Union falls to Clarkson, 2-1
Union’s domination of Clarkson over the last few years ended meekly Friday night at Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights took advantage of an 18th-ranked Dutchmen team that was a step slow and scored the game’s first two goals, and they held on for a 2-1 ECAC Hockey win.
The victory snapped the Knights’ nine-game losing streak against the Dutchmen. Clarkson (6-6-3 ECACH, 7-13-7 overall) had been outscored, 50-16, in those games. The Knights hadn’t beaten the Dutchmen (6-5-4, 13-9-5) taking a 4-3 overtime win Jan. 23, 2009, at Cheel.
The loss, coupled with RPI's 4-3 overtime win over St. Lawrence and Princeton’s 4-2 triumph over Colgate, tightened the battle for an ECACH tournament first-round bye. Union, which is tied for third with Dartmouth, is only a point ahead of Clarkson, RPI and Princeton.
Clarkson managed just 18 shots against Union. Even though the Dutchmen had 28 shots, they weren’t attacking the Knights and freshman goalie Greg Lewis until late in the game, when Josh Jooris scored with 6:23 left in regulation.
“We never established a forecheck tonight,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “It was one of those nights. I felt really good going into this game that we were going to have our feet. For whatever reason, we didn’t. Our fourth line was really good tonight. David Roy, Cole Ikkala and [Nick] Cruice. And I thought Josh Jooris’ line was going. Jooris and Matt Hatch were really going well tonight.
“But you can’t have two lines going and two lines sleeping on the bus.”
Bennett promised changes for Saturday's game at St. Lawrence.
"We'll switch it up," Bennett said. "We'll watch tape, break it down and see who deserves to be in the lineup and see who needs to come out."
The Knights took a 1-0 on Sam Labrecque’s goal 7:46 into the game. Early in the second period, Union had a chance to tie it while Kyle Bodie was in the penalty box for boarding. David Roy got a breakaway, but the freshman center was stopped by Lewis.
After the save, the Knights had a three-on-one rush up the ice. Allan McPherson capitalized, beating goalie Troy Grosenick between the pads for a power-play goal. Union coach Rick Bennett yanked Grosenick and put in Niskayuna native Colin Stevens. He stopped all 11 shots he faced.
“It wasn’t a Troy Grosenick issue tonight,” Bennett said. “But at the same token, . . . I didn’t think it was a great goal. And I think we needed something. We needed the big save, and we didn’t get it there. We needed to rally around something, and Colin Stevens provided that.”