Clarkson beats Colgate, clinches first round bye

Clarkson beats Colgate, clinches first round bye

POTSDAM, NY -- A three-goal burst in the opening seven minutes of the third period helped the Clarkson University Hockey team shake out of its Friday night slump and defeat Colgate 3-2 before 2,698 fans at Cheel Arena.

With the victory, the Golden Knights locked up a top four spot in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 13-7-1 league mark. The Green and Gold, who still have a chance at the Cleary Cup as regular season champion, hosts league-leader Cornell to close out the conference slate tomorrow on the University's Cold Out Gold Out (COGO) Saturday, which is also Senior Night, with a 7:00 p.m. faceoff.

Ranked 13th in the national polls, the Knights stand at 22-10-1 overall.

Clarkson controlled large portions of the game against Colgate (10-20-3, 7-11-3), outshooting the Raiders 36-23, but could not break through until the start of the final frame.

Trailing 1-0 through 40 minutes, the Knights' offense finally connected early in the third with three straight goals.

Clarkson's leading goal scorer, junior Haralds Egle (Liepaja, Latvia) started things off 20 seconds in, knocking in a pass from senior defenseman Aaron Thow (Toronto, ONT) at the bottom of the right circle for his 17th goal of the season.

Nico Sturm, Clarkson's points leader put the Green and Gold in front 2-1 at 3:04. Sturm finished off Clarkson's first penalty-shot goal since October, 2015, lifting in a back-hand shot from in tight for his 13th goal of the season and 40th point on the year. Sturm is just two points shy of the century mark with 35 goals and 63 assists through 112 career games.

At 6:23, Thow came through with the eventual game-winner on a shot from along the left boards that found its way through traffic in front. Freshman center Josh Dunne (O'Fallon, MO) won a faceoff back to Thow, who finished the bang-bang play with his seventh tally of the season.

Colgate would make it a one-goal game with Tyler Penner's score at 14:01. The Raiders pulled goaltender Mitch Benson for the extra skate with over a minute left in regulation, but could not get the equalizer past Clarkson's junior goaltender Jake Kielly (Eden Prairie, MN).

Kielly finished with 21 saves, while Benson posted 33 stops.

After a scoreless opening period, Colgate got on the scoreboard first with a quick shot in the slot by Jeff Stewart at 6:58 of the middle frame.

The Knights killed off all three of the visitors' power plays, while going 0-of-2 with the man-advantage.

Clarkson won for the first time on a Friday night since the 4-2 victory at Yale on January 18.