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Clarkson men seek breakthrough win in ECAC season opening road trip

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POTSDAM - Although the Clarkson University men’s hockey team has yet to record its first victory of the 2012-13 campaign, the Golden Knights will head into the start of league play this weekend with a three-game unbeaten streak

Guided by second-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy ’00 and Andy Jones, the Knights open their 52nd season of ECAC Hockey action on the road at Yale and Brown Universities. The Green and Gold face off against the Bulldogs at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, CT on Friday at 7 p.m., and then battle the Bears in Providence, RI on Saturday afternoon in a 4 p.m. start at Meehan Auditorium.

Clarkson has accumulated 10 ECAC Regular Season titles since the 1961-62 campaign with its last championship coming in 2007-08. The Knights finished in a tie for sixth in the league standings last season with a 9-9-4 conference mark. The Green and Gold are picked to finish 10th this season in the ECAC Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Knights are coming off a pair of ties in Western, NY this past weekend, skating to a 3-3 draw and a 2-2 deadlock against Atlantic Hockey foe Canisius College at the Buffalo State Sports Arena on Saturday and Sunday. Clarkson also battled to a 4-4 draw with Niagara University at Cheel Arena on October 27. The Knights, who close out a four-game road trip this weekend, own a 0-4-3 record.

Trailing 2-0 late in the second period and down a goal with less than one minute remaining in regulation, Clarkson battled back to earn the tie on the road against Canisius on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore Patrick Marsh (Oakville, ONT) had a hand in all three Clarkson goals with one score and two assists. Freshman Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) collected his team-high fourth goal of the year and junior captain Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) tallied his second goal of the season with 28.7 seconds left in the third to highlight the Knights’ offensive showing. Making his first collegiate start in NCAA play, freshman Andrew Hunt (Surrey, BC) was solid in the Clarkson net with a 26-save effort.

Powered by two goals from junior Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT) and a solid 35-save effort from freshman goaltender Greg Lewis (Mars, PA), the Knights came away with another draw against the Golden Griffins on Sunday afternoon.

AT YALE FRIDAY

Opening the home portion of its schedule on Friday, Yale stands at 2-1-1 overall and is 1-1 in ECAC Hockey action. Guided by seventh-year head coach Keith Allain, Yale is coming off mixed results in conference action on the road last weekend. The Bulldogs lost 7-4 to Dartmouth in Hanover in their ECAC opener on Friday, but came back with a convincing 5-1 victory over archrival, 13th-ranked Harvard on Saturday in Cambridge, MA. Yale opened the season with a 2-2 tie against Dartmouth and a 3-2 win over Princeton at the Ivy Shootout at Brown on October 26-27.

Clarkson leads the all-time series against Yale, which began in 1929-30, 69-35-4, but the Bulldogs have won seven of the last nine meetings. The Knight snapped a four-game losing skid in the rivalry with a come-from-behind 5-4ot win in Potsdam on January 15 in their first meeting last season. Yale came back with a 5-1 victory at Ingalls Rink on February 4 in the second meeting of 2011-12 campaign. Clarkson’s last road win in the series was a 4-3 triumph in New Haven on January 16, 2009.

Sophomore defenseman Sam Labrecque has scored two goals, including the overtime game-winner last year, and one assist to lead the current Knights in scoring against Yale. Adam Pawlick and Ben Sexton also have three points in the rivalry with one goal and two assists each against the Bulldogs. Allan McPherson and Jarrett Burton have also scored a goal in the series.

AT BROWN SATURDAY

After opening the season with a 2-1 victory over Princeton at the Ivy Shootout at Meehan Auditorium, Brown has lost three straight heading into Friday night’s game against nationally-ranked St. Lawrence. The Bears, guided by fourth-year head coach Brendan Whittet, battled in a pair of tough games on the road over the weekend. Brown, however, came up just short, falling 3-2 at Harvard and 2-1 at Dartmouth.

Clarkson leads Brown in their all-time series, which began in 1953, by a commanding 58-15-7 margin. The Knights have gone 7-2-1 against the Bears over the last 10 meetings and are currently on a four-game unbeaten streak (2-0-2) in the series. Clarkson took three of four league points from the Bears in 2011-12 with a 2-2 tie at Cheel Arena (1/14) and a 3-1 win at Meehan Auditorium (2/3). Clarkson won both games in 2010-11 (3-1, 4-1), while the Bears swept two games from the Green and Gold in 2009-10 by 3-2 scores.

Allan McPherson has a team-high four points (1-3) in four games against Brown. Will Frederick has scored a team-high two goals against the Bears, along with one assist. Ben Sexton has tallied three assists.

KNIGHT KNOTES: Rookies Andrew Hunt and Greg Lewis split the Knights’ goaltending duties in the weekend series at Canisius, and both came through with solid efforts … Making his first NCAA start, Hunt recorded 26 saves on 29 shots and turned aside all five shots he faced in overtime … Making his fifth start of his collegiate career, Lewis posted 35 saves on 37 shots. He made 13 stops in the scoreless third period and finished with four more in the five-minute extra session. Playing in six of the first seven games, Lewis holds a .900 save percentage and a 3.04 goals against average … Patrick Marsh totaled a career-high three points (2-1) in Saturday’s 3-3 tie at Canisius. He has six points (1-5) this season, equaling his point total from his rookie campaign (3-3) … After scoring just twice in his sophomore season, Jarrett Burton already has tallied four goals through the first seven games of the 2012-13 campaign, and is just one shy of equaling his combined goal-total through his first two seasons (5). He scored both Clarkson goals in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Canisius … Pat Megannety shares the Clarkson goal-scoring lead with Burton (4). He connected for his second power-play goal on Saturday against the Golden Griffins … Allan McPherson set up two goals, giving him a team-high six assists and seven points on the year as the Knights’ leading scorer … Clarkson’s captain, Ben Sexton came up with the biggest goal of the season so far for the Green and Gold, scoring the Knights’ third and tying goal on Saturday just 25 seconds after Canisius went ahead 3-2, and with just 29 seconds remaining in regulation … Freshman Christian Finch (Claremont, ONT) picked up his first career points with an assist in both games at Canisius … Clarkson has scored at least one power-play goal in each of the last three games (five total) after scoring only once in 16 chances through the first four games. Overall, the Knights are 6-of-33 on the power play (18.2%) … Clarkson has outshot its opponents 217-206 in regulation, but has been outshot 13-7 in overtime … The last time the Golden Knights skated to three straight ties was early in the 1985-86 campaign when Clarkson battled Rensselaer (1-1), Cornell (3-3) and Colgate (4-4) in consecutive overtime draws.

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