By CAP CAREY
POTSDAM — For the third time this season the Clarkson University men’s hockey team has defeated an opponent it did not beat a year ago.
The Golden Knights opened the home portion of their schedule with a 4-1 win over the Rochester Institute of Technology before 2,058 fans in a nonconference game at Cheel Arena Friday night.
RIT, an Atlantic Hockey team, tied the Golden Knights 3-3 a year ago, but Clarkson (4-1 overall) continues to show early in the season that it has improved from last year’s squad.
Clarkson was 0-3-4 against Atlantic Hockey teams last season, but so far this year the Golden Knights are 4-0, having already defeated Niagara twice and Mercyhurst once.
Coach Casey Jones
Clarkson controlled play in the first period, outshooting the Tigers 15-10, but did not score until 14 minutes, 20 seconds in when Jeff DiNallo scored his second goal of the year after taking a nice pass from behind the net by Pat Megannety.
RIT, coming off a pair of losses last week to Colgate and Michigan, continued to struggle. The Tigers (0-3) also dropped an exhibition game to Queens University.
RIT Coach Wayne Wilson
The Tigers had a chance to tie the game 1-1 with a little more than six minutes left in the second period when Brad Reid had a breakaway opportunity, but Clarkson goalie Greg Lewis stifled his chance.
Breakaway Save No. 1
Shortly after Lewis’s save, Clarkson extended the lead to 2-0 on a strange goal from Jarrett Burton, who broke his stick on the shot but still got the puck past Tigers’ goalie Jordan Ruby at 15:02 of the second period.
RIT answered Burton’s goal when Reid finally got a shot past Lewis at 17:09 of the second period to make the score 2-1.
But just 27 seconds after the Tigers cut the lead to one, Clarkson’s McPherson answered with a goal to extend the lead to 3-1 heading into the third period.
Joe Zarbo scored on a rebound of his own shot at 3:24 of the third period to give Clarkson a 4-1 lead and Lewis preserved that score by making a save on a shorthanded breakaway from Josh Mitchell later in the period.
Breakaway Save No. 2
NOTES: Megannety was injured early in the game and did not finish. It is not know how serious his injury is or when he will return. ... Sophomore defenseman Paul Geiger assisted on two goals and had a plus-two rating. ... Clarkson went 49-2 on faceoffs, with Ben Sexton winning 18 of 20.