POTSDAM — Friday night’s Clarkson/Colgate men’s ECAC Hockey game at Cheel Arena had everything a fan could want, except a satisfying conclusion.
The Golden Knights skated to a 4-4 tie with Colgate before 2,700 fans and both teams left the ice feeling like the game should have been won by them.
Friday’s game featured multiple blown leads, dramatic late goals, breakaway goals, fights, jerseys nearly being pulled over player’s heads, blood and even a player who lost the blade of his skate.
But it left both squads dissatisfied with the outcome. Clarkson blew a 3-2 lead in the third period, but rallied to tie the game on a goal by James Howden with 66 seconds remaining.
Colgate (13-9-3 overall, 5-6-2 conference) has played better in Cheel Arena than any other ECAC Hockey team, improving to 9-10-8 with Friday’s tie. The Raiders are also 7-1-3 in their last 11 games against Clarkson but have not won a road came in conference play this season.
Clarkson (5-13-7, 4-6-3) has struggled at home this season, with a 1-8-3 record, but after a bad start Friday appeared on their way to a rare home win before the third-period sputter. The Golden Knights were hoping to avenge a 5-4 overtime loss at Colgate on Dec. 1.
Clarkson had a sluggish first period and fell behind with Colgate’s Kyle Baun scored a power-play goal just 2 minutes, 47 seconds into the game.
But the Golden Knights took control of the game in the second period, starting with a breakaway goal from Joe Zarbo at 1:27, his fifth goal in Clarkson’s last three games.
Defenseman Sam Labrecque started the play by catching a high puck with his glove, dropping it to the ice and then passing through two players to get the puck to Zarbo, who raced in alone and beat Colgate goalie Spencer Finney.
Clarkson took a 2-1 lead at 15:53 of the second period on a power-play goal from Allan McPherson which came on a shot from deep in the circle.
But Colgate responded with a power-play goal with 17 seconds left in the second period to tie the game 2-2 on a shot from Joe Wilson, the nephew of Clarkson’s all-time leading goal-scorer Kevin Zappia.
Clarkson took the lead again early in the third period on a goal from T.J. Moor at 2:18 of the third period. Simon Bessette and Pat Megannety also had shots on the play as Finney lay on his back trying to cover the puck. But he never did cover it, the whistle never blew and Moor finally got to the rebound.
Colgate stunned the Cheel Arena crowd by scoring two goals just 3:07 apart late in the third period to take a 4-3 lead. Mike Borkowski scored first at 13:59 and then Mike McCann gave Colgate a lead at 17:06.
Zarbo, who was the ECAC Hockey Player of the Week last week set up the tying goal for Howden.