The Takeaway: Clarkson Storms Harvard, wins 5-1

Posted by: Josh Seguin

Cambridge, MA.- Harvard came storming out of the gates and scored a quick goal off the stick of Jimmy Vesey at two minutes, 34 seconds of the first. After five minutes of play, Harvard led Clarkson 1-0 and were outshooting the Golden Knights 8-2. They would take that lead into the first intermission and Clarkson would use two quick goals nine seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead over the Crimson after two periods. The lead would hold in the third period as Clarkson would further their lead to 5-1 and Joe Zarbo would complete the hat trick on an empty net goal. 5-1 would be the final in this one as Clarkson improves 5-12-6 overall and 4-5-2 in the ECAC, while Harvard falls to 5-12-1, 3-10-0.

What I saw

  • Harvard stormed out of the gates to begin the game, but that would quickly fall apart as Clarkson took control of the game after they handled the initial onslaught. The Crimson outshot the Golden Knights 8-2 in the first five minutes of the game but Clarkson would dominate the latter three quarters of the first as they would send 20 shots on Raphael Girard in the period. It just seemed as though Harvard was hardly willing to do things that they need to, to win games.
  • As bad as Clarkson looked to start, very tentative, they picked it up for the rest of the game and took it Harvard at times. It just seemed like they wanted it more than Harvard, as the puck battles seemed to end up on their sticks more often than not. Harvard seemed to have more skill, but in most games the team that wants it more wins it.
  • Harvard had some great opportunities in the third period and were given three power-plays in the last 20 minutes. They were unable to capitalize on the grand opportunities and the frustration mounted. The ability to finish became their arch-nemisis in the period and Clarkson only furthered their lead late in the game.

What I Thought

  • Raphael Girard was the star of the first period for the Crimson, as Clarkson sent shot after shot in on him. Girard often struggles with rebound control and that was the difference in the period to allow his team the lead. The second period however led to a mental lapse that would allow Clarkson to take a 2-1 lead. After the first Golden Knight goal by Jarrett Burton  Harvard would allow the Knights to win the center ice faceoff cleanly, where there would be 2 passes and in the net. Lapses like this cannot happen and these lapses have seemingly become the norm for Harvard in recent weeks.
  • All credit needs to be given to Clarkson as they did the things that are necessary to win. They won puck battles and kept Harvard at bay for much of the contest. When they bent and allowed a great opportunity their goaltender, Greg Lewis, was there to make the save.
  • Clarkson was the beneficiary of all the momentum swings in the game. As Clarkson bent and didn’t break down, it seemed as though Harvard did the opposite and broke down at the least opportune moments. It is these moments that Clarkson became the stronger team, and in many ways Harvard became the weaker one. One could see just how fragile this Harvard team is in the waning moments of the third period.

What They Said

Harvard Coach Ted Donato said,

“We need to be more productive on our power-play. Once again tonight we lost the special teams games even though we had some shots and decent looks but we aren’t nearly as dangerous as we need to be on the power-play.”

Clarkson Coach Casey Jones said,

“I thought we played pretty well from the drop of the puck. We played pretty hard tonight and the two quick goals was the turning point in the game.”

“I thought the first goal kind of set us back a bit. I thought we were good out of the gate but we got a bad bounce on that goal. After the first five minutes we settled down and we were good from that point on.”

Clarkson forward Joe Zarbo said,

“I Thought we worked really hard as a time. Myself personally the points and goals were coming, which was nice.”

“We got those two goal quick off the bat and from that point on the game was ours and we controlled it.”

What Else You Should Know

Harvard will host St. Lawrence on Saturday night at the Bright Hockey Center and will need a response after a performance that was absolutely dreadful at times. The Crimson will take on a team coming off a huge victory over a really good Dartmouth team.

Clarkson will head to Dartmouth to take on the Big Green on Saturday night, after the win. Dartmouth lost to St. Lawrence on Friday night.

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