After Union rallied to beat St. Lawrence on Friday night with a dominant third period, Dutchmen head coach Rick Bennett was hoping that the team could carry the momentum into Saturday’s matchup against Clarkson.
That didn’t happen.
The Golden Knights exploded for six first-period goals and cruised to an easy 8-2 ECAC Hockey victory over the Dutchmen at Cheel Arena.
“Another slow start for us,” Bennett said in a phone interview. “You can’t keep doing it, and finally, it got us good tonight. It’s just one of those things that you have to keep fighting through, keep trying some different stuff in practice. I’m going to talk to the leadership group. We’re going to find solutions. Sometimes, it takes a little longer. It’s kind of a role reversal from how we started at the beginning of the year. I thought, sometimes, we had good first periods.
“We’re going to find a way to fix it.”
The six-goal victory was the second-biggest margin for Clarkson (5-2-2 ECACH, 19 points; 10-7-4 overall) against Union (4-6-1, 11 points; 6-11-3) since the Dutchmen became a Division I program in the 1991-92 season. The Golden Knights won 9-0 on Feb. 20, 1993, at Cheel Arena.
Eleven Clarkson players recorded at least one point. Six had multi-point games, led by Luke Santerno and Ayrton Martino with four points each.
The rout started 3:25 into the game when Anthony Callin beat goalie Connor Murphy from
Ryan Richardson made it 2-0 less than four minutes later when he skated down the right wing past Union defenseman Ryan Sidorski and slipped the puck past Murphy.
Murphy’s night ended at 9:43 when Santerno scored a power-play goal. Garrett Nieto replaced Murphy, who made just two saves.
“[Murphy] wasn’t feeling great going into the weekend,” Bennett said. “I thought he battled [Friday] night. … I wasn’t going to keep him in if we’re not going to play hard in front of him. Just get some rest and be ready to play next weekend.”
The Golden Knights didn’t let up. Zach Tsekos scored on a 2-on-1 with Martino with 4:34 left in the period. Jordan Power scored 1:22 later, and to make things worse for Union, defenseman Nic Petruolo was called for slashing, giving Clarkson a power play. Santerno took advantage and scored on it to make it 6-0.
The six goals surrendered were the most allowed in a period by the Dutchmen since Harvard scored six in the second period of an 8-5 win at Messa Rink on Jan. 31, 2020. That was also the last time the Dutchmen allowed eight goals in a game.
Alex Campbell scored late in the second period, and Martino scored early in the third.
Union avoided getting shut out when Gabriel Seger and Josh Kosack scored power-play goals 27 seconds apart midway through the third.
“Our guys earned [drawing] those penalties by playing a little bit harder and bringing pucks to the net, so they got rewarded for it with a couple of power-play goals,” Bennett said. “That’s what you’ve got to feed off of.”
Union managed to avoid allowing 10 goals. That has happened only once in the program’s Division I history. That was in the first round of the 2017 NCAA tournament Midwest Regional, when the Dutchmen lost to Penn State 10-3. Union has never allowed 10 goals in a regular-season game in Division I play. The Dutchmen have allowed nine goals in a game several times, the last being Oct. 8, 2005, against Air Force.
The Dutchmen return home Friday when they host Brown at 7 p.m.
Union 0 0 2 — 2
Clarkson 6 1 1 — 8
First Period — 1, Clarkson, Callin 1 (Santerno, Richardson), 3:25. 2, Clarkson, Richardson 3 (Callin, Santerno), 7:17. 3, Clarkson, Santerno 5 (Callin, Martino), 9:41 (pp). 4, Clarkson, Tsekos 10 (Martino, Kacome), 15:26. 5, Clarkson, Power 4 (Campoli), 16:48. 6, Clarkson, Santerno 6 (Martino, Tsekos), 18:32 (pp). Penalties — Petruolo, Uni (hooking), 9:13; Petruolo, Uni (slashing), 16:48.
Second Period — 7, Clarkson, Campbell 9 (Gosselin, Romano), 19:01. Penalties — Farris, Uni (tripping), 5:00; Pasanen, Cla (holding), 8:27.
Third Period — 8, Clarkson, Martino 3 (Jacome), 1:26. 9, Union, Seger 3 (Estes, Anhorn), 8:08 (pp). 10, Union, Kosack 3 (Farris, Sanda), 8:35 (pp). Penalties — Romano, Cla (interference), 2:28; Beck, Cla (tripping), 6:22; Taylor, Cla (interference), 7:13; Beck, Cla (holding), 13:27; Sidorski, Uni (tripping), 18:24.
Shots on Goal — Union 4-4-13 — 21. Clarkson 13-13-9 — 35.
Power-play opportunities — Union 2 of 5; Clarkson 2 of 4.
Goalies — Union, Murphy 6-10-2 (5 shots-2 saves), Nieto (9:41 first, 30-25). Clarkson, Mucitelli 1-0-0 (21-19).
A — 2,236.
Referees — Anthony Dapuzzo, Douglas Place Jr. Linesman — Patrick Woodward, JP Waleski.