POTSDAM — The Clarkson University men’s hockey team had one of its best efforts of the season when it needed it most Friday night.
The Golden Knights shut out Dartmouth College 4-0 before 2,142 fans in an ECAC Hockey game at Cheel Arena, moving into a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference standings with the Big Green and Yale.
Clarkson (9-15-7 overall, 8-8-3 conference) plays its final regular-season home game at 7 tonight against Harvard and finds itself just one point behind Union College for the final bye position with three games to play. But the Golden Knights are also only two points ahead of the final spot which would receive home ice for a first-round playoff series.
Clarkson lost 5-1 to the Big Green in Hanover, N.H. on Jan. 26, but set a tone for Friday’s game early when fourth-line forward Mike Garlasco gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead with his first goal in three years at 2 minutes, 11 seconds of the first period.
Defenseman Alex Boak, a Norwood native, took a shot from inside the blue line and Garlasco redirected it from just outside the crease between the legs of Big Green goalie Cab Morris.
Garlasco, a junior, was playing in just his 13th game of the season and had missed 16 of Clarkson’s last 20 games either due to injury or just not being selected to dress.
Clarkson took a 2-0 lead on the Big Green (12-10-4, 8-8-3) at 5:43 of the second period on a rebound goal from Jarrett Burton. Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet pulled Morris after that goal and replaced him with James Kruger, a freshman who had yet to play this season.
Boak made it 3-0 with a goal on a slap shot at 10:10 of the second period and Burton closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 18:44 of the third period.
Freshman goalie Greg Lewis finished with 28 saves for his second career shutout.
NOTES: Clarkson was missing senior defenseman Nik Pokulok in Saturday’s game. Pokulok, along with seniors Adam Pawlick, Andrew Himelson and Cody Rosen will be honored after tonight’s game against Harvard. ... Ben Sexton assisted on two of Clarkson’s goals Friday. ... Dartmouth assistant coach John Rose is a Potsdam native and former Sandstoner hockey player.