Abruzzese's Pair Nearly Leads No. 16 Men's Ice Hockey Back, But Harvard Falls 5-3 to No. 7 Clarkson

Nick Abruzzese scored twice for Harvard in a 5-3 loss to No. 7 Clarkson (Peter Raider)
Nick Abruzzese scored twice for Harvard in a 5-3 loss to No. 7 Clarkson (Peter Raider)
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A comeback effort for No. 16 Harvard men's ice hockey (9-6-2, 7-4-1 ECAC Hockey) fell just short, as the Crimson suffered a 5-3 defeat to No. 7/7 Clarkson (16-5-2, 10-3-0 ECAC Hockey) on Saturday night (Jan. 18) at Bright-Landry Hockey Center.

First-year forward Nick Abruzzese recorded his first career two-goal game, and sophomore forward Casey Dornbach added a goal and an assist to lead Harvard up front. First-year goaltender Mitchell Gibson made 27 saves in net.

The Crimson outshot Clarkson 37-32 for the night, including a 17-7 margin in the third period, but could not claw back from an early 4-1 deficit.

Harvard struck first, as Dornbach corralled a Clarkson turnover in the neutral zone and fired a slapshot through the pads of Clarkson goaltender Frank Marotte (34 saves) to make it 1-0 at 4:21 of the first period.

But the Golden Knights responded with four goals in a span of less than 12 minutes, including two power play tallies, to take command of the game early on. Connor McCarthy scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 7:30, then, Josh Dunne added an even strength goal just under two minutes later (9:20) to give Clarkson the lead. A power play goal by Haralds Egle (15:54) was followed by Adam Tisdale's putback in front at 16:15.

Abruzzese helped Harvard remain in touch at 4-2 with a beautiful power play goal at 18:45 of the opening period.

The two teams traded penalties in the second period (eight combined), with neither team adding to the scoreboard thanks to strong goaltending and penalty killing.

Abruzzese made it a one goal game at 3:02 of the third period, taking a tip pass from Jack Drury in front and flipping a shot over the shoulder of Marotte to make it 4-3.

But despite two more power play opportunities in the final frame, Harvard could not find the game-tying goal. Chris Klack's empty net goal for Clarkson sealed the win for the Golden Knights at 18:46. 

Game Notes
- First-year forward Nick Abruzzese recorded his first multiple-goal game and now has six goals and 12 points in his last nine games.
- Sophomore forward Casey Dornbach (goal, assist) recorded his seventh multiple-point effort of the season. He leads the team in scoring with 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) on the year.
- Sophomore forward Jack Drury (assist) has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his last five games.
- Harvard has a power play goal in 14 of its last 15 games. Harvard is 18-for-65 (27.7%) on the season on the power play.