knights were 0-of-4 with the man-advantage.
Clarkson will look to build upon the impressive victory as it returns home with 10 consecutive games in the North Country. The Knights open a four-game home stand when they host Bowling Green in a two-game series at Cheel Arena this coming weekend.