POTSDAM The final score showed a 3-3 tie, but the body language of some of Clarkson Universitys mens hockey players after the game told a different story.
Clarkson blew a two-goal lead in the third period and settlde for a tie against the Rochester Institute of Technology in a nonconference game before a sellout crowd of 3,320 fans Saturday at Cheel Arena.
In our locker room it feels like a loss for sure, Clarkson captain Ben Sexton said. You are going into the third period at home, in front of a great crowd tonight, our spirits are pretty down in that locker room. But, at the end of the day, weve got to bank it and weve got to learn from it and we have to get back to work on Monday.
The thing that sticks out in my mind is that third period we didnt manage pucks very well. We were turning over pucks at the blue line, we kind of got in an up-and-down game with them and it ended up making us pay.
Clarkson (4-1-1 overall) held a 3-1 lead heading into the final period but the Tigers cut the deficit to one goal on a power-play goal from Ben Lynch at 6 minutes, 50 seconds, with Josh Mitchell and Nolan Descoteaux assisting.
The Tigers (0-3-1), who held Clarkson to only three shots in the third period, tied the game when Mike Colavecchia scored his second goal of the game with 4:33 remaining.
We just kind of got down on ourselves and tried to do too much at the end of the game even though we were still up a goal, Clarkson defenseman James Howden said. Its a learning experience. We didnt lose the game, its still a tie, but it kind of feels like a loss when you lose it in the third like that.
Saturdays tie marked the first time this season that Clarkson had blown a lead. The Golden Knights, coming off a 9-20-7 record last year, have started off this season showing improvement.
The schedule gets tougher next weekend with Colorado College coming to Potsdam for a pair of nonconference games.
We didnt do the things we need to do with the puck, Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. We didnt respect the puck in the third period. Thats what got us in some trouble. We took a couple of penalties that gave them some momentum in the period. I thought (RIT) played hard in the third period and they were coming at us.
Clarkson produced a few bright spots before RITs comeback.
Freshman forward Jordan Boucher played his first game and, like Perry DArrisso last weekend, scored a goal on his first college shot, giving Clarkson a 1-0 lead at 8:17 of the first period.
I think it was my second shift to get my first goal, I couldnt ask for anything else, Boucher said. (Not playing) was hard, but I stayed positive and kept working in practice and you see the result today. I went to the net hoping for a rebound and the puck was just right there and I knocked it in.
Colavecchia scored a power-play goal for RIT at 12:41 of the first period to tie the game, but Clarkson defenseman Sam Labrecque answered with a power-play goal at 19:49 to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 edge after the opening period.
Clarkson built the 3-1 lead when another freshman, Troy Josephs, picked up his first career goal at 11:44 of the second period.
RIT, while not thrilled with a tie, did break out of a tough stretch to start the season.
I thought we competed much better tonight and the fact we came back is a credit to the guys, Tigers coach Wayne Wilson said. They had us pinned in at times. They are a very big, strong team and they defend their net very well. It was a start tonight.