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College hockey: Clarkson falls to UNH at Ice Breaker Tournament

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Clarkson University men’s hockey team got off to a strong start Friday, but could not contain New Hampshire as the Wildcats gained a 4-1 win in the opening game of the Ice Breaker Tournament at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena.

Clarkson (2-1 overall) will play either Mercyhurst or the Golden Gophers in the consolation game at 5 p.m. today.

The Golden Knights, who swept Niagara last weekend, took the first five shots of the game against the No. 13 Wildcats, but UNH struck first when Eric Knodel scored at 14 minutes, 27 seconds of the first period.

Clarkson responded immediately with a power-play goal on a slap shot from freshman defenseman James de Haas at 15:50. Clarkson got the power-play chance when UNH’s Grayson Downing was called for tripping just 25 seconds after the opening goal.

But just like Clarkson, UNH responded almost immediately to the goal, as Tyler Kelleher produced the game-winner 38 seconds after de Haas’s goal.

Clarkson enjoyed a 12-8 edge in shots in the first period, but began to play UNH’s style in the second and was outshot by the Wildcats 16-9 in the middle period.

“I thought we had a good first period, the game was going according to plan,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “We lost our patience in the second period. If you play the game that they want to play, they are really effective. We got into a track meet in the second period, trading chances.”

UNH (1-0) extended the lead to 2-0 when Matt Willows scored just 3:03 into the second period.

The Wildcats closed out the scoring at 1:54 of the third period on a goal from Dan Correale.

Clarkson finished with a 34-33 edge in shots and held the Wildcats scoreless on four power-play chances.

“I thought our special teams were good tonight and afforded us an opportunity to win the game,” Jones said. “We did some things and generated enough scoring chances. We are trying to get better in every regard of our game.”

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