POTSDAM, N.Y. - In time, Colorado College may look back on a 1-0 overtime loss as a hard lesson learned.
But oh, how it stung Saturday night.
The Tigers (1-3) came within 9.9 seconds of recording the first scoreless tie in the program's 75 years, but lost on a backhanded shot by Clarkson junior Joe Zarbo before a jubilant crowd of 2,363 at Cheel Arena.
The Golden Knights (6-1-1) jumped onto the ice in excitement while a few Tigers could only hang their heads for a moment, knowing they had squandered an excellent performance by senior goalie Josh Thorimbert, who made 42 saves.
"I feel bad for Josh," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "He gave us a great weekend. He has kept us in the last three games."
The lesson to learn? The Tigers need to bear down and force their way to the front of the net and win the 50/50 battles for loose pucks.
"We have to learn from this," senior captain Eamonn McDermott said. "The games will be this intense and competitive every weekend. It will only get tougher."
It does indeed with a road trip to National Collegiate Hockey Conference foe Western Michigan where the fans at Lawson Arena are called the Lawson Lunatics for good reason.
Clarkson's defense can take some credit for holding CC to 18 shots in nearly 65 minutes.
"I thought we did a good job swallowing up their shots and getting the rebounds out into the corners," Golden Knights coach Casey Jones said. "The defensemen did a good job clogging things up in front of the net. That played a big factor in their number of shots."
For CC, the Tigers need to work themselves into position and get to those rebounds first. That is a big reason why the Tigers have managed only 53 shots in the three losses.
"It's a mentality we need," McDermott said. "We need to be harder to defend."
There are a couple of positives to take from the loss. The Tigers played with the most energy they have shown during this three-game downturn and Thorimbert continued his strong play. The senior looks to have resumed the all-league form he displayed as a sophomore. He made 139 saves against 148 shots over the first four games.
"I thought we battled and competed," Owens said. "Both teams were better. The production was not there for us. We were out of sync. People weren't in position to get rebounds."
"Thorimbert played great," McDermott said. "It never should have come down to overtime."