POTSDAM, NY -- A well-rested Clarkson University Hockey team jumped out to a strong start and held Yale in check for most of the game to open the ECAC Hockey playoffs with a 3-1 victory over the Bulldogs in Game 1 of the their conference quarterfinal series Friday night before 2,112 fans at Cheel Arena.
With a victory over Yale in Game 2 of the best-of-three series, Clarkson will advance to Lake Placid next weekend for the conference championship tournament. If the Bulldogs win on Saturday, the teams will meet again at Cheel on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. in a deciding Game 3.
Ranked 11th in the national polls, Clarkson extends its current unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2) and improves to 23-10-2. Yale falls to 15-14-3.
With a week off because of the first-round bye, Clarkson was ready to go in its first postseason game of the year and was all over Yale through the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the visitors 17-6 en route to 3-0 first-period lead.
Freshman Josh Dunne (O'Fallon, MI) started the Knights' off early with his 13th goal of the season. Positioned in front, Dunne tipped in a shot from the top of the slot by sophomore defenseman Connor McCarthy (LaSalle, QUE) for a power-play marker at 4:22. Junior co-captain Devin Brosseau (St. Lambert, QUE) also assisted.
A pair of quick strikes later in the period gave the Green and Gold the three-goal cushion.
At 13:05, freshmen Nick Campoli (Toronto, ONT) found a loose puck at the side of the net after a couple of shots by linemates, sophomore John Carter MacLean (Basking Ridge, NJ) and freshman Adam Tisdale (Cochrane, ALB), and flipped in his third goal of the season.
Forty-three seconds later, senior defenseman Aaron Thow (Toronto, ONT) took a pass from Dunne behind the net and skated around to the bottom of the right circle where he fired in a low shot just inside the far post for his eighth tally of the year. Junior defenseman Greg Moro (Edmonton, ALB) also assisted.
Clarkson and Yale both put up seven shots apiece in a scoreless second period.
The Bulldogs, who held an 11-3 shot advantage over the final 20 minutes finally got on the scoreboard late in the third period. Defenseman Jack St. Ivany fired in a shot from the top of the right circle that just trickled through the pads of the Knights' junior goaltender Jake Kielly (Eden Prairie, MN) for an unassisted goal at 15:08.
Yale pulled goaltender Sam Tucker for the extra attacked with 2:02 remaining, but could not get any closer.
Clarkson outshot the Bulldogs 27-24. Kielly finished with 23 saves.
The Knights went 1-of-3 on the power play and killed off both of the Bulldogs man-advantage chances.