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Clarkson men settle for ECAC tie with Colgate

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POTSDAM — Friday night’s Clarkson/Colgate men’s ECAC Hockey game at Cheel Arena had everything a fan could want, except a satisfying conclusion.

The Golden Knights skated to a 4-4 tie with Colgate before 2,700 fans and both teams left the ice feeling like the game should have been won by them.

Friday’s game featured multiple blown leads, dramatic late goals, breakaway goals, fights, jerseys nearly being pulled over players’ heads, blood and even a player who lost the blade of his skate.

But it left both squads dissatisfied with the outcome. Clarkson blew a 3-2 lead in the third period, but rallied to tie the game on a goal by James Howden with 66 seconds remaining.

“They had the lead and we took it back,” said Colgate coach Don Vaughan, a former SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence University player. “Any time you have a one-goal lead with less than two minutes to go, it stings. We didn’t take care of the puck in our own end. It wasn’t the only time tonight. I thought they won more of the puck battles in our zone than we did.”

Colgate (13-9-3 overall, 5-6-2 conference) has played better in Cheel Arena than any other ECAC Hockey team, improving to 9-10-8 with the tie.

The Raiders are also 7-1-3 in their last 11 games against Clarkson but have not won a road game in conference play this season.

Clarkson (5-13-7, 4-6-3) has struggled at home this season, with a 1-8-3 record, but after a bad start Friday appeared on its way to a rare home win before the third-period sputter. The Golden Knights were hoping to avenge a 5-4 overtime loss at Colgate on Dec. 1.

“I thought they outplayed us pretty badly in their rink,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said of the Raiders. “We made a bad turnover in overtime, otherwise that would have been a tie game as well. That was a game they deserved.”

Clarkson had a sluggish first period and fell behind with Colgate’s Kyle Baun scored a power-play goal just 2 minutes, 47 seconds into the game.

But the Golden Knights took control of the game in the second period, starting with a breakaway goal from Joe Zarbo at 1:27, his fifth goal in Clarkson’s last three games.

Sam Labrecque fed the puck to Zarbo, who raced in alone and beat Colgate goalie Spencer Finney.

“It was nice to get that pass,” Zarbo said. “I caught them on a broken play there and cashed in. Originally I was going to shoot but (Finney) was hugging to one side, so I went to my backhand.”

Clarkson took a 2-1 lead at 15:53 of the second period on a power-play goal from Allan McPherson.

Colgate responded with a power-play goal with 17 seconds left in the second to tie it 2-2 on a shot from Joe Wilson, the nephew of Clarkson’s all-time leading goal-scorer Kevin Zappia.

Clarkson took the lead again early in the third on a goal from T.J. Moor at 2:18 of the third. Simon Bessette and Pat Megannety also had shots on the play as Finney lay on his back trying to cover the puck. But he never did cover it, the whistle never blew and Moor finally got to the rebound.

“I thought we were working well in the offensive zone, protecting pucks and moving it around, getting it to the net,” Megannety said afterward.

Colgate stunned the crowd by scoring two goals just 3:07 apart late in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Mike Borkowski scored first at 13:59 and then Mike McCann gave Colgate a lead at 17:06.

Zarbo set up the tying goal for Howden.



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