Did You Know: The Clarkson Hockey program has amassed 10,001 goals since the 1920-21 season?

Friday, October 06, 2006

ECAC Season Preview - Clarkson

Clarkson Golden Knights

Last Years Finish - 8th

Key Returnees - Nick Dodge Jr. F, David Cayer Jr. F, Shawn Weller Jr. F, Shea Guthrie So. F, Mike Sullivan Sr. F

Key Losses - Jeff Genovy F, Chris Brekelmans D

That's right, I picked Clarkson to finish first. I picked Clarkson to jump seven spots and capture their first regular season title since 2001. It may seem illogical to the outsider, but Clarkson has the talent and now they have the experience to take the league. With 21 returning letterman, nine of which are drafted into the NHL, head coach George Roll is charged with the task of tapping into this talent and producing a team that can win at home and on the road.

Up front the Clarkson offense is lead by junior captain Nick Dodge. Dodge lead all Clarkson skaters last year with 41 points and was named to the pre-season all ECAC team. Clarkson will need Dodge to put up similar numbers again this year and to lead an offense that was ranked 6th in conference scoring. Senior Mike Sullivan is poised to have a break out year and will be counted on to continue his increased production. Sophomore Shea Guthrie will also be expected to make an impact for the Knights. Fortunately for Clarkson they feature a very balanced attack with eight returning Knights registering 20 points or more last year. Opposing defenses can not focus on one guy or one line as there is potential for goals in all four lines this year.

On defense the departure of Chris Brekelmans leaves some question marks for the Knights. Michael Grenzy will be counted on to step and lead the blueliners but they are still a young group and will need to come together quickly to get the Knights off to a fast start. Grant Clitsome will step up into the number two role and will be expected to contribute on the powerplay. Sophomores Phil Paquet and Tyrell Mason will need to make an impact this year for the Knights to improve on their 9th ranked defense.

In net Clarkson will look to find a number one goaltender. As of last year David Leggio was the #1 starter for the last ten games. Leggio stepped up his play in two gut wrenching performances at Lynah rink. It is on the back of this performance that Leggio enters the season as the expected starter. However do not be surprised Roll to give senior Kyle McNulty or freshman Matt Smith a start early on to give Leggio a rest or to find who has the hot hand.

The big knock on Clarkson is not living up to expectations. This year the expectations are about as high as one can imagine. Clarkson needs to live up to their full potential. Coach Roll will have his team ready to go and will guide the Knights to a first place finish in the league.

Best Case Finish - 1st
Worst Case Finish - 5th

CHF's Pick - 1st


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