Whether it was good goaltending, bad bounces, or the rust from the long layoff, the Clarkson University Hockey team had difficulty finishing in its non-league series against WCHA powerhouse Minnesota-Duluth. Despite out-shooting the fifth-ranked Bulldogs in both games, the Golden Knights suffered a sweep at Cheel Arena, falling 4-1 on Monday and 4-2 on Tuesday.
Guided by eighth-year head coach George Roll, associate coach Greg Drechsel and assistant coach Chris Rogles, Clarkson owns a 10-7-2 overall record and resumes ECAC Hockey play this weekend with a fifth-place 4-2-1 conference mark.
Led by junior captain Mark Borowiecki (Kanata, ONT) and assistant captains, senior Brandon DeFazio (Oakville, ONT) and junior Jake Morley (Ogdensburg, NY), the Golden Knights will have little time to recover from the grueling series against UMD when they face two more Top-15 ranked teams to close out a tough six-day stretch. The Green and Gold take to the road, traveling to NY’s Capital District region to battle ninth-ranked Rensselaer in Troy on Friday and at 15th-ranked Union in Schenectady on Saturday. Both games are 7:00 p.m. faceoffs. The Union game will be televised by Time-Warner Cable.
Clarkson, which hadn't played in 21 days, had its four-game winning streak snapped in the losses to Minnesota-Duluth. On Monday, UMD came out with a strong first-period effort and grabbed a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes, and built its advantage to 3-0 through two periods. The Knights came out strong in the third period and got on the scoreboard at 13:18 when freshman Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) tallied his fifth goal of the season. The Bulldogs, however, added their fourth goal less than two minutes later to seal the win. The Golden Knights out shot UMD 34-29. Clarkson was 0-of-6 on the power play while the Bulldogs went 1-of-7 with the man-advantage.
In a penalty-filled affair on Tuesday night, the Knights staged a late rally against UMD, but fell short in their comeback bid. Trailing 4-0 late in the third period, Clarkson was finally able to produce on its scoring chances, connecting for a pair of specialty-team goals in the final six minutes of play with Nick Tremblay (Candiac, QUE) scoring on the power play and freshman Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT) recording his first collegiate goal with a shorthanded tally. Clarkson had the extra attacker out with 1:11 remaining, but was unable to get any closer.
There was a total of 135 minutes in penalties called in Tuesday's contest. The Knights went 1-of-10 on the power play while the Bulldogs were 2-of-7 with the man-advantage.
With a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) to close out 2010, Rensselaer enters the New Year with plenty of momentum. Ranked 9th/10th in the national polls, the Engineers have gone 8-1-1 since November 13 with their only loss coming at #1-ranked Yale, 4-2, on December 4. Guided by fifth-year head coach Seth Appert, RPI owns an 11-4-3 overall record and is tied for seventh place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 3-3 conference mark. RPI is perfect at Houston Field House with a 7-0-0 record in Troy. Three of the Engineers’ losses have been by one goal. RPI took a two-game series at Alabama-Huntsville in their last action on December 30-31, winning both games 2-1
Rated among the top teams in the country throughout the season, Union College has experienced a minor slump recently, posting a 1-3 mark since mid-December. Guided by eighth-year head coach Nate Leaman, Union is ranked 14th/15th in the latest polls and takes an 11-6-3 overall record and a sixth-place ECAC Hockey mark into Friday’s game against St. Lawrence. In their last action On December 31-January 1, the Dutchmen fell just short in their bid to claim the Dodge Holiday Classic. Union earned a key victory in first round action, knocking off host Minnesota 3-2 in overtime, but fell in the championship game losing 3-1 to Bemidji State. The Dutchmen are 7-0-1 at Messa Rink this season and have out-scored their opponents 48-13 in Schenectady.
Clarkson opens the 2011 portion of the schedule with five consecutive games against teams currently ranked among the Top 15 in the country, including four games in a six-day span … The Knights hosted fifth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth in a two-game series on Monday and Tuesday and play at 9th-ranked Rensselaer on Friday and at 15th-ranked Union on Saturday. After taking next weekend off, the Green and Gold travel to New Haven, CT on January 21 to battle #1-ranked Yale … The Knights will play six of their next eight games on the road … After losing both games to UMD at Cheel Arena, Clarkson is now 4-5-2 at home … The Knights are 6-2 on the road, including a 3-1 mark on opponent’s home ice … Prior to the UMD series, Clarkson last played on December 12 and won its fourth straight game with a 9-2 victory at Sacred Heart … In its final three games before the break, the Knights outscored their opponents 19-8 … After the 21-day layoff, the Green and Gold opened the New Year being outscored 8-3 … Brandon DeFazio became the first Knight to record hat tricks in consecutive games since Mike Prestidge ’81 accomplished the feat late in the 1979-80 campaign. DeFazio tallied three goals in the win over Sacred Heart after scoring three third-period goals in December 4’s 5-3 victory at Quinnipiac. DeFazio leads the team in scoring with 17 points (9-8) … The Knights are 9-0-2 when scoring first and 10-0-1 when leading or tied after two periods … Clarkson is 6-2-1 when outshot by its opponents, but only 2-5-1 when holding the shot advantage … Freshman Jarrett Burton scored his first collegiate goal with a shorthanded marker in Tuesday’s game against UMD … Clarkson has tallied six shorthanded goals this season. The school record is 18 set in 1979-80 … Mark Borowiecki holds the Knights’ current longest point-scoring streak with an assist in each of the past three games … Freshman Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) is tied as the Knights’ second leading scorer with 13 points (6-7) along with Jake Morley (5-8). Zarbo post a Clarkson best +8 plus/minus rating … Twenty different Golden Knights have scored goals this season ... Clarkson’s all-time leading scorer Dave Taylor ‘77 was announced this week as one ECAC Hockey’s Top 50 all-time players. Taylor joins former Golden Knight standout defenseman Dave Fretz ‘85 and Brian Muller ‘95 on the elite list. As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, ECAC Hockey has comprised a group of its top 50 players to recognize the storied history of the League and honor its significant players. The top 50 players were determined by a selection committee made up of former coaches and media members. These honorees were tallied from 145 players (47 defensemen; 73 forwards; and 25 goaltenders). All current and former teams’ impactful players, including those from Boston College, Boston University, New Hampshire, Middlebury, Army, etc... were reviewed in comprising the list of candidates for the special team. Five players from the top 50 all-time team will be released every two weeks throughout the season leading up the championship in March 18-19 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In a heated rivalry which dates back to the 1924-25 campaign, Clarkson leads the overall series against Rensselaer 80-43-8. The Engineers snapped a six-game winless stretch against the Knights (0-5-1) by winning both games last season for their first regular-season series sweep in the rivalry since the 2004-05 campaign. RPI skated to a 5-2 victory at Cheel Arena on November 13, 2009 and edged the Green and Gold 2-1 at Houston Field House on February 6, 2010 for its first victory over Clarkson in Troy since January 14, 2006. The Knights’ last win against the Engineers was a 4-2 triumph on February 27, 2009 on RPI’s home ice.
Bryan Rufenach and Nick Tremblay have a team-high three points each against RPI with one goal and two assists through five and four games, respectively. Brandon DeFazio has scored a team-high two goals through five games in the series. Paul Karpowich is 2-2 against RPI with a .894 save percentage and a 3.07 GAA. Richie LaVeau has played 24 minutes against RPI and turned aside all seven shots he has faced. George Roll is 5-7-2 against Rensselaer. Engineers’ head coach Seth Appert is 2-5-1 in the series.
Clarkson leads the all-time series against Union, which began with a 5-1 Dutchmen win in Schenectady on January 23, 1925, 27-15-5. Union, however, is on its longest winning streak in the rivalry with five straight victories. The Dutchmen, who are 6-3-1 over the last 10 meetings, handed the Knights one of their worst losses in the program’s history with an 11-2 defeated at Messa Rink in their last meeting on February 5. Union also won 5-1 in Potsdam on November 14, 2009. The Knights’ last win in the series was a 4-3 overtime victory at Cheel Arena on January 23, 2009. Clarkson is 12-11-4 all-time in Schenectady with its last victory coming on March 6, 2005 (4-3ot). The Knights have gone winless during the regular season at Achilles Center over the last nine games (0-6-3) with their last regular-season victory coming on January 13, 2001 (5-0).
Bryan Rufenach (2-3) leads the Green and Gold in scoring against the Dutchmen with five points in seven games. Brandon DeFazio has tallied a team-high three goals against Union through seven games. Paul Karpowich has played 166 minutes through four games against the Dutchmen and posts a .849 save percentage, a 5.06 GAA and a 0-3 record. Through 170 minutes in four games, Richie LaVeau is 1-2 against Union with a .861 save percentage and a 4.59 GAA. Both George Roll and Union head coach Late Leaman own a 10-10-1 marks in the series.