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Perry’s debut shutout for Clarkson men caps hockey sweep over Niagara

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LEWISTON - Freshman Steve Perry (Ligonier, PA) made a memorable debut in goal for the Clarkson University men’s hockey team on Sunday afternoon as he backstopped the Golden Knights to a 2-0 victory on the road over 20th-ranked Niagara University in Western New York.

Making his first collegiate appearance, Perry was composed throughout the game, posting 10 saves in the opening 20 minutes, nine more in the second period and 11 third-period stops for a total of 30 saves to become the first rookie netminder for the Golden Knights to record a shutout in his opening game in 27 years. Perry kept the Niagara power-play off the scoreboard with 12 saves in shutting down all five of the Purple Eagles man-advantage opportunities.

Clarkson defeated Niagara 2-1 in the season-opener on Saturday, snapping the Purple Eagles’ 22-game home unbeaten streak at Dwyer Arena.

Off to its best start since going 3-0 to start the 2006-07 campaign, the Green and Gold travel out to the Midwest this coming weekend to play in the Ice Breaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, MN. The Knights play the University of New Hampshire in the first round on Friday at 5 p.m. est. The University of Minnesota and Mercyhurst College round out the tournament field.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes on Sunday, Clarkson took control in the middle frame with a pair of goals.

Working on its second man-advantage opportunity of the game, the Knights converted when junior Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) finished an odd-man rush with senior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT). Joe Zarbo, who led Clarkson in goals last season, took a pass at the top of the circles from McPherson and fired off a quick shot from the slot for his 17th career tally at 8:03. Sophomore Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) also assisted.

Strong all game on face offs, Clarkson made it 2-0 after winning an offensive-zone draw. Senior Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) won a face off back to the point to Paul Geiger (Stouffville, ONT) where the sophomore defenseman ripped in a shot up and under the crossbar for his third career goal.

Niagara, with two power-play opportunities in the final frame, outshot the Knights 11-8 over the final 20 minutes, but Perry kept the Purple Eagles off the scoreboard to become the first Clarkson rookie goaltender to open his collegiate career with a whitewash since Jason Poirier blanked RIT 3-0 on October 25, 1986, also with 30 saves.

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