Clarkson takes on Brown and Yale to close out four-game road trip
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:40 pm

By earning seven of a possible 10 points in its return to ECAC Hockey play in 2012, the Clarkson University Hockey team has positioned itself to grab one of the top four spots in the league standings. Guided by first-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy ’00 and Andy Jones, the Golden Knights stand at 12-11-5 overall and hold down fifth place in the conference with a 6-5-3 league slate.

Led by senior captain Jake Morley (Ogdensburg, NY) and assistant captains, grad student Nick Tremblay (Candiac, QUE) and sophomore Ben Sexton (Kanata, ONT), Clarkson has gone 3-1-1 in league play during the New Year and is 4-1-2 in its last seven conference games. With eight dates remaining on the league schedule, the Knights are six points shy of first-place Union, but also just six points in front of Rensselaer and St. Lawrence, who are tied for 11th in the tightly packed standings.

The Green and Gold close out a four-game road trip at Brown and Yale this weekend. Clarkson battles Brown in Providence, RI on Friday in a 7:00 p.m. faceoff at Meehan Auditorium, and then takes on defending ECAC Hockey Tournament champion Yale in a 7:00 p.m. game on Saturday at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, CT.

The current road trip got off to a rough start for the Knights this past Friday in Schenectady, NY as Clarkson fell into a 4-0 first-period deficit and could not recover, losing 5-2 to 14th-ranked Union. Clarkson came out strong the next night against Rensselaer, jumping out to a 2-0 lead en route to a 3-2 victory in Troy, NY. Senior Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) posted 29 saves to set Clarkson’s new career record for saves and Tremblay continued his scoring streak with the game-winner as the Green and Gold swept the regular-season series from the Engineers.

Karpowich, who has started 26 games this season, ranks ninth in the nation in save percentage (.928) and is tied for third in the country for shutouts with five. He holds the program’s record for most career saves with 3,396 stops through 119 games.

A pair of seniors lead a balanced scoring attacked for the Knights. Louke Oakley (Whitby, ONT) tops the Clarkson scoring charts with 26 points, including a team-high 15 assists. Tremblay, who has a current six-game point-scoring streak, follows closely behind with 25 points, including a team-high 13 goals. Freshman Sam Labrecque (Granby, QUE) powers the offense from the blueline with five goals and 12 assists.

Brown, guided by third-year head coach Brendan Whittet, has posted some impressive wins this year and owns an 8-10-3 overall record. The Bears are tied for ninth in the league standings with a 5-7-2 ECAC Hockey mark. Brown is coming off two losses on the road, falling this past weekend at Dartmouth (6-2) and Harvard (3-1). The Bears are 3-4-1 at Meehan Auditorium this season with their last home win a 3-2 triumph over Union on January 21.

Yale, which is just two points behind Clarkson in the standings entering the weekend, owns an 9-10-2 overall record and is tied for seventh in the league with a 6-7-1 mark. Guided by sixth-year head coach Keith Allain, the Bulldogs broke out of a four-game skid with a come-from-behind 5-4 victory at Dartmouth on Saturday. Yale, which host St. Lawrence on Friday, is 5-5 at Ingalls rink in 2011-12.

The Series:

Clarkson leads Brown in their all-time series, which began in 1953, by a commanding 57-15-7 margin. The Knights have gone 7-2-1 against the Bears over the last 10 meetings and are currently on a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) in the series. In the teams’ first meeting this season, Clarkson, which held a 41-17 shot advantage, twice overcame one-goal deficits to earn a 2-2 tie at Cheel Arena on January 14. In 2010-11, the Knights swept Brown, with a 3-1 victory in Providence on January 22, 2011 and a 4-1 triumph in Potsdam on February 11. The Bears swept two games from the Green and Gold in 2009-10 by 3-2 scores, winning at Cheel Arena (1/23/10) and at Meehan Auditorium (2/19/10).

Nick Tremblay has a team-high five points against Brown with three goals and two assists through seven games. Paul Karpowich posts a .922 save percentage, a 2.21 GAA and a 4-2-1 mark through 380 minutes in seven games of the series.

Clarkson leads the all-time series against Yale, which began in 1929-30, 69-34-4. The Bulldogs have won six of the last eight meetings, but the Knights snapped a four-game losing skid in the rivalry with a come-from-behind 5-4ot win in Potsdam on January 15. Freshman defenseman Sam Labrecque scored two goals, including the game-winner, and one assist to spark the effort. Yale swept the Knights last year, winning 5-2 in New Haven on January 21 and 6-3 in Potsdam on February 12. The Bulldogs also swept the Golden Knights during the 2009-10 campaign, winning 3-2 at Cheel (1/22/10) and 5-4 in overtime at Ingalls Rink (2/20/10). Clarkson’s last road win in the series was a 4-3 triumph in New Haven on January 16, 2009.

Nick Tremblay (1-5) has a team-high six points against Yale through seven games. Julien Cayer has scored a team-high three goals against the Bulldogs. Paul Karpowich posts a .895 save percentage, a 4.30 GAA and a 1-5 mark in the series. Richie LaVeau is 1-0 against the Bulldogs with a .906 save percentage and a 3.00 goals against average.


Knight Notes:

Nearing the end of his collegiate career, Nick Tremblay is playing a big role in the Knights’ offense of late with a six-game point streak, including a goal in each of the past three games. He has tallied four goals and six assists in 2012. Tremblay has 77 career points on 29 goals and 48 assists through 132 games, including 25 points and a team-high 13 goals this season … Louke Oakley leads the Knights’ offense with 26 points and is the team’s top playmaker with 15 assists. Oakley has a four-game point scoring streak with three goals and five assists during that span … Ben Sexton is averaging a point per game with six goals and 10 assists through 16 contests. Since returning to the lineup on December 29 after missing the previous 12 games with an injury, Sexton has tallied three goals and four assists in an eight-game span … Paul Karpowich is ranked among the top goaltenders in the nation with a .928 save percentage (9th) and is tied for third in the country in shutouts (5). He holds a 2.25 goals against average. Karpowich broke the all-time save record at Clarkson during the one-goal win at Rennselaer (1/28). Through 119 career games, including 116 starts, Karpowich has accumulated 3,396 stops. He broke the old mark of 3,375 set by Dan Murphy ’98 in 135 games from 1994-98 … Clarkson has swept the ECAC Hockey regular-season series from two of its biggest rivals. The Knights defeated St. Lawrence 5-3 and 4-3 in league play and knocked off Rensselaer 4-1 and 3-2 … Clarkson is 9-0-2 when leading after two periods … After this weekend’s series at Brown and Yale, the Knights return home for four straight games, beginning with Princeton on February 10 … Clarkson is 8-2-1 at Cheel this year. Seven former Clarkson standouts have skated in the National Hockey League this season. Last year’s captain Mark Borowiecki was recently called up to the Ottawa Senators and has played in one game through January 22. Borowiecki was selected to play in the American Hockey League (AHL) All-Star Game on January 30 in Atlantic City, NJ … Borowiecki joins Grant Clitsome ’08 (Columbus), Erik Cole (Montreal), Kent Huskins ’01 (St. Louis), Randy Jones (Winnipeg), Willie Mitchell (Los Angeles) and Steve Zalewski ’08 (New Jersey) who have seen action in the NHL during the 2011-12 campaign … Former Clarkson All-American defenseman Bob Armstrong ‘84 passed away at the age of 50 on January 28, 2012. Armstrong played 136 games for the Golden Knights from 1980-84, recording 74 points on 23 goals and 51 assists. He was named an All-American in 1984.