Sophomore Jake Morley scored on a breakaway 6:48 into overtime to lift the Clarkson University Hockey team to a 4-3 triumph over archrival St. Lawrence University in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey first-round series at Appleton Arena in Canton.
Playing in a do-or-die situation, the Golden Knights kept their season alive with a gutsy, hard-working effort, twice overcoming deficits to defeat their North Country foe. Clarkson, which stands at 9-23-4 overall, will battle the Saints (16-14-7) one more time in Sunday’s deciding third game, faceoff at 7:00 p.m. St. Lawrence (16-14-7) won Game 1 of the series on Friday 3-2 in overtime.
Morley, a native of nearby Ogdensburg, NY, connected for his first career game-winning goal on a beautiful play. Junior assistant captain Brandon DeFazio (Oakville, ONT) fired a hard pass out of the Clarkson zone, hitting Morley at the St. Lawrence blueline. Morley made a great play to catch the puck, skated in alone and lifted a backhand shot over the shoulder of Saints’ goaltender Alex Petizian, sending the Knights’ bench over the boards and on to the ice for a celebration. Freshman defenseman Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) also assisted on Morley’s fifth goal of the season.
Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes, Clarkson out scored the Saints 2-to-1 in the third period to force their school-record fifth straight overtime contest. Showing great patience with the puck, senior Matt Beca (Mississauga, ONT) tied the game 2-2 at 8:21 of the third. Beca took a pass from sophomore Nick Tremblay (Candiac, QUE) at the left side of the St. Lawrence net during a scramble in front, held his shot and skated to the bottom of the right circle where he wristed in his team-high 20th goal of the season and 51st career marker.
At 12:47, the Saints regained the lead when Mike McKenzie scored off a faceoff, giving the home team a 3-2 advantage. With 3:32 remaining in regulation, the Knights tied the game once again. Positioned at the top of the crease, Tremblay knocked in a rebound off of sophomore defenseman Mark Borowiecki’s (Kanata, ONT) shot for his third goal of the year. Junior Corey Tamblyn (Bobcaygeon, ONT) also assisted.
Clarkson started Game 2 of the first-round series with one of its best periods of the season and jumped out to a 1-0 lead. The Golden Knights, whose strong play frustrated the Saints into committing five penalties in the opening 20 minutes, outshot St. Lawrence 9-6 in the frame while skating on three power-plays.
Just four seconds into the first man-advantage of the game, Clarkson took the lead as Borowiecki finished off a pass from Beca in front at 5:19 for his second goal of the weekend and eighth of the season. Tamblyn started the play by winning the faceoff back to Beca.
St. Lawrence took the lead in the second period with a pair of goals 1:25 early in the stanza. With five seconds left in a Saint power play, Aaron Bogosian knocked in his own rebound at 3:35 to tie the game. Jacob Drewiske followed at 4:50 with a quick shot from the bottom of the right circle.
Sophomore Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) was strong once again in the Clarkson crease with a 31-save effort as St. Lawrence out shot the Green and Gold 34-28.
The Knights went 1-of-6 on the power play while the Saints were 1-of-4 on the man advantage.