Saints Battle Back, But Clarkson Prevails 5-3
St. Lawrence University's hockey team finally found a way to get some pucks behind Clarkson senior goaltender Paul Karpowich, but three weren't enough on Tuesday night as the Golden Knights snapped a tie with a late goal and added an empty-netter to hand the Saints their fourth straight loss, 5-3 in the first of two meetings this week between the North Country rivals.
Sophomore Matt Zarbo snapped a 3-3 tie with a goal with 3:04 to go in regulation for the game winner and classmate Will Frederick scored his second of the game into an empty net with 7.7 seconds left as Clarkson won for the fourth straight time in the series between the two rivals. The two teams will play a non-league game at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid on Saturday at 7:30.
The Golden Knights, 9-6-4 overall and 3-4-2 in the ECAC, jumped out to 2-0 and 3-1 leads, but the Saints, 5-10-0, 4-5-0, battled back to tie with a pair of third period goals to tie the game. Freshman Joe Zarbo picked up a loose puck near the Saint blue line and fed his older brother for the game winner at 16:56 before Frederick scored an empty net power play goal to wrap things up.
"The guys battled back after falling into an early hole," said Saint associate head coach Mike Hurlbut. "I thought we started playing better midway through the first and played a solid second period. We went with shorter and quicker shifts in the third and tied it up, but Clarkson took advantage of a mistake on our part to win it.
"We had our chances with some open looks, but didn't finish them off, and it was obvious that we missed Kyle Flanagan and George Hughes on the power play," Hurlbut added after the Saints went scoreless in five tries with the extra man.
Clarkson scored on the first shot on goal of the game as Joe Zarbo was all alone in front of Saint goalie Matt Weninger and brother Matt found him with a pass from behind the net. The goal, which came at 56 seconds, was Joe Zarbo's third of the season. The Knights made it a 2-0 game at 10:21, again taking advantage of a Saint defensive mistake in front of Weninger. Corey Tamblyn fed sophomore Will Frederick, who came down the middle and tucked the puck behind Weninger for his first of the season.
The Saints battled back into it with a strong second period effort, cutting the Golden Knight lead to 2-1 just 1:17 in as freshman Chris Martin scored his fifth of the season on a wraparound as he tucked the puck inside the left post. While the Saints had some great chances to tie and outshot the Knights 15-9 in the period, Clarkson quieted the crowd and regained its two goal lead at 11:10 when the Saints were caught in a change and while Weninger stopped Frederick's point-blank bid, Tamblyn was there to put away the rebound for his sixth of the year.
St. Lawrence cut the Clarkson lead to 3-2 at 5:35 of the third when junior defenseman Jordan Dewey pinched in and picked up a rebound of a shot by Gunnar Hughes in the Clarkson goal mouth and put the puck back past Karpowich, who surrendered more than one goal in a game to the Saints for the first time in his last four starts in the series. SLU tied the score when freshman defender Nelson Armstrong got the puck to senior forward Mark Armstrong and Mark Armstrong worked his way through traffic, putting a shot inside the far post at 11:45 to make it a 3-3 game.
The Saints outshot Clarkson 31-28 with Karpowich making 14 of his 28 saves in the second period. Weninger had 23 saves for the Saints, who dropped their fourth in a row after winning five of the previous six.