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Clarkson breaks open close game to beat Union 5-1

Clarkson breaks open close game to beat Union 5-1

Tied 1-1, Dutchmen give up late goal in second period and early goal in the third
Clarkson breaks open close game to beat Union 5-1
Union's Dylan Anhorn gets off a shot against Clarkson at Messa Rink on Friday.

SCHENECTADY -- Union men's hockey head coach Rick Bennett said early in the season that one objective for any game is to win the first three minutes and last three minutes of each period.

Clarkson shattered all of those little windows on Friday night.

The Golden Knights scored early and scored late, beating the Dutchmen 5-1 at Messa Rink to drop Union to 1-2-0 in ECAC Hockey and 2-9-0 overall.

All five of Clarkson's goals were scored in the first or last three minutes, none more damaging than Chris Klack's goal with 22.8 seconds left in the second and Anthony Romano's goal 1:38 into the third for a 3-1 lead.

On a night when the Golden Knights' top line of Josh Dunne centering Devin Brosseau and Haralds Egle was held without a point, Clarkson (1-0-0, 6-2-1) got production from a variety of other sources.

Union, meanwhile, had a difficult time creating scoring chances -- again. Bennett used the word "embarrassing" for the first time this season, and declined to make players available for postgame interviews.

"We're 1-1 with supposedly one of the best teams in the league, and then we implode," Bennett said. "Once we figure out some consistency ... there were too many passengers tonight. And it'll be very easy, if you ask me who it was, all you've got to do is come to the game tomorrow, and you'll know. We know we're going to have a lot of passengers because it's a lot of new [players]. But when it's upperclassmen, I've got a huge problem with that.

"I'm not going to name names. This isn't a game show."

Clarkson got on the scoreboard just 1:29 into the game when Grant Cooper flipped the puck past Union goalie Darion Hanson during  goalmouth scramble.

The Dutchmen tied it 1-1 when freshman defenseman Dylan Anhorn skated in from the point, took a cross-ice pass from Gabriel Seger and rang it off the far post from the left circle, waiting a half a beat for a shooting lane to open.

The Golden Knights controlled the puck for most of the second period, and Union nearly made it into the locker room still tied 1-1, anyway, but Klack was able to slip a rebound under Hanson with 22.8 seconds left for a 2-1 lead.

Romano made it 3-1 just 1:38 into the third.

"The game's all momentum, and that got a little wind into our sails, especially the goal in the third to set the tone," Clarkson head coach Casey Jones said.

"It's deflating at the time, certainly, but it's how you react," Bennett said. "We didn't react very well after. Credit them for scoring that one [Klack's goal]. We had an average effort to block the shot. If you're going to front the shot, you front it. You don't front it, the guy's right in back of you, and he stuffs it in the net. I think it was a three-person error -- forward, a D and the goalie. And guess what? Two-one."

The Dutchmen didn't get on the power play until the third period, but that made no difference, either, as Clarkson killed both to push it's streak to 22 straight successful penalty kills over the last five games.

A big part of that Friday was blocked shots by defensemen.

"We've got good hockey sense there," Jones said. "I think we've got complete buy-in in terms of biting pucks and not being afraid to get themselves on it. I liked our play up ice, too, to negate a little bit of time out of the zone."

Clarkson    1 1 3 -- 5

Union    1 0 0 -- 1

First period -- 1, Clarkson, Cooper 3 (Campoli, McFaul), 1:29. 2, Union, Anhorn 1 (Seger, Robertson), 7:18.
Second period -- 3, Clarkson, Klack 1 (Moro, Tsekos), 19:37. Penalties -- Seger, U (holding), 3:12; Sidorski, U (cross-checking), 10:49.

Third period -- 4, Clarkson, Romano 4 (Moro, Jacome), 1:38. 5, Clarkson, Jacome 2 (Tsekos), 17:26. 6, Clarkson, Gosselin 1 (Tisdale, Underwood), 18:06. Penalties -- Campoli, C (hooking), 2:08; Brosseau, C (cross-checking), 4:58.

Shots on goal -- Clarkson, 12-12-8 -- 32. Union, 7-5-8 -- 20.

Power-play opportunities -- Clarkson, 0 of 2. Union, 0 of 2.

Goalies -- Clarkson, Marotte 6-2-1 (20 shots-19 saves). Union, Hanson 2-9-0 (32-27).

T -- 2:12. A -- 2,080.

Referees -- Tom Steinel, Tom Dellafranco. Linesmen -- Ryan Knapp, Patrick Dapuzzo.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Mike MacAdam at 518-395-3146 or [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @Mike_MacAdam.

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