Clarkson's season comes to a close with Game 3 loss to RPI
Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 10:32 pm

After a thrilling victory on Saturday night in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, the Clarkson University Hockey team could not repeat its magic on Sunday evening as the Golden Knights’ season came to a close with a 4-1 loss to Rensselaer in Game 3 of the first-round series at Cheel Arena.

Clarkson, which forced the deciding third game by defeating the Engineers 4-3 in triple overtime on Saturday, ends its season with a 16-17-6 overall record. Rensselaer (12-22-3), which defeated the Knights in Game 1, 5-1 on Friday, advances to the quarterfinal round next weekend to face arch-rival Union College in Schenectady.

For the third straight night, the team that scored first lost the game as Clarkson opened the scoring on Sunday only to see RPI answered back with four consecutive goals.

Coming off the marathon affair, which last 113:48 the night before, the teams battled to a scoreless first period with Clarkson holding an 8-7 edge in shots. Both teams were 0-of-1 on the power play in the opening frame.

The teams trade goals in the second period for a 1-1 tie through 40 minutes. The Knights grabbed the initial lead with a power-play marker from freshman defenseman Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE) at 8:03. Clarkson’s leading scorer from the blueline, Labrecque tallied his eighth goal of the season on a blast from the point, one-timing a pass from senior Nick Tremblay (Candiac, QUE). Senior captain Jake Morley (Ogdensburg, NY) also assisted.

Just under five minutes later, the Engineers evened the game when Ryan Haggerty redirected a shot by Nick Bailen for his seventh goal of the season at 13:02. Guy Leboeuf also assisted.

Just as the period ended, the Knights’ were called for hit from behind, leading to a five-minute power play for RPI to start the third.

The Engineers converted on the opportunity late in the power play as Mike Bergin scored from the top of the slot at 4:14 for the game-winner. Under two minutes later, at 5:47, Joel Malchuk knocked in rebound from the right circle to give RPI a 3-1 lead.

Clarkson add its opportunities to get close the gabbed with a pair of 5-on-3 power plays late in regulation, and pulled senior goaltender Paul Karpowich for the extra skater in the closing minutes, but could not score another goal.

RPI sealed the win with an empty-net goal by Marty O’Grady with 1:32 remaining.

The Engineers outshot the Knights 30-24. Karpowich, who was strong all series, finished with 26 saves, including 14 in the second period. Bryce Merriam made 23 stops for RPI.

Clarkson was 1-of-7 on the power play while RPI went 1-of-4 with the man-advantage.