POTSDAM — The Clarkson University men's hockey team was just 13.8 seconds away from ending its five-game losing streak Friday night.
But instead of ending the streak, Clarkson saw it extend to a sixth game as Canisius College rallied to pick up a 4-3 win over the Golden Knights (2-7-2) before a crowd of 2,252 fans in a nonconference game at Cheel Arena.
Canisius (6-5-2) pulled goalie Andrew Loewen for an extra attacker late in the third period and tied the game with 13.8 seconds left off a shot from Jason Weeks.
Then, with just 1:14 left in overtime, the Golden Griffins took advantage when the puck hit a linesman's skate. Spencer Churchill scored a breakaway goal to end the contest.
"It was kind of a lucky bounce," Churchill said. "I really didn't have much time to think (about the shot). I just wanted to place it short-side."
The loss left the crowd stunned, and even Clarkson coach George Roll appeared a bit dazed.
"We're not doing the little things and that's the result," Roll said. "Everything is compounded right now. Every little mistake we make. I don't know how to explain it. Our penalty kill was very good, our power-play got two goals, and still we found a way to lose."
The loss was hard to take for defenseman Adam Bellows, a Buffalo native who knows several members of Canisius' squad.
"It's just the way things have been going lately," Bellows said. "We had a good week of practice, too. We played hard."
Bellows was asked if the loss was harder to take because the team was so close to ending a losing streak.
"I don't know if anybody thought we had snapped it already," Bellows said. "I hope they just thought we still had 13.8 seconds left in the game."
There were signs of what's gone wrong for Clarkson in the last month as well as signs that the Golden Knights appear ready to return to the form of a program that's been in the NCAA tournament the last two years.
Clarkson fell behind twice, giving up a power-play goal to Brandon Cummings at 16:25 of the first period and then falling behind 2-1 with another goal from Cummings at 7:57 of the second period.
The Golden Knights also had discipline problems, taking nine penalties, including a 5-minute major to Chris D'Alvise for a hit from behind in the second period. D'Alvise, who had a game disqualification earlier this season, was given a game misconduct and is eligible for tonight's game.
"He's frustrated and that's the way he shows his frustration," Roll said. "That's not the way to get out of a slump."
One of Clarkson's highlights Friday was sophomore defenseman Bryan Rufenach, who scored the first goal for the Golden Knights, during a power play at 19:13 of the first period, and assisted on Scott Freeman's go-ahead goal at 2:57 of the third period.
"After sitting a game (last weekend), he's played well," Roll said. "He jumped in and generated some things for us offensively. It's a bright spot the way he's played the last two games."
Clarkson also rallied from a 2-1 deficit after the second period. The Golden Knights began the third period on a power play and tied the contest just 67 seconds in with a goal from Matt Beca. Freeman then redirected a slap shot from Jeremiah Crowe at 2:57 to give Clarkson a 3-2 lead.
Canisius kept playing hard, despite being down by a goal on the road, and the team's efforts were rewarded with the game-tying goal by Weeks.
"I'm really just happy with our effort," said Canisius coach Dave Smith. "It looked as though we were going to lose. It was moments like this where guys take hold of their own team."
nNOTES:Clarkson had just gotten all its forwards healthy when it lostBrandon DeFazioto a separated shoulder Friday. DeFazio, along with Freeman andLauri Tuohimaa, have formed Clarkson's top offensive line this season. ... This was the first meeting between the two schools. ... Canisius became the first Atlantic Hockey team to win at Cheel Arena. Clarkson had been 8-0 against the conference prior to Friday's game.