POTSDAM — Penalties hurt the Clarkson University men's hockey team in a 4-0 loss to Merrimack before 2,416 fans in a nonconference game at Cheel Arena Saturday night.
Clarkson (13-7-2 overall), picked up 42 minutes of penalty time, including two major penalties. Senior defenseman Alex Boak was given a game disqualification in the third period and will miss Friday's ECAC Hockey home game against Yale University.
Clarkson coach Casey Jones
Clarkson's first major proved to be a turning point in the game.
Merrimack (5-10-3) had a 1-0 lead with 16 seconds left in the first period when Clarkson's Joe Zarbo had an excellent scoring chance beside the crease.
Warriors goalie Rasmus Tirronen made a big save and then a skirmish ensued which saw Clarkson's A.J. Fossen pick up a game misconduct and major penalty for facemasking (grabbing an opponent's mask on the helmet) and Joe Zarbo also earned a roughing penalty, giving Merrimack both the five-minute major and close to two minutes of five-on-three hockey.
The Warriors, who had been 0-7-2 in road games prior to Saturday, took advantage of the situation. Clarkson killed the first five-on-three penalty, but the Warriors scored at 2 minutes, 16 seconds of the second period on a shot from Quinn Gould to go up 2-0.
Then Clarkson's Jeff DiNallo was called for boarding at 3:20, giving Merrimack another chance to play with a two-man advantage. The Warriors capitalized with a goal from Mike Collins at 3:54 of the second period to extend the lead to 3-0.
The second major penalty for Clarkson game at 9:01 of the third period during a tussle behind Tirronen's net. Boak skated in from the point and joined the skirmish and was called for facemasking and given the game disqualification, which will keep him out of Friday's game.
The Warriors ended the scoring with an empty-net goal from Rhett Bly at 18:15 of the third period. Clayton Jardine scored the first goal for Merrimack at 11:17 of the first period.
Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy
Tirronen finished with 34 saves to shut out Clarkson for the first time since last March 8, when Brown beat the Golden Knights 3-0 in an ECAC Hockey playoff game.