Clarkson Skates Past No. 13 Arizona State

Clarkson Skates Past No. 13 Arizona State

A big night on specialty teams and a solid effort by juniorJake Kielly (Eden Prairie, MN), who backstopped a stingy defensive effort, lifted Clarkson University past 13th-ranked Arizona State 3-0 in the opening round of the Desert Hockey Classic on Friday night before a crowd of 4,062 at Gila River Arena.

The Golden Knights will now take on defending National Champion Minnesota Duluth in Saturday's Championship Game. Ranked 19th in the national polls, Clarkson stands at 10-6 and will be striving for its third consecutive in-season tournament title. Third-ranked Minnesota Duluth advances after defeating No. 8 Minnesota State 4-3 in overtime in Friday's other first round game.

Postgame audio Head Coach Casey Jones

The Green and Gold enjoyed their best game of the season in specialty teams' play, going 3-of-6 on the power play and killing off all eight of the Sun Devils (14-7) man-advantage opportunities. The Knights score on 5-on-3, 5-on-4 and 4-on-3 power plays.

A pair of power-play goals 56 seconds apart early in the first period gave the Knights a quick start after a 20-day layoff.

In his first game back from injury since November 16, freshman Josh Dunne (O'Fallon, MO) swatted a rebound past Sun Devil goalie, Joey Daccord. The play started with a faceoff win by Nico Sturm (Augsburg, Germany).  After a shot from the point by junior defenseman Greg Moro (Edmonton, ALB) got through, Sturm had the puck hop over his stick, but Dunne was able to chip a bouncer past the stick of Daccord for his fifth goal of the season, a 5-on-3 power-play tally at 4:53.

Just 56 seconds later and with the Golden Knights still on a power play, junior co-captain Devin Brosseau (St. Lambert, QUE) blasted a slap shot by Daccord to make the score 2-0. Sophomores Jack Jacome (Caledon, ONT) and defensemanConnor McCarthy (LaSalle, QUE) would pick up the helpers on Brosseau's fourth goal of the season. 

The Knights were called for back-to-back penalties midway through the period, giving the Sun Devils 77 seconds of a two-man advantage, but Clarkson's shorthanded units came through with a successful kill to keep Arizona State off the scoreboard.

Despite seven penalties called in the middle stanza there was no scoring.  One of the best scoring opportunities for Clarkson came when junior Haralds Egle (Liepaja, Latvia) got behind the Arizona State defense on a clear break away.  When he attempted to make a move to the back hand, the puck bounced over Egle's stick and rolled into Daccord. 

Clarkson started the third period with a power play and connected again when senior defenseman Aaron Thow (Toronto, ONT) intercepted a clearing pass and put a slap shot past Daccord 53 seconds in to make the score 3-0 with an unassisted 4-on-3 tally. The score gives Thow a career-high four goals on the season and tied his career mark with 11 points. 

Kielly posted career shutout number 14, leading all NCAA Division I goalies.  He was called upon to make just 15 saves in his third whitewash of the year.  He extended his shutout streak to 125:50.  Kielly is now in sole possession of seventh in all-time wins for a goaltender at Clarkson with 48 victories. 

The win was Clarkson's 10th this season when leading after two periods.  Over the last two campaigns, the Green and Gold are 32-1-2 when having an advantage after 40 minutes.