Clarkson Skates Past Cornell in Game One of Quarterfinals

Junior assistant captains Brett Gervais (Corona, CA) and Nic Pierog (Georgetown, ONT) enjoyed a career-high night with two goals each as the Clarkson University Hockey team grabbed the momentum in the ECAC Quarterfinal series at Lynah Rink by knocking off third-seeded Cornell 6-2 on Friday.

Equaling its longest winning streak of the season at four games, the Golden Knights improved to 18-14-5, and will battle ninth-ranked Cornell (18-7-5) in Game 2 of the best-of-three game series on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. If Clarkson wins, the Green and Gold will advance to the ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament in Lake Placid next weekend. If Cornell skates away with a victory on Saturday, the two long-time rivals will face off in a deciding third game on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.

Coming off a sweep of Rensselaer (7-4, 4-2) in first-round playoff action, the Knights were very solid against the Big Red, controlling play for the majority of the contest en route to gaining their first win at Lynah Rink since March 15, 2014.

Clarkson started out impressively, outshooting Cornell 13-2 in the first period en route to a 2-0 lead, and finished even stronger with an 8-1 advantage in shots over the final 20 minutes, while adding on three more goals to hand the Big Red their first loss in the last 10 games.

The Freshman Line put Clarkson top at 7:53 when Sheldon Rempal (Calgary, ALB) took a pass just outside the slot from Devin Brosseau (St. Lambert, QUE) and put in his 11th goal of the season and second of the playoffs, Nico Sturm (Augsburg, Germany) started the play when he free the puck up from behind the Cornell goal to Brosseau.

Pierog, at the left circle, tipped in a shot from the point by senior Jordan Boucher (St. Therese, QUE) just 1:31 later to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. Gervais also assisted on Pierog's sixth goal of the season.

Cornell, which had two power-play opportunities in the first period, got the first two man-advantage chances in the middle frame and made them count to tie the game. Trevor Yates put in a rebound at 2:26 and Mitch Vanderlaan tallied at 4:45 to bring the Lynah faithful to life.

With 44 seconds left in the period, senior Troy Josephs (Whitby, ONT) took away the momentum of the Big Red and once again silenced the home crowd with his team-high 20th goal of the season. Josephs kept the puck on a 2-1 on rush and put in a shot from the top of the crease for his seventh goal in the past four games. Defenseman, senior James de Haas (Mississauga, ONT) and junior Terrance Amorosa (Kirkland, QUE) assisted.

Gervais, who last scored a month ago, scored his first of the game at 3:20 to give Clarkson a 4-2 lead. Boucher, who missed the previous eight games with an injury, and Amorosa picked up their second assists of the game.

Gervais tallied his sixth goal of the season with an empty-net tally off an assist by Pierog at 18:03.

With 10 seconds remaining, Pierog wrapped things up with a power-play marker. Gervais and sophomore defenseman Aaron Thow(Toronto, ONT) assisted.

The Knights outshot the Big Red 28-16. Freshman Jake Kielly (Eden Prairie, MN) remained perfect in postseason play with 14 saves.

Clarkson was 1-of-4 on the power play, while Cornell went 2-of-5 with the man-advantage.