COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. A late rally fell just a bit short as the Clarkson University mens hockey team opened the season with a 5-4 loss to Colorado College in a nonconference game at the World Arena Friday night.
Clarkson fell behind 5-1 but scored three goals in the final 16 minutes, 8 seconds of the game to make things anxious for the Tigers, who improved to 10-0-3 lifetime against Clarkson.
Junior captain Ben Sexton cut the lead to one goal after stealing the puck and scoring with 2:34 left in the game and the Golden Knights had a flurry in front of the Colorado College net in the final seconds.
What proved damaging for Clarkson was a frustrating spell in the second period when the Golden Knights had a five-minute major and gave up two straight shorthanded goals to fall behind 3-1.
Colorado College led 1-0 after a goal from William Rapuzzi at 6:20 of the first period.
Clarkson answered early in the second period when Jarrett Burton took advantage of a turnover and scored an unassisted goal at 1:11 to tie the game 1-1.
Then Colorado Colleges Andrew Hamburg was given a game misconduct at 1:26 for a check from behind, giving Clarkson the five-minute power play.
But the Tigers used shorthanded goals from Jeff Collett at 3:28 and Rylan Schwartz at 5:49 to take the two-goal lead.
It was obviously the nail in the coffin tonight, Clarkson coach Casey Jones said of the shorthanded goals. We battled hard in the third. We had the puck in the slot area and had a chance to tie it but they covered it up. You cant fault our effort there. To be able to bounce back in the third (period) shows a bit of character for our team.
Charlie Taft added another goal at 13:31 of the second period to give Colorado College a 4-1 lead and then Andrew Skalbeck scored on a backhander at 2:03 of the third period to extend the Tigers advantage to 5-1.
Freshman Pat Megannety started Clarksons comeback with a goal at 3:52 of the third period.
Another freshman, Christian Powers, scored at 10:50 to make it 5-3.
Senior Cody Rosen started at goalie but was injured in the third period and had to leave the game. He was replaced by freshman Greg Lewis. Sam Labrecque also left the game with an undisclosed injury.
SLU STUNS WESTERN MICHIGAN
In Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jeremy Wick came off the bench at the right time and was in the right place 1:33 into overtime Friday night as he took a pass from Greg Carey and beat Western Michigan goaltender Frank Slubowski from point blank range to give the Saints a 4-3 overtime victory in the NCAA season opener for both teams.
The Saints, playing in Greg Carvels official first game as head coach, came away with a huge win to start the season as they won their opener on the road for the first time in several seasons against a quality opponent.
The Broncos went into Fridays opener ranked ninth nationally in one poll and seventh in the other and were celebrating their 2012 CCHA Tournament championship and NCAA appearance. Friday marked the fourth straight year the Saints have started NCAA play against a nationally ranked team and the third time they have opened against a CCHA club.
Junior goaltender Matt Weninger and the Saint first line of Carey, Kyle Flanagan and Chris Martin played a huge role in the win, as Weninger made 33 saves and the line had a hand in all four Saint goals. SLU held a 3-1 lead in the third period, but Western battled back, tying it 3-3 on an extra attacker goal through traffic with 31.6 seconds to play.
The two teams will play a rematch tonight at 7:05 p.m.