POTSDAM, N.Y. – The Clarkson University men's hockey team built a 5-0 lead midway through the second period, en route to a 7-4 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in Game 1 of a best-of-three ECAC Hockey First Round series, on Friday night at Cheel Arena. With the win, the Golden Knights improve to 16-14-5, while the Engineers drop to 8-27-1.
Junior Sam Vigneault (Bale-Comeau, PQ/A.L. Boomerang) opened the scoring at 7:05 of the first period, when he snapped home his 12th goal of the year, beating RPI sophomore goalie Chase Perry (Andover, MN/Wenatchee Wild), five-hole. Assists went to seniors James de Haas (Mississauga, ON/Penticton Vees) and Troy Josephs (Whitby, ON/St. Michael's Buzzers).
Clarkson doubled its lead at 12:35, when a shot from the right point by freshman Greg Moro (Edmonton, AB/Lloydminster Bobcats) deflected in off the skate of classmate Sheldon Rempal (Calgary, AB/Nanaimo Clippers).
The Golden Knights then converted on their first power play of the night, quickly moving the puck across the face of goal for Josephs, who buried his team-leading 16th goal of the season. Freshman Haralds Egle (Liepaia, Latvia/Chicago Steel) and Vigneault picked up the assists on the man advantage tally, which came at 16:49.
Rempal gave the hosts a 4-0 lead at 7:51 of the second, carrying the puck around the back of the net, before slipping a shot inside the left post.
Clarkson capitalized on its second power play of the night at 10:11 of the second with Josephs finishing off his second of the game. Egle worked the puck down low to Vigneault, who found Josephs at the bottom of the left circle of the one-timer.
Junior Viktor Liljegren (Stockholm, Sweden/Fairbanks Ice Dogs) brought the Engineers within 5-1 at 11:11, steering home a shot from just outside the crease. Classmate Mike Prapavessis (Oakville, ON/Toronto Patriots) fed the puck in front after taking a cross-ice pass from senior captain Riley Bourbonnais(Rochester, NY/Lincoln Stars).
Golden Knights senior Perry D'Arrisso (Mississauga, ON/Corpus Christi IceRays) extended the lead back to five (6-1) with 1:32 left in the second, leading a 3-on-2 rush up the right wing boards. His shot from the right circle beat Perry along the ice for his fourth goal of the year.
The Engineers mounted a comeback in the third, starting with freshman Jake Marrello's (Slingerlands, NY/P.A.L. Jr. Islanders) second goal of the season. Junior Drew Melanson (Paramus, NJ/Waterloo Blackhawks) threw the puck towards the net, before it deflected off Marrello and past Clarkson freshman goaltender Jake Kielly (Eden Prairie, MN/Tri-City Storm).
Junior Jared Wilson (Calgary, AB/Vernon Vipers) then made it 6-3 at 10:00, ripping a shot into the top right corner of the net from the high slot. The power play tally drew assists from
Clarkson answered with a power play goal of its own at 13:39, as junior Kelly Summers (Golden Lake, ON/Carleton Place) fired a shot inside the left post from the right circle. Helpers on his fourth goal of the year went to de Haas and Josephs.
???????Liljegren capped the scoring at 18:15 of the third, burying a one-timer from the left circle. Prapavessis and freshman Will Reilly (Toronto, ON/Nanaimo Clippers) earned the assists on Liljegren's second of the game and 10th of the year.
RPI finished 3 for 7 on the power play, while Clarkson was 3 for 4. The Golden Knights finished with a 31-30 edge in shots.
Both teams are back in action tomorrow night for Game 2 of the series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30pm.