POTSDAM — For a second straight game the Clarkson University men’s hockey team defeated a program that it had not defeated for several years.
The Golden Knights defeated Union College 2-1 before 2,226 fans in an ECAC Hockey game at Cheel Arena Friday. It was Clarkson’s first win over Union since a 4-3 overtime win in Cheel Arena on Jan. 23, 2009, snapping a streak of nine straight losses to the Dutchmen. Last weekend Clarkson earned its first victory over Cornell since the 2007-08 season.
Union (13-9-5 overall, 6-5-4 conference) had not just won nine straight games against Clarkson, it had dominated the Golden Knights in that run, outscoring Clarkson 50-16.
The Dutchmen entered Friday’s game averaging 3.04 goals and had the nation’s top power play at 26 percent.
Clarkson (7-13-7, 6-6-3) emphasized defense in practice this week and also limited its penalties, giving Union only three power-play chances.
Labrecque got things started for Clarkson with a goal at 7 minutes, 46 seconds of the first period on a shot from between the circles that beat Union’s starting goalie Troy Grosenick. Simon Bessette and Pat Megannety assisted.
Union outshot Clarkson 10-6 in the opening period but was frustrated the few scoring chances it got by Clarkson goalie Greg Lewis, who finished with 27 saves.
The Golden Knights shut Union’s offense down in the second period, holding the Dutchmen to just six shots and after two periods Union’s top forward line of Daniel Ciampini, Kyle Bodie and Wayne Simpson combined for just one shot on goal.
Junior Allan McPherson gave Clarkson a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal on a three-on-one breakaway at 6:38 of the second period. McPherson kept the puck and put a shot between Grosenick’s legs, giving him a power-play goal in three straight games for Clarkson.
Union coach Rick Bennett pulled Grosenick after McPherson’s goal and Colin Stevens played the final 32:17 in net for the Dutchmen, stopping all 11 shots he faced.
Union only got one shot past Lewis, when Josh Jooris put in a rebound at 13:37 of the third period while Lewis was still on his back after making an initial save.
The Dutchmen had one final chance to tie the game when Nik Pokulok was called for tripping at 14:50, but Clarkson killed all three of its penalties, allowing Union only six total shots.