TROY A second straight lopsided loss has left the Clarkson University mens hockey team barely clinging to a home ice position heading into the last day of the ECAC Hockey regular season.
Rensselaer shut out Clarkson 5-0 Friday before 4,128 fans at the Houston Field House, handing Clarkson its second straight defeat.
The Golden Knights (9-17-7 overall, 8-10-3 conference) lost 6-2 last Saturday at Cheel Arena to Harvard.
The top eight teams in the conference host a playoff series, and Clarkson heads to the final day of the season at Union tonight tied for seventh place with Cornell. Just one point back are Brown and Princeton. Brown hosts Colgate, and Princeton plays at Harvard. Cornell is at Yale.
It was a familiar name that did a lot of damage to the Golden Knights on Friday.
RPI freshman Mike Zalewski, the younger brother of former Clarkson standout Steve Zalewski, assisted on the first goal of the game, and then scored the next two tallies for the Engineers (16-12-5, 11-7-3).
Milos Bubela scored what proved to be the game-winner at 14 minutes, 55 seconds of the first period.
Zalewski than scored a crushing goal with only 43 seconds left in the opening period to send the Engineers into the break up by two.
The last couple games when we make a mistake we really make a big mistake, Clarkson coach Casey Jones said.
A missed defensive assignment cost us the (Zalewski) goal, Jones added.
Zalewski scored again just 91 seconds into the second period to make it 3-0 and, at that point, Jones pulled goalie Greg Lewis for a second straight game and inserted Cody Rosen.
Guy Leboeuf scored at 3:40 of the second period to extend the lead to 4-0, and Curtis Leonard ended the scoring at 17:12 of the second period.
Freshman goalie Jason Kasdorf made 15 saves for the Engineers, who finished with 28 shots.