Potsdam, NY - Looking for its second straight victory over a nationally-ranked opponent, the Clarkson University Men's Hockey team fell just short in its bid to knock-off 5th-rated University of New Hampshire, falling to the Wildcats 4-3.
Junior Sean Collins scored three goals to lead UNH to a wild 4-3 victory over Clarkson before 2,497 fans in non-conference action at Cheel Arena Friday night. The Wildcats, of Hockey East, improved their record to 10-3-1, while the Golden Knights stand at 6-5-3.
Leading 2-1 after forty minutes of play, UNH traded goals with Clarkson in the third period and then withstood some intense pressure from the Knights in the final minutes to win their second straight. The Wildcats, who benefited from six power-play opportunities in the final frame, went on top 3-1 at 1:19 on Collins’ second goal of the night, while the Wildcats were skating on a 5-on-3 advantage. Clarkson made it 3-2 when sophomore John Sullivan (Bedford, NH) knocked in a rebound off senior Trevor Edwards’ (Carleton Place, ONT) breakaway attempt for a shorthanded marker at 10:19.
The Wildcats regained the two-goal advantage as Collins completed his hat trick at 12:55. The Knights battled back once again to make it a one-goal game at 16:04. Junior Mac Faulkner (King City, ONT) won a face-off in the UNH zone and sent a pass back to line mate, junior Chris Blight (Cambridge, MA), who scored his team-high ninth goal of the year on a shot from the slot. Clarkson pulled sophomore goaltender Dustin Traylen (Kirkland, QUE) for the extra skater with 25 seconds remaining, but could not come up with the tying goal.
UNH opened the scoring in the second when the Wildcats caught the Knights’ in a line change. Collins tallied on a breakaway at 4:10 for his sixth goal of the season. At 9:30, Clarkson tied the game on sophomore Jeff Genovy’s (Kalamazoo, MI) first goal of the season, a quick shot from the right circle that deflected in off the crossbar. Just 22 seconds later the Wildcats regained the lead when defenseman John Doherty’s shot from the point deflected in off a Clarkson defenseman in front past a screened Traylen to put UNH on top 2-1.
Clarkson dominated the early stages of the first period out shooting UNH 6-0 in the opening three minutes. The Wildcats registered their first shot on goal at 12:05 and then took advantage of two Clarkson penalties to generate some offensive pressure. Traylen, fresh off his first shutout of the season with a 31-save effort in the Knights’ 3-0 victory at Harvard last Saturday, stopped several Wildcats’ shot from in close keeping the second-ranked UNH offense off the scoreboard. The Wildcats ended up out shooting the Green and Gold 16-13 in the first period, but the best scoring chance of the opening 20 minutes came when Sullivan fired a shot off the far post with 12:25 remaining in the stanza.
Traylen finished with 37 saves as UNH outshoot the Knights 41-25, including 19 power-play shots. Mike Ayers posted 22 stops for the Wildcats. UNH was 1-of-9 on the power play, while Clarkson did not score on its two power-play attempts.
The Knights close out the first semester hosting UMass-Lowell on Saturday, while UNH travels 10 miles down Route 11 to face St. Lawrence.