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College hockey: Perry backstops Golden Knights to weekend sweep

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LEWISTON — Freshman Steve Perry made a memorable debut in goal for the Clarkson University hockey team on Sunday afternoon, backstopping the Golden Knights to a 2-0 victory on the road over 20th-ranked Niagara University.

Making his first collegiate appearance, Perry was composed throughout the game, posting 10 saves in the opening 20 minutes, nine more in the second period and 11 third-period stops for a total of 30 saves.

He became the first rookie netminder for the Golden Knights to record a shutout in his opening game in 27 years.

Jason Poirier, who blanked Rochester Institute of Technology 3-0 on Oct. 25, 1986, also with 30 saves, was the last Golden Knight goalie to begin his career with a shutout.

Perry kept the Niagara power play off the scoreboard with 12 saves in shutting down all five of the Purple Eagles man-advantage opportunities.

Clarkson defeated Niagara 2-1 in the season-opener on Saturday, snapping the Purple Eagles’ 22-game home unbeaten streak at Dwyer Arena.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes on Sunday, Clarkson took control in the middle frame with a pair of goals.

Working on its second man-advantage opportunity, the Knights converted when junior Joe Zarbo finished an odd-man rush with senior Allan McPherson.

Zarbo took a pass at the top of the circles from McPherson and fired off a quick shot from the slot for his 17th career tally at 8 minutes, 3 seconds. Sophomore Pat Megannety also assisted.

Clarkson made it 2-0 after winning an offensive-zone draw. Senior Matt Zarbo won a faceoff back to the point to Paul Geiger, who ripped in a shot up and under the crossbar for his third career goal.

Niagara, with two power-play chances in the final frame, outshot the Knights 11-8 over the final 20 minutes, but Perry kept the Purple Eagles off the scoreboard.

The Knights went 1-of-3 on the power play and won 40-of-69 faceoffs.

Clarkson travels out to the Midwest this coming weekend to play in the Ice Breaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The Knights play the University of New Hampshire in the first round on Friday at 5 p.m. The University of Minnesota and Mercyhurst College round out the tournament field.

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