But oh, how it stung on Saturday night.
The Tigers (1-3) came within 9.9 seconds of recording the first scoreless tie in the program’s 75 years, but lost on a backhanded shot by Clarkson junior Joe Zarbo before a jubilant crowd of 2,363 at Cheel Arena in Potsdam, N.Y.
The Golden Knights (6-1-1) jumped onto the ice in jubilation while a few Tigers could only hang their heads for a moment, knowing they had squandered an excellent performance by senior goalie Josh Thorimbert, who made 42 saves.
“I feel bad for Josh,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “He gave us a great weekend. He has kept us in the last three games.”
The lesson to learn? The Tigers need to bear down and force their way to the front of the net and win the 50/50 battles for loose pucks.
“We have to learn from this,” senior captain Eamonn McDermott said. “The games will be this intense and competitive every weekend. It will only get tougher.”
It does indeed with a road trip to National Collegiate Hockey Conference foe Western Michigan where the fans at Lawson Arena are called the Lawson Lunatics for good reason.
The Clarkson defense can take some credit for holding CC to 18 shots in nearly 65 minutes.
“I thought we did a good job swallowing up their shots an getting the rebounds out into the corners,” Golden Knights coach Casey Jones said. “The defensemen did a good job clogging things up in front of the net. That played a big factor in their number of shots.”
For CC, they need to work themselves into position and get to those rebounds first. That is a big reason why the Tigers have managed only 53 shots in the three losses.
‘It’s a mentality we need,” McDermott said. “We need to be hard to defend.”
There are a couple positives to take from the loss. The Tigers played with the most energy they have shown during this three-game downturn and Thorimbert continued his strong play. The senior looks to have resumed the all-league form he displayed as a sophomore. He has made 139 saves against 148 shots over the first four games.
“I thought we battled and competed,” Owens said. “Both teams were better. The production was not there for us. We were out of sync. People weren’t in position to get rebounds.”
“Thorny (Thorimbert) played great,” McDermott said. “It never should have come down to overtime.”
Aggressive Clarkson stifles struggling CC power play
A struggling Colorado College power play found it difficult to even set itself up for much of this weekend, with an aggressive Clarkson penalty kill lining up along their blue line and taking away any rushes into their zone.
“That forced us to dump the puck in along the boards where they are very strong,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said. “They packed in real tight in front.”
CC proved more potent on its strong penalty kill, which went 6-for-7 on the weekend.
On Friday, CC generated no shots on its three power plays but generated three shorthanded chances. On Saturday, the Tigers recorded no shots in four chances and had one shorthanded opportunity.
The CC power play is now 1-for-18 on the season.
The new road blacks made their debut Saturday after arriving less than one hour before the team left Colorado Springs on Wednesday. … Sophomore Hunter Fejes missed the entire second period after a broken plastic part of the skate assembly proved difficult to replace. He was the first Tigers on the ice to start the third. … Saturday’s game was senior goalie Josh Thorimbert’s 50th start for the Tigers. … CC is now 1-2-3 at Cheel Arena. … It was Halloween Night at the rink, which explained why Jesus and three monks made up the trombone section in the Clarkson pep band. … Tigers sophomore Jared Hanson was called for three penalties in the first 9:55 of the game. … CC led the faceoffs battle22-19 through two periods but ended up trailing 39-31, which helped the hosts maintain consistent pressure on Thorimbert. … The only other time the Tigers were scoreless through 64 minutes was Nov. 13, 2009 at Minnesota State-Mankato. In that Western Collegiate Hockey Association game, Rylan Schwartz scored the winning goal for CC with 52 seconds left in overtime for a 1-0 victory.
Clarkson 1, Colorado College 0 OT
Colorado College 0 0 0 0 –0
Clarkson 0 0 0 1 –1
First period – None. Penalties – CC, Hanson, cross-checking, :24; Clarkson, Burton, cross-checking,:24; CC, Hanson, interference, 3:36; Clarkson, Moor, slashing, 3:48; CC, Hanson, holding, 9:55; Clarkson, Bessette, holding, 18:43.
Second period – None. Penalties – CC, Taft, roughing, 14:25; Clarkson, deHaas, roughing, 14:25; CC, Harstad, embellishment, 19:02; Clarkson, J. Zarbo, hooking, 19:02.
Third period – None. Penalties – Clarkson, Frederick, cross-checking, 2:57; CC, DiGiando, tripping, 10:19; Clarkson, Boack, hooking, 13:20.
Overtime – 1. Clarkson, J. Zarbo (Sexton, Boucher) 4:50. Penalties – None.
Power play – CC 0-4, Clarkson 0-3. Shots on goal – CC 6-12-16 -9 – 43; Clarkson 5-6-5-2 — 18. Saves-minutes – CC, Thorimbert 6-12-16-8 – 64:50; Clarkson, Perry 5-6-5-2-64:50. Referees – McDonald, Wheeler. Linesmen – Carissimo, Dupree. Attendance – 2,363 (3,000 capacity).