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Slow start sinks Clarkson men’s hockey team in exhibition loss to Carleton

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POTSDAM — Fortunately for the Clarkson University men’s hockey team, nothing from Sunday afternoon’s 6-2 loss to Carleton University will count.

The Golden Knights fell behind 4-0 after one period in a season-opening exhibition game before 1,847 at Cheel Arena and went on to lose to the Ravens for the second time in five years.

“It stings at home,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “It’s a situation where we are trying to create our identities here. We want to be an up-tempo team, a team that skates, and I thought we did that in a lot of areas tonight. That’s kind of what we want to sustain. It was a good game. We faced some adversity.”

Clarkson thought it had taken a 1-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game when a shot from behind the circles by Will Frederick appeared to trickle between the legs of Carleton goalie Ryan Dube.

The officials reviewed the play on video for several minutes before deciding it was not a goal.

“That shot should have went in,” Jones said. “You want those (controversial) situations right now to test your team.”

After controlling play early, Clarkson fell behind 1-0 when Carleton’s Mike Folkes put a shot over the glove of Clarkson goalie Andrew Hunt at 8 minutes, 23 seconds of the first period.

The Golden Knights had a chance to tie the game when Carleton’s Charles Carre was called for interference at 13:35 of the first period.

But the Ravens struck with a shorthanded goal from Shane Bakker at 14:07 to give Carleton a 2-0 lead. Clarkson’s Andrew Himelson lost an edge to his skate while trying to keep the puck from crossing the blue line, slipped and Bakker took control and skated in unimpeded on Hunt.

“We had a lot of chances early,” Himelson said. “The first 10 minutes of the game we didn’t get anything from it. Anytime you get a shorthanded goal that changes the momentum of the game.”

Said Bakker, “It was a big boost, definitely. We were in penalty trouble that first period, so it was nice to have something positive. I was pretty tired, it was the end of the shift. I was just hoping to get away from the (defender) and I got pretty lucky.”

Carleton used the momentum from the goal and scored two more times before the opening period ended on shots from Mitch Porowski (16:14) and Bakker (18:15).

“I don’t think we started very well,” Carleton coach Marty Johnston said. “I thought Clarkson carried the play the first 10 minutes. We were fortunate to get sort of a seeing-eye goal. We built off that. We were fortunate to have a few bounces go our way.”

The deficit got worse for Clarkson early in the second period as Carleton built a 6-0 lead after Andrew Glass (5:23) and Nick Duhn (12:01) scored.

“We got ourselves in way too deep a hole,” Jones said. “But we didn’t give up and fought hard.”

Clarkson scored its first goal at 16:57 of the second period when Sam Labrecque put a shot between the legs of Dube. Simon Bessette and Adam Pawlick assisted on the play.

Pawlick, however, suffered a knee injury early in the third period and had to be helped off the ice. His status for next weekend’s opening series at Colorado College is not known.

Freshman defenseman Paul Geiger scored Clarkson’s second goal at 9:14 of the third period on a shot from near the blue line during a power play.

“It was nice to get a goal,” Geiger said. “I would have liked a better outcome.”

nNOTES: Senior Cody Rosen played in goal the second and third periods and stopped 14 of 16 shots. Many of Clarkson’s offense came from defensemen. Norwood-Norfolk Central product Alex Boak had five shots and Nik Pokulok and Labrecque each had four. Clarkson captain Ben Sexton went 18-11 on faceoffs. Clarkson opens the season at Colorado College on Friday and Saturday.

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