Clarkson suffered a surprising loss Friday night, falling 5-1 to Rensselaer in the opening game of a best-of-three, first round ECAC Hockey series at Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights (15-16-6) face elimination if they fail to defeat RPI at 7 p.m. Saturday in game two or at 7 p.m. Sunday in game three, if its needed.
Losing to RPI (11-21-3) wasn't the surprise, even though Clarkson is higher seeded. It was the way Clarkson lost that stunned the sparse crowd of 1,918.
RPI had scored only 20 power-play goals in 34 games coming into the game, but struck for three in a span of 3 minutes, 55 seconds in the first period and ended the opening period up 4-1. It was only the third time all season the Engineers had led after the first period of a game.
Clarkson's only highlight would be this power-play goal from Nick Tremblay at 3:25 of the first period, giving Clarkson a short 1-0 lead:
After Tremblay's goal, RPI scored on power-play goals from Matt Tinordi (5:44) and Nick Bailen (6:33 and 9:39).
Joel Malchuk added another goal at 12:17 of the first period and Jacob Laliberte closed out the scoring for RPI at 17:32.
Clarkson coach Casey Jones
Clarkson captain Jake Morley
RPI coach Seth Appert