POTSDAM, N.Y. – Junior goaltender Linden Marshall took a shutout into the final six minutes of the game, leading the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's hockey team to an eventual 3-1 victory over fourth-ranked Clarkson University, on Friday night at Cheel Arena. With the win, the Engineers improve to 7-10-1 overall (4-5-1 ECAC Hockey), while the Golden Knights drop to 12-4-2 (6-2-0 ECAC Hockey).
Marshall (Victoria, BC/Trail Smoke Eaters) finished with 32 saves to improve to 3-2-0 on the season, including 15 in the third period alone. His counterpart, Frank Marotte (Longueuil, PQ/Robert Morris University) had 23 stops at the other end of the ice.
Freshman Simon Kjellberg (Nashville, TN/Dubuque Fighting Saints) got the visitors on the board early, firing home his fourth goal of the season at 1:23 of the opening frame. Jumping a loose puck in the left circle, he deked around one defender, before shooting low and inside the right post for the go-ahead tally. Helpers went to senior Mike Gornall (Irwin, PA/Topeka Roadrunners) and freshman Tristan Ashbrook (Mantistique, MI/Lincoln Stars).
The Engineers were able to take their 1-0 lead to the first intermission thanks to a strong penalty kill that was forced to withstand 1:58 of 5-on-3 shorthanded time in the middle of the stanza. Marshall made two big stops during the two-man disadvantage, while sophomore blueliner Kyle Hallbauer (Howell, NJ/Lone Star Brahmas) kept out a sure goal by blocking a shot with his skate.
Following a tightly contested second period in which each team recorded eight shots, the Engineers doubled their advantage at 9:32 of the third, when freshman Cory Babichuk (Edmonton, AB/Lincoln Stars) found sophomore Ture Linden (Great Falls, VA/Lone Star Brahmas) streaking to the net for his third goal of the year. Linden quickly gathered the puck and lifted over the shoulder of Marotte for the marker. Senior captain Will Reilly (Toronto, ON/Nanaimo Clippers) earned the secondary assist on the play.
Clarkson took advantage of an RPI giveaway in the defensive zone to draw within 2-1 at 14:32. Sophomore Anthony Callin (Middleton, WI/Madison Capitals) broke up an Engineers breakout pass from behind the net and classmate Chris Klack (Georgetown, ON/Georgetown Raiders) had his shot from the slot turned away by Marshall. The rebound fell to freshman Mathieu Gosselin (Quebec City, PQ/Merritt Center), who stuck home his second goal of the season.
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The Golden Knights lifted Marotte with exactly two minutes to play and the Engineers buried an empty-netter almost immediately, as Reilly collected the puck just inside his own blue line and lifted it the length of the ice. Rolling on edge, it curled into the middle of the cage for Reilly's team-leading seventh of the year. Classmate Jake Marrello (Slingerlands, NY/PAL Junior Islanders) picked up the long assist.
RPI finished 0 for 3 on the power play, while Clarkson was 0 for 7. The Engineers, who halted an eight-game losing streak to the Golden Knights, improve to 1-5-0 against ranked opposition this season. With his assist, Gornall extends his career-long point streak to three games.
The Engineers are back in action tomorrow night, when they visit St. Lawrence University at Roos House, the home of SUNY Canton (7pm). Clarkson hosts Union College tomorrow night (7pm).