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Clarkson men begin 4-game road stretch seeking first win of season

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POTSDAM - With a winless month of October behind them the Golden Knights of the Clarkson University Hockey team will take to the road for the next four games striving to gain their first victory of the 2012-13 campaign.

Guided by second-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy ’00 and Andy Jones, Clarkson closes out the season-opening, non-league portion of the schedule with a two-game series at Atlantic Hockey’s Canisius College this Saturday and Sunday. Both games are 3:05 p.m. face-offs at the Buffalo State Sports Arena.

The Golden Knights, who own a 0-4-1 overall record, will open ECAC Hockey play November 9-10 when they travel to Yale and Brown.

Clarkson appeared to be on track for its first win of the season this past Saturday at Cheel Arena, jumping out to a 3-0 early first-period lead over Niagara. The Knights, however, could not hold the advantage as the Purple Eagles answered back with four straight scores to grab a 4-3 lead early in the third. Sophomore defenseman James Howden’s (Edgeley, SASK) goal at 6:31 of the period enabled the Green and Gold to skate away with a 4-4 tie. Clarkson’s power-play was clicking early as the Knights scored three goals in a span of 79 seconds while skating on a five-minte major power play. Clarkson finished 3-of-9 on the power play, while Niagara also enjoyed a strong night with the man-advantage by going 3-of-5.

Despite a 44-21 advantage in shots on Friday, Clarkson was shut out at home by Niagara 2-0. The Knights opened the year with a pair of 5-4 losses at nationally-ranked Colorado College on October 12-13, and then were handed a 3-1 defeat by Holy Cross in the home-opener at Cheel on October 20.

Canisius, which has played only one game at home this season, owns a 1-4-1 overall record. The Golden Griffins, guided by 8th-year head coach Dave Smith, are coming off a tough 1-0 loss at second-ranked Minnesota on Sunday. The Gophers scored the lone goal of the game just 12 seconds after the opening faceoff, but could not get another one past Canisius goaltender Tony Capobianco, who finished with 41 saves. The Golden Griffins’ lone win on the season was a 3-1 victory over Alaska at the Kendall Hockey Classic on October 13. In its lone home game, Canisius skated to a 1-1 draw with Air Force October 25.

Clarkson and Canisius have played just twice all-time with the Golden Griffins skating to a 4-3 overtime win and a 4-4 tie at Cheel Arena on November 28-29, 2008.

KNIGHT KNOTES: Clarkson, which starts a four-game road trip this weekend, will play just three more games at Cheel Arena during the 2012 portion of the schedule … Defenseman Nik Pokulok (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QUE) was the only Clarkson senior of the Knights’ four-member Class of 2013 to see action on Saturday. Assistant captain, defenseman Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) sat out the second game against Niagara because of an injury. Veteran forward Adam Pawlick (Utica, NY) has yet to see action in an NCAA game this season after suffering an injury in the exhibition contest against Carleton (10/7). Goaltender Cody Rosen (Kingston, ONT) started the season-opener at Colorado College (10/12), but has not seen action since … Clarkson’s captain, senior Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) recorded his second career three-assist game with three helpers in Saturday’s 4-4 tie. Sexton, a 2009 Boston Bruins NHL Draft selection (7th-rd, 206), is averaging close to a point per game in his collegiate career with 14 goals and 27 assists through 44 games. He has tallied four points (1-3) through this season’s first five games … Junior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) leads the Knights in scoring with five points, including a team-high four assists … Freshman Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) is Clarkson’s top goal scorer with three tallies, and adds an assist for four points through the first five games of his collegiate career … James Howden, who scored the tying goal on Saturday against Niagara, already has equaled his goal total of two from last season … Sophomore Patrick Marsh (Oakville, ONT) has equaled his assist total from last year by setting up three goals this season … Sophomore Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY), who scored three goals in 36 games as a rookie, has tallied twice this season … Back in the lineup on Saturday after missing the previous three games with an injury, sophomore defenseman Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE) recorded a goal and an assist in the 4-4 tie vs. Niagara … Freshman Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) has started the last four games for the Knights and posts a .886 save percentage and a 3.35 goals against average … The Knights have out shot their opponents in each of the last three games … The 2-0 win by Niagara on Friday was the first time Clarkson has been shut out at Cheel Arena since Bowling Green blanked the Knights 3-0 on October 16, 2010 … Clarkson has been outscored 7-3 in the second period this season.

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