Part of the job description of a team captain, no doubt, is coming through in the clutch.
Colorado College’s William Rapuzzi did just that Saturday, scoring with 1 minute remaining to give the Tigers a 5-4 victory over Clarkson at World Arena. Rapuzzi slammed home a rebound of a Mike Boivin shot to help CC (2-0-0) complete a come-from-behind win.
“Luckily, with a minute left, I was able to get one,” Rapuzzi said. “It was a hard-fought effort out there, especially in the third period. The boys played well, we got a lot of momentum and didn’t stop fighting in those last 20 minutes.”
Trailing 4-3 midway through the third period, CC went on the offensive. Archie Skalbeck took a crossing pass from Joe Marciano and beat Golden Knights freshman goalie Greg Lewis stick side to tie the score with 9:25 remaining.
“I think we definitely came out (in the third) with the mindset that we didn’t want to lose this game,” said Skalbeck, who already has three goals this season. “Our coaches came in (during the second intermission) and said there was an opportunity for our team to show some character and some mental toughness. (William) Rapuzzi, being the team captain and carrying the team on his back being able to bury that last goal really showed what kind of player he is.”
The Tigers’ offense peppered the Clarkson goal with shot after shot down the stretch.
CC finished with an 18-7 shot advantage in the third period and out-shot the Golden Knights (0-2-0) 42-21 for the game.
“It’s really nice when it’s Oct. 13 and your captain nets a game-winner like that,” said Tigers coach Scott Owens, who earned his 300th win Friday night. “It’s good for our character and for our building. In the second period, in particular, we were poor.
“But the third period came, and I felt that, whoever got that (next) goal was probably going to win it.”
Clarkson had a trio of one-goal leads, 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3, but ran out of gas in the end. The teams exchanged a pair of goals in the first period before Skalbeck gave CC a 3-2 lead 7:11 into the second with the team’s first power-play goal of the season.
The Golden Knights responded with two goals within a minute of each other in the second to take a 4-3 lead with 6:35 remaining in the period.
Owens felt fortunate to emerge from the two-game series with a pair of wins.
“We gave up eight goals this weekend and won both games,” he said. “I felt Clarkson deserved a little better fate this weekend, especially tonight. It’s just nice to be 2-0.”