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College hockey: Tansey’s goal enables Golden Knights to tie Engineers

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TROY — Defenseman Kevin Tansey scored on shot from just behind the circles at 12 minutes, 20 seconds of the third period to give the Clarkson University men’s hockey team a 2-2 tie with Rensselaer in an ECAC Hockey game Saturday at the Houston Field House.

Clarkson (17-14-3 overall, 10-9-1 conference) clinched a home-ice playoff series with the win as the worst the Golden Knights could finish with one week left in the season is the No. 7 seed.

RPI (13-13-6, 7-8-5), which was trying to tie Clarkson in the conference standings, controlled play in the first two periods, outshooting Clarkson 24-12.

But Clarkson’s coaching staff made some adjustments between periods, and the Golden Knights showed signs of offensive life in the third, outshooting RPI 18-7 and pressuring Engineers goalie Scott Diebold for a go-ahead goal in the final minutes of regulation.

“We had no quit in us tonight,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “It was a good thing period for us. I thought we generated offensive chances. We hadn’t been generating a ton lately. I thought we did a lot better in terms of getting net-front traffic, where their goaltender didn’t see anything.”

RPI struck first on a power-play goal from Jacob Laliberte at 1:41 of the second period. But Clarkson got back into the game as Joe Zarbo scored at 9:20 of the second period — his first goal since a game-winning goal against St. Lawrence University on Dec. 7.

The Engineers regained the lead late in the second period on the 24th goal of the season from Ryan Haggerty, who fired a shot from the circle that beat Clarkson goalie Greg Lewis stick-side.

Lewis, making just his third start in the last 16 games, played well, stopping 33 shots, including several solid scoring chances late in the game and in overtime.

“He was really good,” Jones said. “We told him (Friday) night we were going to give him a chance. I thought he had a good week of practice.”

Clarkson concludes the regular season this weekend with home games against Princeton and Quinnipiac.

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