Clarkson Men Look to Exorcise Road Demons Against Friars, Minutemen
Last weekend Clarkson put up eleven goals, at home. Cheel Arena has been kind to the Golden Knights over the past year. The last lost in Potsdam was November 26, 2005. Since that date Clarkson has gone 9-0-1 including the sweep to open the season last weekend. While the home cooking has been good, the road has been less kind to the Knights. If George Roll (inset right) wants to take this squad to the next level, the Knights must come out of this weekend with at least one win.
The Golden Knights come into Providence, Rhode Island this weekend to take on the Providence Friars in their season opener. The Friars are tabbed to finish somewhere between 5th and 6th in the highly talented Hockey East, depending who you ask. Second year head coach Tim Army brings in a squad that is in a situation very similar to Clarkson. Both teams are built around a high paced offense that will look to get out to early leads and keep up the pressure. Both teams have relatively young defenses that can be prone to mistakes and both teams feature junior goaltenders who are looking to prove themselves this year.
This should lead to a high competitive game, much like the game last year in Cheel which was a 2-2 tie until midway through the 2nd period. Unlike last years game Providence goaltender will be expected to be much sharper than last year. Providence outshot Clarkson 43-25 but David Leggio put up a career high (at the time) 41 saves to give Clarkson the win. While the shot total might not be that high this time around, I would expect a high paced offensive game from both teams. The team that scores five goals first will win. I think Roll has his team prepped and they have heard about how bad they are on the road for a year now. This is the time to prove they can win, on the road, and a close game.
Clarkson 5 - Providence 4
Saturday Clarkson takes on a UMass squad that no one really knows what to think of. Picked to finish somewhere around 8th the Minutemen are an inconsistent squad with a goaltender who has plenty of talent, but no defense in front of him. UMass opens their season Friday against Sacred Heart and beat New Brunswick 402 last weekend despite being outshot 41-23. Jonathan Quick made 31 stops on 33 shots, but allowing 40+ shots per game to an offense that can score like Clarkson is not a healthy game plan.
Offensively UMass will need to pick up the pace set last year. The Minutemen put up 2.14 goals per game and were held under 3 goals in 24 games. Clarkson will need to exploit this and get off to a quick lead. If Clarkson can put up more than 30 shots this game, they should be in the drivers seat. UMass needs Quick to have an outstanding game and hope his defense can stop Clarkson from posting their average of 37 shots per game. I don't see this happening for the Minutemen. The Golden Knights get the sweep and get off the their first 4-0 start since the light bulb was invented.
Clarkson 6 - UMass 2
Looking around the ECAC
Friday, October 13
Robert Morris at Quinnipiac - The Q will show us what their offense can do. Q 8 - RMU 3
Saturday, October 14
BU at RPI - RPI will come out strong, but BU will shake the rust off late. BU 3 - RPI 2
RIT at Union - Union always starts strong. Union 5 - RIT 3
SLU at Providence - Friars won't be swept at home. Providence 4 - SLU 1
Robert Morris at Quinnipiac - Q sweeps. Q 6 - RMU 2
Sunday October 15
Bentley at Colgate - Colgate finally gets all the rust off. Colgate 4 - Bentley 0