Clarkson settles for a tie against Princeton

Clarkson settles for a tie against Princeton

PRINCETON, NY -- By trading power-play goals with Princeton on Friday night, Clarkson skated to its first tie of the season, a 1-1 draw at Hobey Baker Rink in New Jersey.

With the tie on the road, Clarkson picked up a valuable point in league play to remain in serious contention for a top four spot in the very balanced ECAC Hockey standings.

With three games, remaining in the regular season, Clarkson is tied for fourth place in the conference with an 11-7-1 ECAC Hockey mark. Overall, the 12/13th-ranked Knights stand at 20-10-1.

The Green and Gold finish out their final road trip with a 7:00 p.m. game against 5/6th-ranked Quinnipiac in Hamden, CT on Saturday. The regular season ends next weekend when Clarkson hosts Colgate and Top-10 ranked Cornell at Cheel Arena.

The Knights, who are tied with Yale in the standings, are one point behind third-place Harvard, two in back of Cornell in second place and trail league-leader Quinnipiac by three points. Clarkson is two points in front of sixth-place Dartmouth.

The Knights, who have struggled to score goals on Friday nights in February, saw their winless stretch at Baker Rink extended to five games (0-3-2).  Clarkson has been outscored 15-6 during the opening game of the past five weekend series.

Despite being outshot 20-7 through the opening 20 minutes against Princeton (7-16-3, 5-12-2), the Knights got on the scoreboard first.

Starting off Clarkson's first power-play of the night, junior co-captain Nico Sturm (Augsburg, Germany) won a faceoff to the boards and freshman Josh Dunne (O'Fallon, MO) chipped the puck back to the right point for a wide-open Aaron Thow(Toronto, ONT).  The senior defenseman one-timed the pass past Princeton goaltender Jeremie Forget, who was making his first career start, just four seconds into the man-advantage at 12:41. 

The goal was Thow's sixth of the season and it was the second straight game for Clarkson converting a power-play opportunity.  The assist by Sturm gives him points in 16 of the last 18 games (six goals, 16 assists).   

Both teams were able to muster some good opportunities in the second period, however both Clarkson junior Jake Kielly(Eden Prairie, MN) and Forget were able to keep the opposition off the board. 

All of that changed in the third period.  Princeton evened the score with a power-play tally by Jackson Cressey who drove the net and deflected home a pass from Max Veronneau at 6:23.

Forget was lifted with 9:20 left in the third with an apparent injury bringing in Ryan Ferland.  Ferland was called upon to make three saves in the third and three more in overtime.  Kielly also made three stops in the extra session.
Overall, Kielly halted 35 of 36 Tiger attempts, including 20 in the opening 20 minutes. 

Clarkson went 1-of-3 on the power play and killed off three of Princeton's seventh-ranked power play's four man-advantage chances.