Senior Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT) completed a strong effort by the Clarkson University Hockey team in the first game of 2013-14 with the winning score as the Golden Knights knocked off the 20th-ranked team in the country, Niagara University, 2-1 at Dwyer Arena in Western NY on Saturday night.
Clarkson, which won its season-opener for the first time since 2008, will face off against Niagara (0-1) on Sunday afternoon, beginning at 2:00 p.m. to complete the non-league weekend series.
The Knights were strong from start to finish, outshooting the Niagara 41-20 while snapping the Purple Eagles' 22-game home unbeaten streak. The Green and Gold tallied the final two goals of the night to claim the one-goal victory. Last season, Clarkson won just three of 17 one-goal games.
After a scoreless first period, the Purple Eagles, who were 15-0-2 at Dwyer Arena last year en route to claiming the Atlantic Hockey Championship, grabbed the initial lead midway through the second stanza. Late in a power play, Niagara's Mike Conderman snuck in a wrap-around shot at 7:19. Three minutes later, however, Clarkson came back to even the score.
Last year's team MVP, senior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) scored his 29th career goal at 10:19 during a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game. McPherson, at the side of the net, knocked in a rebound off a shot from junior defenseman Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE) that bounced off the back glass. Sophomore Paul Geiger (Stouffville, ONT) also assisted.
Late in the final frame, Burton came through with the deciding goal when he picked up a bouncing shot by sophomore defenseman Kevin Tansey (Hammond, ONT) from the right point and slipped in his 18th career goal with 5:43 remaining. Senior captain Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) also assisted. Tansey was playing in his first game since March 2012 after missing all of last season recovering from injuries.
Clarkson was consistent throughout the 60 minutes with 13 shot in the first period, 17 more in the second stanza and another 11 over the final 20 minutes. Sophomore Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) finished with 19 saves while back boning a solid defensive effort by the Green and Gold. Jackson Teichroeb made 39 stops for Niagara.
The Knights were 1-of-5 on the power play, while the Purple Eagles went 1of-4 with the man-advantage.