POTSDAM It may not have felt like a win to Clarkson, but Saturdays 3-3 tie sure felt like a loss to St. Lawrence Universitys hockey team.
The Saints came off the ice at the end of the ECAC Hockey game visibly upset after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.
SLU (9-10-3 overall, 2-5-3 ECAC Hockey) was hoping to snap a three-game losing streak against the Golden Knights and win a game in Cheel Arena for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Its not a loss, and its one point in the ECAC, SLU captain Kyle Flanagan said.
Over the last three seasons SLU has gone just 1-7-1 against Clarkson and the Saints have not won an ECAC Hockey game against the Golden Knights since the 2009-10 season.
When SLU took a 3-0 lead with 11 minutes, 7 seconds left in Saturdays game, which was played before a crowd of 3,811, it looked like that streak would end, especially since Clarkson had not scored more than two goals in an entire game since Dec. 8, the last time it faced the Saints.
The comeback began for Clarkson (4-12-6, 3-5-2) when freshman Pat Megannety scored a power-play goal at 8:53 of the third on a shot that went between the legs of Saints goalie Matt Weninger. The goal was Clarksons first power-play goal since Nov. 30 and snapped an 0-for-26 slump for the Golden Knights.
We wanted to keep it rolling and keep taking advantage of our opportunities, Megannety said. I think as the game went on we got more shots. We started to play more of a team game and it worked out well for us.
Clarkson cut the Saints lead to 3-2 at 12:50 when defenseman Alex Boak put in the rebound of a shot from defenseman Sam Labrecque.
The tying goal came on another shot from Megannety with 2:44 left when he scored from freshman T.J. Moor, who assisted on Clarksons final two goals.
We just had to keep battling hard, Moor said. The game isnt over, ever. We kept working hard and tried to get the next goal. The team didnt get down. Theres some character in the locker room. We just kept going and found a way to tie the game up. It was big momentum once we got the first goal. It pumped up the bench.
What pleased Clarkson coach Casey Jones was not merely the comeback, but the approach his team took to earn a point in a game that appeared lost.
I thought we had a lot of scoring chances in the course of the game, Jones said. I didnt think we deserved to be down 3-0 at that stage. I thought our kids stayed the course pretty well. We were pushing for the win. Theres no questions asked we wanted a (win). To be able to come out of a 3-0 deficit, and get your guys to stay the course, Im pretty proud of that.
Its not like we snuck up on them 3-0, SLU coach Greg Carvel said. I thought we had control of the game. You think that (third goals) a dagger.
SLU had a chance to get an early lead Saturday when it had a two-man advantage for 1:40 just 4:03 into the contest. But Clarkson killed that penalty and held the Saints to just five shots on four power-play chances in the opening period.
Greg Carey gave SLU a 1-0 lead with a goal on a wrist shot at 9:40 of the second period.
Jeremy Wick gave SLU a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal at 1:22 of the third and Flanagan made it 3-0 with a goal at 6:12 when the Saints had a three-on-one breakaway.
It feels like a tie, but fighting back like that, its a big point we got tonight, Megannety said.
It should have been two points, but you have to give credit to Clarkson. They came back and played hard. Flanagan said.