POTSDAM - With the return to ECAC Hockey play the Clarkson University mens hockey team regained its stride this past weekend at Cheel Arena by skating to a pair of key league wins to begin the second-half stretch of the conference campaign.
Guided by third-year co-head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy 00 and Andy Jones, the Golden Knights will look to build upon their momentum when they travel to Central New York this weekend. The Knights battle Colgate at Starr Rink in Hamilton on Friday and then take on Cornell at Lynah Rink in Ithaca on Saturday. Puck drops at 7 p.m. each night. Fridays game against the Raiders will be televised live by Time Warner Cable.
Owning a 15-7-2 overall record and a third-place 8-2 ECAC Hockey mark, Clarkson has 12 games remaining in the regular season with six in Potsdam and six on the road. The Knights are three points out of first, but have three games in hand on league-leader Quinnipiac. Ranked 13th in the national polls, the Green and Gold have just one remaining road trip out of NY State (at Quinnipiac and Princeton on February 7-8).
Clarkson snapped out of a lethargic 1-4-1 stretch in non-league action by gaining its first ECAC Hockey weekend sweep at home since early February, 2010. The Green and Gold improved their record in one-goal games to 12-3-2 by posting 3-2 victories over Yale and Brown at Cheel this past Friday and Saturday.
A trio of freshmen highlighted one of the best efforts of the season for the Knights in the win over the defending national champions. Forward A. J Fossen (Maple Grove, MN) scored a career-high two goals, defenseman James de Haas (Mississauga, ONT) recorded two assists while also putting in a strong effort on the blueline and rookie goaltender Steve Perry (Ligonier, PA) was solid in the Clarkson crease with 17 saves as the Knights snapped 8th-ranked Yales four-game unbeaten streak. Clarkson outshot Yale 35-19, holding the Bulldogs to their lowest shot total of the season.
In another balanced effort, three different Golden Knights scored goals in the victory over Brown and Perry made 29 saves to complete the weekend sweep. Senior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT), who scored the games first goal, paced the Clarkson offense with one goal and one assist. Sophomore T.J. Moor (Lake St. Louis, MO) and senior Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) also scored in the win, which snapped Browns unbeaten streak at six games (4-0-2). Clarkson outshot the Bears 34-31, including by an 11-6 margin over the final 20 minutes.
Colgate is unbeaten in the New Year and has won its last four games. The Raiders, guided by 21st-year head coach Don Vaughan, stand at 11-9-3 overall and are in fourth place in the league standings, one point behind Clarkson, with a 7-3-1 ECAC Hockey mark. Colgate opened the 2014 portion of the schedule by claiming the tournament title of the Mariucci Classic with a 2-2 tie against Minnesota and a 3-0 victory over Ferris State, ranked 1st and 2nd, respectively at the time. This past weekend, the Raiders gained a sweep on the road with a 4-1 victory at Dartmouth and a 4-2 triumph at Harvard. Colgate is 4-7 at Starr Rink this season.
Clarkson leads the Raiders in their all-time series, which began during the 1927-28 campaign, 81-48-16, but Colgate is 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings of the rivalry, including a current 2-0-1 mark. Earlier this season, Colgate scored three unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the Knights 4-3 at Cheel Arena on November 16.
In two tight games during the 2012-13 campaign, 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 seven meetings between the New York rivals have all been decided by two goals-or-less, including three ties.
Clarkson last victory at Starr Rink was a 2-1 triumph on February 3, 2007.
Joe Zarbo leads the Knights offensively against Colgate with five points, including three goals. Jarrett Burton also has five points in the series a team-high three assists. Greg Lewis posts a .843 save percentage and a 4.12 GAA through three games of the series.
Cornell also comes into the weekend with a lengthy unbeaten streak going 2-0-3 in its last five games. The Big Red, who host St. Lawrence on Friday, are 9-4-4 overall and hold fifth place in the league standings at 5-3-3. Guided by 19th-year head coach Mike Schafer, Cornell gained three points on the road over the weekend with a 3-2 win at Harvard and a 1-1 tie at Dartmouth. The Big Red are 4-1-1 at Lynah Rink this season.
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 58-51-14. Clarkson snapped a 10-game winless stretch (0-7-3) in the series with a 6-3 victory at Cheel on February 2, 2013 and followed it up with a 3-2 win in Potsdam on November 15 to post consecutive wins in the series for the first time since late in the 2007-08 campaign.
Allan McPherson scored in the final seconds (37.3) for his second goal of the night to lift Clarkson to the win early in the season. Clarkson outshot Cornell 26-11. Last season, 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.
The Knights last win at Lynah Rink was a 4-2 triumph on January 20, 2008, which completed the 2007-08 ECAC Hockey season sweep of the Big Red.
Ben Sexton is the Knights leading scorer in the series with three goals and three assists through four games. McPherson also has three goals to go along with two assists against Cornell in eight games. Greg Lewis posts a .892 save percentage and a 2.33 GAA in three games against the Big Red.
KNIGHT KNOTES: The Knights have struggled on the trip to Central NY, managing just two points (3-3 tie at Colgate on December 6, 2008 and a 0-0 draw at Cornell on December 3, 2011) in the previous five seasons. Clarkson gained three points on the trip in 2007-08 with a 1-1 tie against the Raiders and a 4-2 victory over Cornell. The last time, the Green and Gold swept the weekend road series at Colgate and Cornell was during the 1996-97 campaign on February 28 (3-1 over the Big Red) and March 1 (7-3 over the Raiders) ... Senior captain Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT) paces a balanced scoring effort for the Knights with 19 points, including a team-high 14 assists ... Allan McPherson follows right behind with 18 points, including a team-high eight goals. McPherson is bidding to join Clarksons Century Club. He leads all current Knights in career scoring with 89 points (36-53) in 132 games ... Sophomore Jeff DiNallo (Aurora, ONT) is the Knights third-leading scorer with 14 points (7-7), more than tripling his rookie point total 4 (2-2) Steve Perry and sophomore Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) have seen the bulk of the playing time in the Clarkson crease. Through 11 games, Perry posts a .919 save percentage, a 2.02 goals against average and a 6-3-2 record, including two shutouts. In 13 starts, Lewis holds a .895 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA en route to an 8-4 mark ... Sophomore defenseman Kevin Tansey (Hammond, ONT), who missed all of last season, scored his first career game-winning goal in the 3-2 win over Yale after finishing off a beautiful back-door pass from junior Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY). Playing in all 24 games, Tansey shares the Clarkson scoring lead from the blueline with 11 points (2-9) and posts a +3 plus/minus rating Will Frederick became the 10th Golden Knight this season to connect for a game-winning goal when he broke a 2-2 tie against Brown early in the third period with his fourth goal of the season Back on the ice after missing the previous four games with an injury, T.J. Moor recorded an assist against Yale and tallied a goal against Brown over the weekend After his two-goal effort on Friday, A.J. Fossen leads the Clarkson rookies in scoring with nine points on four goals and five assists. Fossen has posted his first two career multiple-point games for the Knights in the last five games after being a healthy scratch in the first two games against Lowell (12/29-1/3). He is tied for the team lead in plus/minus at +5 James de Haas helped to set up the Knights first two goals in the win over Yale for his first career multiple-assist game on the Clarkson blueline It took until the last game of 2013 for freshman defenseman Bryan Sinz (Anchorage, AK) to see his first action in NCAA play, but the rookie rearguard is making it tough to keep him out of the lineup. Sinz has skated in the last five games, posting three assists and a +1 rating Rookie forwards Jordan Boucher (St. Therese, QUE) and Perry DArrisso (Mississauga, ONT) are also proving to be tough scratches from the Clarkson lineup. Boucher has played in the past five games after sitting out the previous seven. He recorded an assist in the win over Brown. Boucher has four points (1-3) and a +2 rating in nine games Perry has skated in the last four games and six of the last seven. He helped to set up the winning goal in the victory over Yale. DArrisso has one goal, two assists and a +3 in 10 games overall.