Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — At least a pair of locals were happy with what transpired Sunday in Dwyer Arena.
The problem for the Niagara University hockey team is that they both played for Clarkson.
Grand Island’s Joe and Matt Zarbo each contributed as the Golden Knights defeated the Purple Eagles 2-0 to complete a weekend sweep in front of 998 relatively tranquil fans. Joe scored the eventual game winning goal and Matt assisted on Clarkson’s insurance tally.
The 0-2-0 Purple Eagles — ranked No. 20 in the USCHO.COM poll entering the weekend — will not be ranked this week and have to regroup in preparation for hated Canisius on Saturday.
The Golden Knights, who only won nine games last season, have already won their first two.
“It is a great feeling, playing in front of my family and friends, coming back home,” said Joe Zorbo, a junior. “To get the sweep on the road, it is an unreal feeling.”
Joe Zorbo scored the only goal Clarkson would need when he took a Pat Megannety pass in the slot on a rare four-on-two and whizzed the puck past Niagara goaltender Adrian Ignagni at 8:03 of the second period on the power play.
Just over six minutes later, senior Matt Zarbo set up defenseman Paul Geiger for Clarkson’s second goal. Geiger’s shot from the point whizzed by a cluster of players past Ignagni to give the Golden Knights a 2-0 advantage.
After Saturday night’s loss, Niagara coach Dave Burkholder was not pleased with his club’s collective effort. On Sunday, his assessment of the Purple Eagles was much better.
“I thought we played with a lot of jam,” Burkholder said. “I thought we were physical again, and there was no quit. And that’s all you can ask. That is how our guys are judged. They are judged on their work ethic and their commitment to detail.