Clarkson's Season Comes to a Close with Loss to Harvard

The 2010-11 campaign came to a close for the Clarkson University Hockey team with a 6-4 loss to Harvard in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey playoffs first-round series at Cheel Arena on Saturday. The Crimson, who also defeated the Golden Knights 2-1 in Game 1 on Friday, advanced to the conference’s quarterfinal round next weekend. Clarkson finished the season with a 15-19-2 overall record.

Trailing 3-2 after two periods, Harvard (11-19-1) outscored the Knights 4-1 over the final 20 minutes to gain the series sweep with its fifth straight victory. The Crimson started their rally with a pair of power-play goals from Daniel Moriarty while on a five-minute major early in the final frame. Moriarty scored his first of the game at 2:28 and tallied his third of the season at 3:12 to put the visitors in front for the first time of the game at 4-3.

Harvard’s Michael Biega made it 5-3 with his 10th goal of the year at 7:01. The Knights pulled to within one just 28 seconds later with freshman Ben Sexton’s (Kanta, ONT) fifth goal of the season, but Clarkson could not get any closer and the Crimson sealed the victory with Alex Killorn’s 14th goal of the year at 13:15 to make it 6-4.

Coming off Friday’s win, Harvard (11-19-1) put in a strong effort to start Game 2 of the first-round series and surpassed its shot total from the previous night with a 19-9 advantage over Clarkson through the opening 20 minutes. Despite the intense offensive pressure the Crimson could not get one past junior goaltender Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) in the stanza.

After the scoreless first period, the teams combined for five goals in the middle frame with the Knights skating away with a 3-2 lead through 40 minutes.

Clarkson opened the scoring at 2:29 when sophomore defenseman Nik Pokulok (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QUE) scored on a shot from the blueline that fell just under the crossbar for his fourth goal of the season. Freshman Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) and senior Brandon DeFazio (Oakville, ONT) assisted. Less than two minutes later, the Crimson’s Pier Olivier-Michaud lifted in a shot from the bottom of the right circle that went up and over the glove-side shoulder of Karpowich to tie the score.

The Knights went back on top at 9:56 when senior defenseman Bryan Rufenach’s (Barrie. ONT) took a pass from senior Scott Freeman (Whitby, ONT) and fired a shot from the left circle beat Harvard goaltender Ryan Carroll through the five-hole for his fourth goal of the season.  Junior Louke Oakley (Whitby, ONT) also assisted.

The Crimson came back again to tie the game at 13:40 when Alex Fallstrom tipped in a backhand shot from the right circle by Alex Killorn. Just 11 seconds later, however, the Knights regained the lead with DeFazio’s team-high 14th goal of the season, connecting on a pass from McPherson at 13:51. Sexton  also assisted on the goal which gave Clarkson a 3-2 lead after two periods.

Harvard outshot Clarkson 42-33. Karpowich finished with 36 saves to set the new single-season save mark for the Knights at 1,053. Carroll made 29 saves. The Crimson were 2-o-f8 on the power play, while the Knights went scoreless in their two man-advantage chances.