A valiant comeback by the Clarkson University Hockey team fell just short on Saturday night as the Golden Knights lost 4-3 in Game 2 of their first-round series against Brown University at Meehan Auditorium in Providence, RI.
Clarkson, which fell to the Bears 3-0 in Game 1 action on Friday night, closes out its season with a 9-20-7 overall record. Brown improves its record to 13-12-6 and will play on the road in next week’s quarterfinal round.
Clarkson outshot Brown 37-23, including by a 17-3 margin over the final 20 minutes, but undisciplined pay in the first period put the Green and Gold into a big deficit. The Bears scored on the power play and converted a pair of odd-man rushes to take a 3-0 lead in the opening frame.
Matt Lorito scored a power-play goal at 8:16, followed by Jake Goldberg’ tally on a 2-on-1 break at 12:31. Dennis Robertson also scored on a 2-on-1 rush at 16:28 while both teams were skating four-aside.
The Knights finally got on the scoreboard, snapping a lengthy goal-scoring drought when sophomore Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) converted off passes from his brother, junior Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) and senior defenseman Nik Pokulok (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QUE) at 17:21 for his team-high 13th goal of the year. Zarbo slipped a shot through the five-hole of Brown’s standout goaltender Anthony Borelli for Clarkson’s first goal in 218:50 of play.
The Bears built their lead to 4-1 with a power-play goal by Goldberg at 13:10.
Playing to extend its season, Clarkson dominated the third period and made it a one-goal game off a pair of power-play tallies from junior Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT).
Burton made it 4-2 at 5:49, scoring in front after strong work down low by classmates Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) and Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA).
At 16:41, Burton connected again for his 12th goal of the season, a 5-on-3 power-play marker with Sexton assisting.
The Knights pulled senior goaltender Cody Rosen (Kingston, ONT) in the final minute in a bid for the tying goal, but Borelli came up big with key stops on Sexton, Joe Zarbo and sophomore defenseman Sam Labrecque(Granby, QUE) in the final seconds to preserve the win for the home team.
Freshman Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) started in the Clarkson crease and made 16 saves through the first two periods. Rosen, playing in his final collegiate game, turned aside all three shots he faced in the third.
Borelli finished with 34 saves.
Clarkson went 2-of-4 on the power play, while Brown was 2-0f-3