If the start of the 2010-11 campaign is any indication then the Clarkson University Hockey team could be in for a roller coaster ride through its 89th season of play.
It was a rough start to the 34-game regular-season schedule for the Golden Knights, who came out flat in losing to Nebraska-Omaha 8-0 this past Friday in the first round of the Maverick Stampede in Omaha, NE.
Less than 24 hours removed from that dismal defeat the Green and Gold regrouped and skated to one of their most impressive victories in recent years by dominating fourth-ranked St. Cloud State 6-2 at the Qwest Center.
Clarkson will look to build upon the win over St. Cloud as it returns home for 10 consecutive games in the North Country. The Knights host Bowling Green this Friday and Saturday, and Bentley University on October 22-23 in a pair of non-league series to open their 20th season at Cheel Arena. Faceoff for both games against BGSU begin at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Can't make it to the game? Follow the Golden Knights over the Internet at Clarkson Hockey Broadcast Central with live video, internet radio broadcast and live in-game scoring.
Clarkson closes out the month with a non-league tilt against archrival St. Lawrence University in Lake Placid on October 30. ECAC Hockey play begins for the Green and Gold when they host Colgate University on November 5 in the first of five straight conference games in Potsdam.
Guided by eighth-year head coach George Roll, associate coach Greg Drechsel and assistant coach Chris Rogles, an untested Clarkson squad showed why it is lightly regarded in the preseason polls with Friday’s result, but on Saturday the Knights displayed the work ethic and skill that may make the Green and Gold one of the surprise teams in the country this winter.
The Knights, guided by junior captain Mark Borowiecki (Kanata, ONT) and assistant captains, senior Brandon DeFazio (Oakville, ONT) and junior Jake Morley (Ogdensburg, NY), have seven NHL draft picks on this year’s roster and one of their most experience teams in recent years with 21 lettermen, including seven seniors. Nine promising freshmen add to a deep squad, which provides plenty of competition for playing time.
Clarkson’s balance and work ethic was on display this past Saturday against national powerhouse St. Cloud. Six different Golden Knights scored goals and 11 skaters wearing the Green and Gold registered a point in Clarkson’s first victory over a Top-5 ranked program in a year and a half.
Senior defenseman Bryan Rufenach (Barrie, ONT) led the balanced offensive effort with one goal and two assists, while junior goaltender Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) was solid all night in goal with a 26-save effort. After a scoreless first period, sophomore defenseman Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) started a flurry of Clarkson goals in the middle frame with his second career tally as the Knights scored four times in just over a seven-minute span. Senior Lauri Tuohimaa (Helsinki, Finland), with his first goal in over a year, freshman Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT), with his first collegiate goal, and Morley rounded out the Knights’ most productive period of scoring in over a year. Two players who were not in Friday’s lineup, sophomore Pete Massar (Williston, VT) and freshman Mike Garlasco (Mahwah, NJ) made key contributions in Saturday’s win. Massar registered his first collegiate goal, a third-period tally that snuffed out a chance for a St. Cloud rally, and Garlasco recorded two assists.
Bowling Green, guided by first-year head coach Chris Bergeron, is coming off two tough games against third-ranked Michigan. Playing at home in Ohio, the Falcons fell to the highly regarded Spartans 4-1 and 4-2 in the first Central Collegiate Athletic Association (CCHA) games of the season. Seventeen lettermen return from last year’s Bowling Green squad which posted a 5-25-6 overall record, including a 4-18-6 11th-place CCHA mark.
Clarkson and Bowling Green have faceoff 27 times since the series started in 1970 with both team claiming 13 wins and a tie. The Falcons have enjoyed the upper hand recently, winning the last three meetings. Bowling Green edged the Knights 4-3 in the consolation game of the Dodge Classic in Minneapolis on January 3 last season. Clarkson is 2-1 against BGSU at Cheel and has not lost to the Falcons in Potsdam since November 3, 1995 (3-2).
In their last meeting at Cheel, the Green and Gold shut out BGSU 5-0 on November 26, 2004, which is also the last time the Knights have won in the series.
Louke Oakley leads Clarkson in scoring against the Falcons with three points on one goal and two assists through three games in the series. Scott Freeman, Bryan Rufenach and Nick Tremblay are the only other current Knights who have scored a goal against Bowling Green.
Richie LaVeau has played two games against the Falcons and holds a .880 save percentage, a 3.07 goals against average and an 0-2 mark in the series. Paul Karpowich is 0-1 against BGSU with a .882 save percentage and a 4.00 GAA. George Roll, a 1986 BGSU graduate, is 2-3 against his alma mater.
Clarkson’s 6-2 victory over 4th-ranked St. Cloud State on Saturday was the Knights’ first win over a Top-5 ranked team since downing #2-ranked Miami in the opening round of the Ohio Hockey Classic on January 2, 2009… After being shut out in their first four periods this season, the Knights scored four goals in the second stanza against the Huskies, their highest goal out put in a 20-minute span since totaling four in the third period of the 6-3 win over Dartmouth on February 20, 2009, which was also the last time the Green and Gold tallied six goals in a game … Head coach George Roll celebrated his 48th birthday with the impressive victory over St. Cloud State … The 8-0 loss on Friday was Clarkson’s worst defeat in an official season-opener since Michigan State handed the Green and Gold a 9-1 setback to start the 1953-54 campaign … Clarkson begins its 20th season at Cheel Arena this weekend … The Knights have gone 11-6-2 in their first 19 official season openers at the venue … The Green and Gold have gone 4-0-1 in the opener at Cheel the past five seasons with the last three home season-openers going into overtime (2-0-1) … Last season the Knights edged Niagara 4-3 in extra play; tied #1-ranked Colorado College 1-1 in overtime in 2008, and in 2007, 59 seconds into overtime, knocked off UMass 2-1 … Bryan Rufenach leads the Knights in scoring with three points on one goal and two assists … Clarkson’s freshman class combined for 11 games played over the weekend and totaled one goal and four assists … Rookie Allan McPherson, who had the deciding goal in the 5-2 exhibition victory over Carleton (10/3), netted the game-winner on Saturday for his first official collegiate goal … Mike Garlasco, who saw his first NCAA action on Saturday, is the only other Knight with multiple points with two assists … Freshman defenseman Alex Boak (Norwood, NY) and classmate Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) also recorded their first collegiate points with an assist each on Saturday … Lauri Tuohimaa connected for his 13th career goal and first in 39 games (since February 14, 2009) with Clarkson’s second score against St. Cloud … Pete Massar, who was injured for most of his rookie campaign, tallied his first collegiate goal playing in his 14th career game … Andrew Himelson, who posted four points (1-3) over the final five games last season, started the Knights’ goal-scoring outburst against St. Cloud with his second career goal… Jake Morley ’s goal on Saturday came just 85 seconds after McPherson’s tally and gave Clarkson a commanding 4-0 lead midway through the second period … Senior Scott Freeman (Whitby, ONT) recorded an assist over the weekend and now has 70 career points (18-52), closest to the century mark of any current Knight … Eight former Golden Knight all-stars - Chris Clark ‘98 (Columbus), Erik Cole (Carolina), Craig Conroy (Calgary), Kent Huskins ‘01 (San Jose), Randy Jones (Tampa Bay), Todd Marchant (Anaheim), Willie Mitchell (Los Angeles) and Todd White ’97 (NY Rangers) were on opening day National Hockey League rosters.