Clarkson coach Casey Jones may have been happiest to see how his team held up under the increased CC pressure over the final 10 minutes of the nonconference game.
"We're still learning how to win as a group," Jones said of a 5-1-1 team rebounding from last season's 9-20-7 mark.
That was big step forward for the ECAC program, picked last in the 12-team league in the preseason poll, which looks more inaccurate each weekend.
For the Tigers, they must match the Golden Knights' hard-nosed play from the start Saturday in hopes of garnering a split in the two-game series. That would be a significant stride for a team that has managed only five goals in three games so far.
"We need to bear down a lot more form the very start," freshman Zach Aman said. "If we played like we did in the final 10 minutes for all 60, we stand a good chance of winning."
Tigers rally sparked by face-off wins
Clarkson came into Friday's nonconference game winning 58.7 percent of its face-offs, a good percentage. The Golden Knights looked headed to improving on that eye-popping stat after winning 13-of-18 draws in the first period and using that advantage to maintain puck possession against the Tigers. That played a factor in Clarkson's 30-21 edge in shots, especially a 22-12 edge through the first 40 minutes.
But Colorado College made some adjustments and managed to win the next two periods, 24-21, especially over the final 10 minutes when the team attempted a rally.
"That was a problem for us last year too," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "Our centers got a bit more aggressive on the dot. We need our wings to win more battles."
Clarkson came close to ending the winless streak last season at World Arena but squandered a two-goal lead to fall 5-4 on Oct. 13, 2012. The games between the programs date back to an NCAA playoff game in March 1957, a 5-3 CC home win. Two other NCAA wins came in 1997 and 1998. . Freshman Jaccob Slavin picked up his third point in as many games with CC, getting the assist on Aman's goal.