LEWISTON Jarrett Burton missed an entire week of practice because his grandmother died last week.
But he scored the game-winning goal for the Clarkson University mens hockey team in the third period to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 victory over 20th-ranked Niagara in a nonconference game Saturday night at Dwyer Arena.
For him to get the game-winner was really special, Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. For him to have that opportunity to do that shows some senior leadership.
Burtons goal came at 14 minutes, 17 seconds of the third period and was set up by a shot by defenseman Kevin Tansey, who missed all of last season after recovering from an off-ice assault. Ben Sexton also assisted on the goal.
Clarksons win in the season opener for both teams snapped a 22-game home unbeaten streak for Niagara, which was 15-0-2 last year at Dwyer Arena. It was also Clarksons first win against a non-ECAC Hockey foe since a 5-0 victory over Holy Cross on Nov. 27, 2011. Clarksons only nonconference win last year came against St. Lawrence University.
I thought we stayed with the game plan for 60 minutes, Jones said. We were having a hard time (finding goals). For the most part it was one of those nights where (Niagara freshman goalie Jackson Teichroeb) was seeing pucks. We knew there would be a rebound eventually that was a game-winner.
Teichroeb produced an impressive collegiate opener, stopping 39 of 41 shots. He also assisted on Niagaras only goal, which came during a power play from Mike Conderman at 7:19 of the second period.
Clarkson did not get rattled falling behind, scoring three minutes later on a power play of its own.
With a two-man advantage, Allan McPherson scored on a rebound of a shot from Sam Labrecque that banked off the glass behind the net to tie the score. Paul Geiger also earned an assist on the play.
Golden Knight goalie Greg Lewis did not face as many shots as his counterpart, but stopped 19 of 20 to pick up the win.
I thought he did a good job, Jones said. The reason he was at (20) shots was he didnt give up a whole lot of second-chance opportunities. He had a lot of control of where he put pucks on their shots.