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Clarkson blitzes Harvard behind Zarbo

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BOSTON — Another strong finish by the Clarkson University men’s hockey team led the Golden Knights to a 5-1 win over the Harvard Crimson before 2,019 fans in an ECAC Hockey game Friday night at the Bright Hockey Center.

Clarkson (5-12-6 overall, 4-5-2 conference) snapped a six-game winless streak by claiming its first win since a 3-1 victory over St. Lawrence University on Dec. 8 in Lake Placid.

It was also the second straight strong finish by the Golden Knights, who rallied with three goals in the third period to tie SLU 3-3 last Saturday in Cheel Arena. Clarkson scored all five of its goals Saturday in the final 22 minutes and 49 seconds.

“Confidence is a fragile thing,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “It comes and goes there. We feel we are doing some things well. We had some back-to-back games where we scored a power-play goal. We are trying to get better here.”

The star for Clarkson on Friday was sophomore Joe Zarbo, who picked up his first career hat trick.

“His line has the ability to cycle pucks and protect pucks,” Jones said. “This is back-to-back games where they’ve had great offensive-zone play and they are moving pucks between the blue line.”

Zarbo’s first goal was the game-winner, coming just nine seconds after a power-play goal from Jarrett Burton had tied the game 1-1 at 17:41 of the second period.

Then just 1:44 into the third period Zarbo scored again, giving Clarkson the lead for good.

Senior Adam Pawlick scored for Clarkson at 13:43 of the third period to extend the lead to 4-1 and then Zarbo scored an empty-net goal with 2:17 left to end the scoring.

Harvard (5-12-1, 3-10) held an early lead when Jimmy Vesey scored his eighth goal of the season just 2:34 into the game.

Clarkson had 20 of its 39 shots in the opening period but did not score until the second period was almost over.

“I thought maybe the first (Harvard) goal kind of set us back a little bit,” Jones said. “I thought we settled in after that. I thought we carried over all of our offensive confidence from last weekend.”

Clarkson goalie Greg Lewis stopped 30 of 31 shots for his fifth win of the season.

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