January 21, 2008

Early Goals Doom Men's Icers in Loss

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Less than a month ago the Red held the Clarkson Golden Knights to a tie. Yesterday afternoon, the squad fell short of repeating history in a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Knights, surrendering precious ground in the hunt for first place in the league.
“It was a really frustrating game,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “I am really disappointed in our players and they’re disappointed in themselves. Clarkson, you have to give them kudos. They came out and played with high intensity and we came out and didn’t do a very good job at all. We came out and stood around and watched and they played well.”
The team appeared to struggle from the moment the puck dropped, unable to match Clarkson’s explosive start. An early tripping penalty attributed to freshman forward Dan Nicholls put the Red on its heels but the Knights were unable to capitalize on the man advantage. However, just a few minutes later, Clarkson put its first tally on the board with a wrap-around goal that bounced off sophomore goalie Ben Scrivens’ pads and into the net. Two more unanswered Clarkson goals in the first period prompted the Red to take a much-needed timeout. Junior Troy Davenport replaced Scrivens in net for the remainder of the contest.
“It’s part of being a goaltender,” Davenport said. “You just have to keep your focus and be ready once you get the call. I just wanted to play sharp and give these guys a chance to win.”
[img_assist|nid=26679|title=Clarkson Tops M. Hockey|desc=Senior co-captain Raymond Sawada (center) attempts to will the puck into the net amid heavy defensive pressure in the Red’s 4-2 loss to Clarkson yesterday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Although the Red started the second period on the power play due to a late interference call against the Knights at the end of the first, the special teams failed to score. Despite a shaky start, the players began to show some confidence and play as a cohesive unit. The period ended scoreless, with both teams putting eight unsuccessful shots on net.
“We have to grow up,” said senior co-captain Scott. “Its time to grow up and play 60 minutes. We’re not going to grab first place in this league unless we figure out how to play a [full] 60 minutes. This was a huge game for us. They are rivals. Its hurts a little bit more being that its them since they are right above us in the standings so it was a big game and we didn’t step up to the plate in the first period.”
For the first time since the teams last met in Florida, the Red offense did begin to step up to the plate in the third period, racing against the clock. Scott notched the first of his two goals at the tail end of a power play off an assist from sophomore Justin Krueger and freshman Mike Devin. Scott’s second goal, with less than eight minutes to play added fuel to the Cornell’s late attack, but time ran out on its attempt to tie the game. Clarkson scored an empty-net goal with 45 seconds remaining in the game, securing their victory.
“We sure didn’t prepare and have the maturity level to come out and be ready for this opportunity and who knows when we’ll get that next shot,” Schafer said. “Is that going to be the last weak game of the season? Is it going to be in three weeks? Who knows when that next opportunity is, if it comes again.”