POTSDAM, N.Y. – A three-goal third period propelled No. 13 Clarkson past the Colgate men's hockey program on Friday evening in the final weekend of ECAC Hockey action. In the narrow 3-2 final, Jeff Stewart and Tyler Penner marked their fourth goals of the season.
Colgate was off to a fast start as it saw more chances at the net early and put up a quality power play opportunity generating numerous chances in the opening period. A pipe-ringer by Bobby McMann would be the closest either team would come to finding the back of the net as the first 20:00 came to a scoreless close.
The Raiders played a lot of defense through the start of the second period before they opted to use their timeout to regroup. A successful strategy, Colgate returned and popped three shots on goal to quickly regain an offensive presence in the game.
It was midway through regulation as Jeff Stewart put Colgate up 1-0 over the home team with his fourth of the year, a lead the Raiders would carry into the third period of play.
Clarkson made a statement by tying the game at 1-1 just 20 seconds into the third period. Momentum back on the Golden Knights side, they were awarded a penalty shot opportunity shortly thereafter and claimed their first lead of the night just 3:04 into the third period. The nationally-ranked opponent continued to roll and notched a third goal midway through the final stanza for a two-goal lead.
The Raiders responded with steady pressure through the remainder of the third period and saw a power play chance featuring narrow saves. With under 6:00 remaining in regulation, it was Tyler Penner who ignited the Colgate bench with his fourth of the season and made it a one-goal game yet again.
Despite puling the goalie for an extra attacker for the final 1:19 of regulation, the buzzer sounded before Colgate could cross the goal line for a tying tally. The Raiders recorded a game-high of 10 shots on goal in the third period, but Clarkson withstood the pressure for the 3-2 final.
COLGATE SCORING PLAYS
• Period 2 | 06:58 – After a flurry of action behind the goal, Josh McKechney punched the puck out to the hashmarks to a ready Jeff Stewart. The freshman spun around and snuck the puck inside the far post on the backhand.
• Period 3 | 14:01 – A slide south along the boards sent the puck to the point, where Griffin Lunn spotted an open Tyler Penner in the slot. Penner deked out the tender for a top shelf goal to make it a one-goal game.
• Freshman Jeff Stewart registered his fourth goal of the season with the opening tally. Stewart now holds three points in the last six games.
• With his goal, junior Tyler Penner posted his second point in the last three games. The Winnipeg native's fourth goal of the season is his first since scoring at Princeton (Jan. 5).
• By 33 total saves, freshman netminder Mitch Benson recorded his fourth straight 30-plus save performance. The Windsor, Ontario, native has done so 14 times in his 30 starts this year.
• The Raiders held Clarkson scoreless on its two power play opportunities. It marks the fifth time in the last six games and 15th time this season that Colgate has held its opponent scoreless with the man advantage.
• By recording the lone assist on Stewart's goal, sophomore Josh McKechney marked his third point in the last four games by one goal and two assists.
• After scoring his first career goal two games back vs. Union (Feb. 22), freshman Griffin Lunn earned his second point in the last three games with an assist on Penner's goal.
• Earning his fourth point in the second half of the season, seventh overall, sophomore Tyler Jeanson also earned an apple on Penner's goal.
• When Clarkson was awarded a penalty shot early in the third period, it marked the first penalty shot attempted by an opponent since Nov. 28, 2014 (at Boston University, Charlie Finn). It also marked the first time an opponent scored on a penalty shot attempt since Jan. 15, 2011 (vs. RPI, Eric Mihalik).
THE BOTTOM LINE
• No. 13 Clarkson 3, Colgate 2
• Colgate holds a 10-20-3 record, and a 7-11-3 mark in ECAC Hockey action.
• No. 13 Clarkson is 22-10-1 overall on the season, and is 13-7-1 in ECAC play.
COACH VAUGHAN'S TAKE
"I was really happy with our effort and thought we executed an excellent road game. We had a great plan in place and guys were playing to the system for 50:00.
"We didn't clear a puck and they scored in the first minute. That's a punch in the gut, but we tried to regroup and we got caught in the middle to give up a penalty shot. The guys still battled and then the last 10:00 of the third period I thought we were really good again. It was just a bit of a lapse at the start of the third and that was the difference.
"Clarkson's an NCAA tournament-bound team and I told our guys, we're not that far away. It's frustrating and disappointing but again, I thought our effort was great tonight.
On the variety of goal scorers the last few weeks: "That's how we have to do it – we need to score by committee and we just haven't done enough of that this year so it's nice to see."
Colgate concludes the regular season on the road tomorrow at St. Lawrence. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. and will determine next week's ECAC First Round seeding. The Raiders will be on the road for the first round, seeded anywhere from 9 to 11 against a to be determined opponent.