A three-goal night by Zach Tsekos (Montreal, QUE) and another solid performance in goal by Frank Marotte (Longueuil, QUE) lifted Clarkson University to a 3-2 win over Vermont before 3,098 fans in the Golden Knights' home opener at Cheel Arena on Friday night.
Ninth-ranked Clarkson, which improves to 2-0-1 on the young season, takes on 12th-ranked Providence on Saturday in a 7:30 p.m. faceoff at Cheel.
Postgame audio Head Coach Casey Jones
Trailing 2-1 early in the third against the Catamounts, the Knights battled back and regained the lead on a pair of goals by Tsekos just over five minutes apart late in the stanza to pull out the victory.
Tsekos jammed in a loose puck at the top of the crease at 10:10 to tie the game. Sophomore Jack Jacome (Caledon, ONT) and freshman Anthony Romano (Richmond Hill, ONT), with a strong rush into the Vermont zone, recorded the assists.
A junior transfer from Sacred Heart, Tsekos completed his hat trick, a the first by a Golden Knight in almost two years, when he finished off an assist from Jacome with a wrist shot from the left circle at 15:15. Senior defenseman Shane Kuzmeski (Grayslake, IL) started the play with a pass to Jacome out of the Clarkson end.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Clarkson got on the scoreboard first with a power-play tally by Tsekos at 6:43 of the middle frame for his first goal as a Golden Knight. Jacome, with the first of his three assists in the game, and senior Haralds Egle (Liepaja, Latvia) set up the goal.
Vermont, playing its first NCAA game of the season. Scored midway through the stanza with Joey Cipollone connecting at 12:58. The Catamounts took a 2-1 lead to start the final period when defenseman Christian Evers swept in his own rebound at 2:12.
Vermont held a slight 33-32 edge in shots. Marotte made 31 saves, including 14 over the final 20 minutes.
Stefanos Lekkas made 29 stops for the visitors.
Clarkson won the specialty teams battle, going 1-of-2 on the man-advantage and killed off all four of the Catamounts' power plays. The Knights biggest kill was near the end of regulation when they were assessed a five-minute major at 18:36. Vermont pulled Lekkas for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Green and Gold PK unit held strong to preserve the win.