By Cap Carey
POTSDAM — That first win of the 2012-13 season remains elusive for the Clarkson University men’s hockey team.
The Golden Knights had to settle for a 4-4 tie against Niagara University before a parent’s weekend sellout crowd of 3,119 fans at Cheel Arena Saturday night.
Clarkson (0-4-1 overall) looked like it might have its first win of the season when the Golden Knights took a 3-0 lead 7 minutes and 36 seconds into the game after scoring all three goals during a major power play.
But Niagara (2-2-3) slowly worked its way back and had a 4-3 lead in the third period before Clarkson defenseman James Howden helped the Golden Knights salvage a tie with a goal at 6:31 of the third period.
Clarkson’s spurt began when Niagara’s Kevin Albers was called for elbowing at 3:11 of the first period. Will Frederick drew a penalty for hitting after the whistle at the same time, so Clarkson’s major was reduced to three minutes.
The Golden Knights scored three goals in just 79 seconds, beginning with a goal from Joe Zarbo at 6:17.
Pat Megannety scored at 7:16 and then 20 seconds later defenseman Sam Labrecque made it 3-0 with another goal.
Clarkson had been 1 for 16 on the power play before Saturday’s game, so it was welcome to see the production. But after taking the quick lead Clarkson reverted to some of the penalty issues that had caused it problems in the first four games of the season.
Niagara cut into the lead with power-play goals from Ryan Murphy at 13:04 and 16:35 of the first period.
Niagara tied the game at 4:27 of the second period with a goal from Michael Benedict and took a short-lived 4-3 lead with a goal from Chris Lochner during a power play at 2:33 of the third period.
Just like Friday night, Clarkson blew some chances against Niagara, including another five-on-three chance late in the second period.
Howden kept Clarkson from an 0-5 start for just the third time in school history when he scored on a slap shot from deep in the circles at 6:31 of the third period.