POTSDAM — A two-week break due to COVID-19 issues on campus didn’t hamper the Clarkson University men’s hockey team that concluded a weekend sweep of Colgate with a 3-2 win in an ECAC Hockey game at Cheel Arena on Sunday.
Clarkson (11-7-4 overall, 6-4-4 conference) is getting closer to clinching home ice for an ECAC Hockey semifinal game with four games to play in the regular season.
Clarkson has 25 points and leads Colgate by nine and fourth-place St. Lawrence University by 10.
Colgate (5-9-5, 4-8-4) cannot catch Clarkson for second place but SLU could finish with 27 points if it sweeps the next four games against the Golden Knights in regulation.
Quinnipiac leads the conference with 34 points and still has six more points it can possibly earn next weekend.
“I thought we looked sharp, in terms of our energy,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said of coming back from the break. “I thought our special teams were good, so that was a great sign. I thought we dialed in today on the penalty kill and we scored power-play goals in both games. That’s a good spot coming out of a break like that, without getting the (repetitions).”
Clarkson took the early lead Sunday when Nick Campoli scored at 9 minutes, 49 seconds of the first period. David Silye passed the puck into the zone, to Campoli, who beat Colgate’s Carter Gylander with a shot. Jamie Collins also assisted.
The Raiders tied the game at 12:26 of the opening period on a goal from Josh McKechney.
Clarkson took another lead at 9:21 of the second period when Josh Dunne one-timed a pass from Matthieu Gosselin past Gylander for a power-play goal. It was the second goal of the year for Dunne and Anthony Callin picked up the other assist.
“We were fortunate just to be back out playing with all the stuff going on,” Dunne said. “It was a good break for us, a good little mental reset. That’s how we wanted to start (the last month). The special teams were better than they had been. That’s exactly how we want to look going down the stretch, so this is a good weekend for us.”
Dunne had a humorous response when asked if coming back this weekend was similar to how it is when the team returns from Christmas break to start the second semester.
“It’s a little bit like that, the only difference is we were stuck in our dorms the whole time,” Dunne said. “It was a nice little reset. The guys were ready and excited to come back and you could see there was a lot of energy on the bench. It was good for us.”
The Raiders tied the game again at 7:41 of the third period when Evan Tschumi scored after Clarkson turned the puck over in its own zone.
Clarkson’s game-winning goal came from Callin at 9:51 of the third. He took a pass from Alex Campbell right on the dot in the circle and wristed a shot past Gylander.
Zach Tsekos set up the play by bringing the puck into the zone.
“We were able to get some energy and come out with a sweep and we played some good Clarkson hockey,” Callin said. “We played tough and our special teams was good too, which we’d been having some trouble with, so it was a good weekend. It kind of rejuvenates you a little bit, because you never know when this is going to end. We came out with some energy.”