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...While Iceman Fall in Final Seconds

Watson Knocks in Two Goals But Golden Knights Prevail, 3-2

By Mike Bass

Wade Lau stood in the crease, with his mask dangling at his side, alone but for the guys who put the ice to bed after a game. His face told the whole story, the story of 5-11 season, of five losses in a row and nine out of the last ten, the story of the Clarkson goal with 23 seconds left in the game which sent the Crimson icemen to a 3-2 defeat at Bright Center Saturday night.

After Harvard's Mike Watson tallied his second goal on the night to knot the score at two at 16:59 of the third period, whispers of overtime danced in the stands. But when Crimson winger Dave Burke went to the penalty box for high-sticking at 18:00 of the period, the whispers reverted to boos and mass anxiety.

A Clarkson power play is a dangerous proposition, almost as dangerous as Proposition 2 1/2. When the Golden Knights (now 16-4-1, second in the ECAC) have a man up, the goal judge puts his finger on the button. Sure enough, at 19:37, Clarkson forward Bruce McDonough took passes from Bryan (Leave it to Beaver) Cleaver and Mike Prestidge and stuffed the puck past Lau for the game-winner.

That last night's game goes into the books as a loss for Wade Lau, as well as for the team, is unfortunate. The Crimson netminder turned in his finest performance of the season, and probably one of the best in his Harvard career. While it's certain that he's had a lot more than 24 saves in a single game in the past, it's doubtful that he's ever made as many outstanding, and even unbelievable, saves as he did Saturday night.

Lau's best came at 9:57 of the final period, with his team trailing, 2-1, when Golden Knight Jim Armstrong, who's already scored 20 goals this season, cut across in front of the Harvard net to the right, deking Lau in the opposite direction.

As the outstretched netminder slid on his side to the left. Armstrong flipped a backhander at the open net. The Clarkson sticks went up, the Harvard fans' heads went down. But the red light didn't go on. Lau waited a moment for the whistle to stop play, and calmly opened his glove to reveal the puck.

In the first period, the Golden Knights had shown flashes of high-gear skating, but some smart defensive play from Crimson ace Mark Fusco (who found that tackling the green and gold forwards worked as well as anything else), and Lau's goaltending held the Knights to just one score.

Tradeoffs

After the teams traded second period shoves and scores, and several good scoring opportunities early in the third stanza, the Crimson came back to tie the score at 16.59, when the "Instant Karma" line clicked for its second of the night.

Watson took an excellent centering pass from Greg Olson and fired the puck past Clarkson's Don Sylvestri and into the net. Tommy Murray danced with his stick held high. Olson and Watson hugged and the Harvard bench emptied to congratulate its most productive line.

Ten minutes later. Wade Lau could have cried. CLARKSON 3, HARVARD 2 at Bright Center Clarkson (16-4-1)  1  1  1--3 Harvard(5-11)  0  1  1--2

Scoring--C. Ed Small (Mike Prestidge, Jim Armstrong) 6 37, H. Mike Watson (Greg Olson, Tom Murray) 1:07; C Deron Bauer (Small Darryl Carlbom) 13:46; H. Watson (Ofson, Murray) 16:59; C. Bruce McDonough (Bryan Cleaver, Prestidge) 19:37.

Saves--C. Don Sylvestri 20. H Wade Lau 24 Attendance--2000

Scoring--C. Ed Small (Mike Prestidge, Jim Armstrong) 6 37, H. Mike Watson (Greg Olson, Tom Murray) 1:07; C Deron Bauer (Small Darryl Carlbom) 13:46; H. Watson (Ofson, Murray) 16:59; C. Bruce McDonough (Bryan Cleaver, Prestidge) 19:37.

Saves--C. Don Sylvestri 20. H Wade Lau 24 Attendance--2000

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