POTSDAM — For the fourth time in the last eight games the Clarkson University men’s hockey team settled for a tie.
The Golden Knights tied Princeton 3-3 before 2,477 fans in an ECAC Hockey game Friday night at Cheel Arena.
Like many games in Clarkson’s current 0-4-4 skid, the Golden Knights held a lead and saw it slip away.
Princeton (12-12-4 overall, 9-10-2 ECAC Hockey) trailed 3-1 in the second period before two goals from Eric Robinson forced overtime.
“I would have liked us to put the pedal to the metal when we had the two-goal lead in the second,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “I realize it’s a bounce, a puck off our skate in net. We should have gone after that game and said this is an opportunity to put a team away and have that hunger to get it, and we kind of let them dictate the play for the rest of the period from that point on.
“I thought our response in the third period was fantastic. I thought we went after the game. The frustration level is high because of that.”
Clarkson (19-8-6, 11-5-5) has one more chance to pick up a 20th win in the regular season in today’s 7 p.m. game against Quinnipiac. The Golden Knights have already clinched a top-four spot in the ECAC Hockey standings so they will be off next week and host a best-of-three quarterfinal series the following weekend.
Clarkson can finish in third place tonight with a win or tie, or a Harvard loss or tie. If Harvard wins and Clarkson loses the Crimson would finish in third and Clarkson would finish in fourth.
“It’s just important to play well,” Jones said. “We are pushing for a win and that’s where our frustrations are mounting because of it. I thought it was there for us tonight. It’s important to get a win, but it’s important to play well and get that confidence going in that facets of your game are working going into the playoffs.”
Princeton scored first in Friday’s game on a power-play shot from Ryan Kuffner at 10 minutes, 37 seconds of the first period.
Clarkson answered about four minutes later with a nice power-play goal from Sheldon Rempal, who one-time a shot from the circle on a pass from Terrance Amorosa to tie the game 1-1 at 14:31.
Clarkson started strong in the second period as well, building a 3-1 lead on goals from Devin Brosseau, 41 seconds in, and Josh Dickinson at 7:24.
“I thought in the third period we played to our identity,” Brosseau said. “We just want to carry that into (tonight) and make the most out of this weekend, a three-point weekend. It’s senior recognition night so we’ll have that little boost of energy. Hopefully we’ll play our best.”
Robinson tied the game for the Tigers with two goals in the second period.
His first came at 8:35 on a shot that went off the skate of Clarkson defenseman Greg Moro.
He tied the game on a shot at 15:46 of the second period.
“It was a good bounce-back,” said Princeton coach Ron Fogarty, a former Clarkson assistant. “We need points, we’re in a dogfight for home ice. (Robinson) has breakaway speed and drew a penalty on the (tying) play. The first was a little fortunate off a skate. I thought our team played smart for the most part of the game.”
Clarkson outshot the Tigers 16-3 in the third period but couldn’t get a shot past Princeton goalie Ryan Ferland. Clarkson also outshot Princeton 5-3 in the overtime period.
The game ended on a controversial note as Princeton’s Alex Riche cross-checked Clarkson’s Jack Jacome in the head right after the final buzzer sounded, leading to a postgame skirmish. Riche was given a game disqualification, so he will not be able to play in the Tigers game tonight against St. Lawrence University at Appleton Arena.
Jacome’s linemate, Dickinson, was one of the players who took on some Tigers after the hit.
“Jack taking a cross-check to the neck, I think obviously we have to stick up for him,” Dickinson said. “You don’t want to see a teammate go down like that. I back the guys that stood up for him 100 percent.”
Said Fogarty about the penalty, “That was stupid.”