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Clarkson men’s hockey team set for two-game series against SLU

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POTSDAM - With a pair of games against archrival St. Lawrence this week the Clarkson University men’s hockey team will look to build some momentum heading into the upcoming break and get back to .500 in ECAC Hockey play.

Guided by second-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy ’00 and Andy Jones, the Golden Knights will face off against the Saints in league action at Appleton Arena in Canton on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and then battle their North Country neighbor in the Festivus Faceoff on Saturday in Lake Placid at 7:30 p.m. on the Olympic Ice at the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.

Clarkson saw a two-game unbeaten streak (1-0-1) come to an end in Central NY over the weekend as the Green and Gold dropped a pair of close games in the always tough series at Cornell and Colgate. On Friday, the Knights fell to the 12th-ranked Big Red as the home team connected for two power-play goals in the second period and added an empty-net score in the closing seconds to hand Clarkson a 3-1 loss. At Colgate, on Saturday, the Knights overcame a 3-1 deficit early in the middle frame to take a 4-3 lead late in the second period. The Raiders, however, scored their third power-play goal of the game, a 5-on-3 tally, late in the period to make it a 4-4 contest through 40 minutes. After a scoreless third period, Colgate scored the winning goal with 46 seconds remaining in overtime to send Clarkson home with a 5-4 loss.

With three games, including one ECAC Hockey contest, remaining in the 2012 portion of the schedule, Clarkson owns a 2-7-5 overall record and a 2-3-1 league mark. The Knights close out the season’s first half hosting Mercyhurst at Cheel Arena on December 15. Clarkson has posted ECAC Hockey wins over Yale (1-0) and Princeton (7-2).

Junior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) and Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT) paced the Clarkson offense with 14 and 11 points, respectively. McPherson is the Knights’ leading playmaker with 11 assists, while Burton has scored a team-high six goals.

Freshman Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) has seen the bulk of the action in the Clarkson goal with 13 games play and 12 starts, including the last eight games. He posts a .897 save percentage and a 2.94 goals against average.

St. Lawrence enters the week at 7-5-2 overall and 1-3-2 in the conference. The Saints, guided by first-year head coach Greg Carvel, split on the road over the weekend. St. Lawrence skated to its first league win of the year with a 4-2 triumph at Colgate before falling 3-1 at Cornell. The Saints have played just four games at Appleton Arena this season, sweeping Alabama-Huntsville (4-0, 3-1), tying Princeton (3-3) and losing to Quinnipiac (6-2) in its last game in Canton.

The Golden Knights hold an overwhelming 116-65-9 series lead against the Saints, which began with a 1-0 Clarkson victory during the 1925-26 season. The North Country rivals have played six times during the regular season over the past two years with the Green and Gold claiming five victories. Clarkson is 2-0-2 in its past four games at Appleton Arena. Last season, the Knights skated to a 5-3 victory in Canton on December 6. The Knights swept the ECAC Hockey series from St. Lawrence for the second straight season by claiming a 4-3 victory at Cheel Arena on January 21.

In 2010-11, Clarkson defeated St. Lawrence three times in one season for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign. The Knights are 19-16-2 against their archrival in games played during the 2000s.

The teams have split the Festivus Faceoff game in Lake Placid with the Knights’ winning the inaugural event 2-1 in overtime on October 30, 2010. St. Lawrence won last year’s game in Lake Placid 4-1 on December 10.

Matt Zarbo leads the Green and Gold in scoring against the Saints with five points (4-1) and two game-winners. Will Frederick has two goals and one assist in the rivalry, while Joe Zarbo has tallied a goal and an assist against the Saints. Patrick Marsh and James Howden are the other current Knights who have scored a goal against St. Lawrence.

KNIGHT KNOTES: Clarkson has played in six overtime games this season, going 0-1-5 … The Knights record for extra–session contests is 11 set in 2008-09 (3-1-7) and 1980-81 (4-4-3) … Clarkson is receiving a balanced scoring effort with 16 Knights recording a goal. Over the past four games 12 different players have accounted for Clarkson’s 15 goals with sophomore Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) and junior Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) leading the way with three and two goals, respectively … Joe Zarbo, who tallied three goals in his freshman campaign, has scored five this season and has recorded a goal in each of his past three games. He has connected for a team-high four power-play markers … Freshman Paul Geiger (Stouffville, ONT) leads the Clarkson offensive production from the blueline with six points (2-4) … Sophomore defenseman Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE), who was back in the lineup this weekend after missing the previous six games with an injury, scored his second goal of the season and first since October 27 vs. Niagara with the Knights’ first tally at Colgate … Freshman Jeff DiNallo (Aurora, ONT) scored his first collegiate goal to give Clarkson a 4-3 lead at Colgate … Leading scorer Allan McPherson posts a team-best 14 points, 11 assists and a +7 plus/minus … Freshman Pat Megannety (Oakville, ONT) is Clarkson’s top rookie scorer with eight points on five goals and three assists, and has yet to take a penalty this season … Junior defenseman Alex Boak (Norwood, NY) has a team-high in penalty minutes with 11/41 and posts a +6 plus/minus … Junior captain Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) has missed the past three games with an injury and is not expected to play this week against the Saints ... Former Clarkson head coach, Jerry York, now at Boston College, tied the NCAA coaching record for most career wins. York’s BC squad defeated Boston University on Saturday to give him 924 wins, tying Ron Mason’s mark. The fifth head coach in Clarkson’s hockey history, York guided the Golden Knights for seven seasons from 1972-79, compiling a 125-87-3 record while in Potsdam.

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