POTSDAM - Coming off a very productive road trip to open the ECAC Hockey campaign, the Clarkson University mens hockey team will look to build upon its most successful start in 22 years when it hosts a pair of Central New York rivals this weekend in Potsdam.
After back-to-back lengthy road trips in league action, the Golden Knights will play their next four conference games in the North Country, including three straight at Cheel Arena. The Golden Knights, guided by third-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy 00 and Andy Jones, will host Cornell on Friday and Colgate on Saturday. Both games are 7 p.m. faceoffs. The Green and Gold, who have played the most games in the NCAA this season, will then take a much needed break before resuming action in early December. After an exhibition contest against Queens University at Cheel on Sunday, December 1, Clarkson will battle arch-rival St. Lawrence in a home-and-home series on December 6-7.
Led by senior captain Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) the Knights have already equaled last years win total with a 9-2-1 overall record. Clarkson is tied for second place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 3-1 league mark. Ranked 11th in the country, Clarkson gained six of a possible eight conference points in its just complete four-game road trip. This past Friday and Saturday, the Knights won a pair of one-goal games, defeating Dartmouth 3-2 in Hanover, NH and Harvard 2-1 in Cambridge, MA for its first weekend road sweep in nearly three seasons.
The Green and Gold opened the league campaign at Brown and Yale on November 1-2, defeating the Bears in 4-3 Providence before falling to the defending national champion Bulldogs 6-3 in New Haven.
Three seniors accounted for the goals at Dartmouth and sophomore Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) was strong in the crease. Sexton and Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) led the Knights offense with one goal and one assist apiece. Classmate Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) also tallied for his first goal of the season. Lewis finished with 26 saves, including 14 in the middle stanza.
Senior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) scored a late power-play goal to lift Clarkson past Harvard for the second consecutive time at Bright Hockey Center. Freshman defenseman James de Haas (Mississauga, ONT), who helped to set up the game-winner, also scored the games first goal. Making his second start of the weekend for the first time this season, Lewis posted 22 saves to improve his record to 6-1 on the year. Lewis was named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week.
HOST CORNELL FRIDAY
Guided by 19th-year head coach Mike Schafer, Cornell owns a 3-2-1 overall record and is in a tie for eighth-place in the standings with a 1-2-1 ECAC Hockey slate. The Big Red are looking to break out of a three-game winless stretch. This past weekend in NYs capital District, Cornell picked up one point in league play. The Big Red battle back with a pair of extra attacker goals to forge a 3-3 tie at Rensselaer on Friday. On Saturday, Cornell suffered its second 3-0 shutout in the past three games, falling at Union. Cornell opened the season with three straight wins before losing to national powerhouse Quinnipiac 3-0 at Lynah Rink on November 2.
Cornell is the Knights oldest current rival having first played during the 1922-23 campaign with the teams battling to a 0-0 tie in Ithaca. The Big Red lead the rivalry against the Knights 58-50-14. Clarkson snapped a 10-game winless stretch (0-7-3) in the series with a 6-3 victory at Cheel in their last meeting on February 2. T.J. Moor led the Knights with two goals and one assist in Clarksons highest goal total over the Big Red since a 6-2 win in January 1999.
In the first meeting last season, the Big Red edged the Knights 3-1 at Lynah Rink on November 30. In 2011-12, Clarkson and Cornell battled to a pair of ties in ECAC play, 0-0 at Lynah Rink in Ithaca on December 3 and 1-1 at Cheel Arena on February 17. The Big Red also skated to a 5-3 non-league victory in the consolation contest of the Florida Tournament on December 30, 2011.
The Knights have an11-7-6 advantage over Cornell at Cheel Arena. Ben Sexton is the Knights leading scorer in the series with two goals and three assists through three games. Greg Lewis posts a .907 save percentage and a 2.50 GAA in two games against the Big Red.
HOST COLGATE SATURDAY
Colgate, guided by 21st-year head coach Don Vaughan, enters the North Country with a 4-6-1 overall record and a seventh-place 2-2 league mark. The Raiders split on the road over the weekend, defeating Union 5-3 in Schenectady to snap a four-game losing skid before falling 6-2 to Rensselaer in Troy.
Clarkson leads the Raiders in their all-time series, which began during the 1927-28 campaign, 81-47-16, but Colgate is 6-1-3 in the last 10 meetings of the rivalry. In two tight games last season, the Raiders grabbed three of four points against the Green and Gold. Colgate pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory at Starr Rink on December 1 and held off Clarkson to gain a 4-4 tie at Cheel on February 1.
The Knights last win in the series was a 2-1 victory in Potsdam on February 18, 2012. The last six meetings between the New York rivals have all been decided by two goals-or-less, including three ties.
Clarkson holds a slim 10-9-8 advantage over Colgate at Cheel Arena. The Raiders last victory in Potsdam was a 6-2 triumph on January 16, 2010. Joe Zarbo leads the Knights offensively against Colgate with five points, including three goals. Jarrett Burton has a team-high three assists to go along with one goal. Greg Lewis posts a .855 save percentage and a 4.18 GAA through two games of the series.
KNIGHT KNOTES: Clarkson has gone 6-0-1 in one-goal games this year after winning just three times in 17 of those contests in 2012-13 Three of this years one-goal victories came in the final minutes of play. The Knights scored the game-winners at Brown, 4-3 (11/1), and Harvard, 2-1 (11/9), in the final two minutes of regulation. The Green and Gold also scored with 10 seconds left in overtime to defeat Colorado College 1-0 (10/26) Coming off its first weekend sweep on the road since December 2010, Clarkson has already equaled last years win total of nine, and owns the sixth best winning percentage in the country (.792) Greg Lewis made back-to-back starts for the first time this season and responded by leading the Knights to a pair of one goal road wins, combining for 48 saves over the weekend. He holds a .929 save percentage and a 1.86 goals against average en route to a 6-1 record. Lewis was named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week The Knights are winning low-scoring affairs with a balanced contribution throughout the lineup. Eighteen Knights have scored a goal this season and 20 players have accounted for at least one point In the weekend sweep at Dartmouth and Harvard, a different Knight accounted for each of the five goals and 12 players picked up a point. Ben Sexton, Will Frederick and James de Haas led the way over the weekend with one goal and one assist apiece Clarkson has won the most face offs in the country (442) and is winning .55% of its draws Sexton has won more face offs than any other player in the country (149) and is winning .596% of his draws. Clarksons captain paces the offense with a 11 points, including a team-high nine assists Allan McPherson has scored a team-high five goals to go along with four assists. McPherson is tied for 11th in Division I in power-play goals (3) and shares the team lead in game-winning goals (2) with classmate Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT) and junior Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) The Knights defense is tied for sixth in the country in goals allowed (2.00) Clarkson has outshot all but two opponents through the first 12 games Clarkson is getting ample scoring production from the blueline with the Knights six defensemen accounting for 27% of the offense with seven goals and 17 assists Sophomore Paul Geiger (Stouffville, ONT) leads the defensemen in scoring with eight points (1-7) de Haas leads the Clarkson rookies in scoring with five points (2-3) Matt Zarbo, who scored his first goal of the season in Fridays win at Dartmouth, has been named one of 20 finalists for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award Frederick has scored three goals in the past four games Clarkson has scored a power-play goal in 10 of 12 games. The Knights are clicking at 21% (11-53) with the man-advantage The Knights shorthanded units have killed off 44-53 opponents power plays (83%) Clarkson is 6-0-1 when leading through two periods.