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Lost weekend for Clarkson men’s hockey

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SCHENECTADY — A second straight shutout loss, combined with a smart move by Princeton coach Bob Prier in another game, means that the Clarkson University men’s hockey team will open the ECAC Hockey playoffs with a first-round series at Brown next weekend.

Union College blanked the Golden Knights, 4-0, before 2,371 fans at Messa Rink on Saturday to earn a first-round bye for itself in the conference playoffs.

Clarkson (9-18-7 overall, 8-11-3 conference) had a chance to claim the No. 8 seed if Princeton had stayed in a 1-1 tie with Harvard. But Prier, knowing his team had to win, pulled his goalie late in the overtime period and Andrew Calof scored to drop Clarkson into the 10th seed in the playoffs.

Clarkson tied Brown, 3-3, in Providence, R.I., on Nov. 10 and then lost 3-2 to the Bears in Cheel Arena on Jan. 11.

“We didn’t beat them this year, but we played them a while ago,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “At this point and time we’ll do a good scout on them. They’ll be a good opponent. It’s a situation where as long as we play like who we are, and to our capabilities, it will be good series.”

Clarkson started off strong against Union (17-12-5, 10-8-4), but the Dutchmen scored first on a power-play shot from Wayne Simpson at 17 minutes, 13 seconds of the opening period.

“I thought we could have gotten (a goal) in the first there,” Jones said. We had a lot of chances.”

Kevin Sullivan scored two straight goals to give the Dutchmen a 3-0 edge. He struck first at 5:27 of the second period and then scored a power-play goal at 6:24 of the third. Union’s final goal came from Josh Jooris at 17:20 of the third period.

Clarkson lost leading scorer Allan McPherson to an injury but the extent is not known at this time.

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