Clarkson looks for success in Central New York
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 12:35 am

In the early stages of its longest road trip in 71 years, the Clarkson University Hockey team returns to ECAC Hockey action this weekend with its toughest trip in league play. Guided by first-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy ’00 and Andy Jones, the Golden Knights travel to Central NY to play at conference frontrunners Colgate and Cornell. Clarkson faces off against 14th/15th-ranked Colgate at Starr Rink in Hamilton in a game that will be televised live by Time Warner Cable on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The Green and Gold then battle 17th-ranked Cornell at Lynah Rink in Ithaca on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Led by senior captain Jake Morley (Ogdensburg, NY) and assistants, grad student Nick Tremblay (Candiac, QUE) and sophomore Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT), the Knights own an 8-5-3 overall record and stand in eighth-place in the league standings with a 2-3-1 ECAC Hockey slate.

Clarkson opened a nine-game road trip this past weekend with a split in non-league play. On Saturday, the Knights lost to Maine 4-3 at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, ME. Clarkson came back the next night with its fourth shutout of the season with a 5-0 whitewash over Holy Cross on Sunday in Worcester, MA.

Mental mistakes and sloppy play cost Clarkson in the one-goal lost to Maine of Hockey East. The Knights, who never led in the game, tied the contest for the second time with a power-play goal from sophomore Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) midway through the second to make it 3-3. The Black Bears, however, answered back with their second man-advantage goal of the stanza with just 4.2 seconds left in the period to take the win.

Against Holy Cross, Clarkson played a complete game from start-to-finish to improved its record against Atlantic Hockey foes to 6-0-1 on the year. Tremblay recorded his second career two-goal outing and senior Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) posted 27 saves for his second shutout over the past three games.

The Knights have struggled on the trip to Central NY, managing just one point (3-3 tie at Colgate on December 6, 2008) in the previous three 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).

Owning a three-game winning streak, Colgate is on a roll having outscored its opponents 11-3 during that span. Guided by 19th-year head coach Don Vaughan, the Raiders stand at 9-4-1 overall and are tied for second place in the ECAC standings with a 4-2-0 conference mark. In its last action, Colgate defeated Vermont 4-1 in out-of-conference play in Burlington on November 25. The Raiders swept Quinnipiac (3-1) and Princeton (4-1) in their last league action on November 18-19 in Hamilton. Colgate, which is 3-2 at Starr Rink, begins a four-game home stand with Friday’s game against the Knights.

Cornell comes into the weekend looking to bounce back from a tough 2-1 overtime loss to Boston University before a sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd of 18,200 on Saturday in New York City. Guided by 17th-year head coach Mike Schafer, the Big Red had won their previous five in a row, outscoring their opponents 16-4 during that span. Cornell, which hosts St. Lawrence on Friday, owns a 6-3 overall record and a 5-1 first-place ECAC Hockey mark. The Big Red are 3-1 in Ithaca and have not allowed a goal in its past three games at Lynah Rink, having shut out Princeton (4-0), Quinnipiac (4-0) and Niagara (1-0).

The Series:

Clarkson leads the Raiders in their all-time series, which began during the 1927-28 campaign, 80-45-15. Colgate, however, is unbeaten against the Green and Gold over the last eight meetings (6-0-2), and is 7-2-7 over the last 16. The Knights stopped a three-game losing skid to Colgate in their first meeting last year, skating to a 4-4 tie at Cheel Arena on November 5, but the Raiders came back with a 4-2 victory in Hamilton on February 5. The two New York State rivals have battled to six ties over the past 11 regular-season meetings. Clarkson’s last win in the series was a 1-0 triumph in Game 1 of the ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series in Potsdam on March 14, 2008. The Knights hold a 25-23-5 advantage over Colgate on its home ice at Starr Rink, but have not won in Hamilton since earning a 2-1 victory on February 3, 2007.

Julien Cayer (1-1), Louke Oakley (0-2) and Nick Tremblay (0-2) lead the Knights’ offense against the Raiders with two points each. Paul Karpowich is 0-2-2 with a .891 save percentage and a 4.09 GAA against the Raiders.

The lone ECAC Hockey team to hold an advantage over Clarkson in its all-time series, 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 56-49-12. Cornell holds a current six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) in the series, including four consecutive victories. Last season, the Big Red skated past Clarkson 6-1 at Cheel Arena on November 6 and knocked off the Green and Gold 5-2 at Lynah Ronk on February 4. Cornell swept the Green and Gold in 2009-10, winning 3-1 at Cheel on January 15 and 5-3 in Ithaca on January 30. Clarkson took two from the Big Red during the 2007-08 campaign, winning 4-2 at Lynah Rink (1/20/08) and 4-1 at Cheel Arena (2/8/08), for its first conference sweep in the rivalry since the 1998-99 campaign and its last victories in the series.

Corey Tamblyn is Clarkson’s leading scorer against Cornell with three points, including two goals through four games. Adam Pawlick is the only other current Knight to have scored a goal in the series. Paul Karpowich has played six games against the Big Red, posting a .871 save percentage, a 3.64 goals against average and a 0-5-1 record.

Knight Notes:

Paul Karpowich is enjoying a stellar start to his senior campaign. The 2008 St. Louis Blues NHL Draft choice (7th rd, 185) is ranked among the national leaders in save percentage, .942 (4th) and goals against average, 1.80 (6th), and is second in the nation in shutouts with four. Karpowich recorded his sixth career whitewash, fourth of the season and second in the past three games with a 27-save effort in Sunday’s blanking of Holy Cross. This was Clarkson’s first shutout on the road in over four years. With Karpowich playing every minute in the Knights’ crease, Clarkson has posted four shutouts this season, the most for the Green and Gold since the 2007-08 campaign when the team notched six whitewashes. Karpowich, who was named ECAC Hockey/Fischer Hockey Goaltender of the Month for October, has started the last 39 games in the Clarkson goal and 106 during his career. He is closing in on the all-time save record at Clarkson with 3,114 through 109 games. The Knights’ all-time record is 3,375 saves by Dan Murphy in 135 games from 1994-98 … With three freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors on the blueline, Clarkson is allowing only 1.88 goals per game, fourth best in the NCAA … Back in the lineup after missing last Saturday’s game with an injury, freshman defenseman Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE) was in top form posting three assists from the blueline in Clarkson’s weekend split on the road. He recorded his first career multiple-assist game with two helpers, including on the game-winner, in Sunday’s 5-0 win at Holy Cross. Labrecque is the Knights’ third leading scorer with 12 points (2-10) and is ranked second in the nation for points per game by a rookie defenseman at 0.80 … The Knights’ leading scorer, senior Louke Oakley (Whitby, ONT) has recorded at least one point in 12 of his first 14 games. He has 17 points (7-10) … Oakley and Nick Tremblay are currently on four-game point-scoring streaks … Tremblay posted his second career two-goal game with a pair of scores, including the game-winner in the win at Holy Cross. He leads Clarkson with nine goals and is second in points with 15 … In the win at Holy Cross, sophomore defenseman Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) tallied his first goal of the season and freshman right wing Patrick Marsh (Oakville, ONT) scored his first career goal … Sophomore defenseman Chase Fuchs (Severna Park, MD) has played in two career games, both shutout wins for the Knights – 4-0 over Dartmouth (11/19) and 5-0 at Holy Cross (11/27) … Clarkson is two games into a nine-game road trip, the longest in the program’s history during the regular season since the 1938-39 campaign when the Green and Gold played 12 straight away from Potsdam … The Knights are 2-3-3 away from Cheel Arena this season … Clarkson is 7-0-1 when scoring first and 8-0-2 when leading through 40 minutes.

 

CLARKSON in the NCAA RANKINGS - (Nov. 28)

- TEAM -

Scoring Offense - T-24th (3.00)

Scoring Defense - 4th (1.88)

Scoring Margin - 9th (1.12)

Power Play - 24th (15-78, 19.2%)

Penalty Kill - T-14th (76-88, 86.4%)

Penalty Minutes - 8th (17.1)

- INDIVIDUAL - ToP 20 in NCAA

Shorthanded Goals - Tansey, Burton T-7th (1)

Game-Winning Goals - McPherson, Oakley T-4th (3)

Points Per Game Rookies- Labrecque T-15th (.80)

Pts Per Game Defenseman- Labrecque 17th (.80)

Save Percentage - Karpowich 4th (.942%)

Goals Against Average - Karpowich 6th (1.80)

Shutouts - Karpowich 2nd (4)