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

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Shea Guthrie nets the first goal of the game in the third period against Quinnipiac.
Photo Credit: Brad Pettengill

Friday night was a disaster. The Golden Knights took their lumps at Hobey Baker rink from the Princeton Tigers and we're forced to regroup at the end of a 7-1 defeat. The Knights showed serious resilience Saturday and put together what might have been their best game of the year in a 4-1 victory in the TD Banknorth Center against Quinnipiac.

Looking for revenge against the only two league teams the Knights had not taken points from this year, Clarkson came into the weekend with a slim chance to win the league title outright. Fortunately for Clarkson the league scores came back with Cornell and Quinnipiac losing. The regular season title belonged to SLU, but the Knights backed into second place on Friday night.

With second place wrapped up and the Knights guaranteed a week off in the playoffs, the Knights could have packed it in. This was not the attitude George Roll presented in the pre-game interview. Roll said that it was important to go into the playoffs with a win and that losing two in a row would not be acceptable. The Knights backed up his words with a strong defensive effort backboned by David Leggio.

Leggio made 42 saves, some of the spectacular variety, and was 2 minutes shy of a shutout when a seeing eye shot from Brandon Wong cut the Clarkson lead to 2-1. Up to that point the Leggio had been unbeatable, stopping a variety of powerplay and break away chances. In the end Quinnipiac outshot Clarkson 43 to 26, but Leggio was equal to the onslaught. With his best save coming in the second period on a diving stop off a Quinnipiac rebound.

After two scoreless periods Clarkson began the third on a powerplay. Following an acrobatic save on the blue line to keep play alive by Ty Mason, the puck deflected to Shea Guthrie's stick. Guthrie made one move then held the puck to the last possible second and beat Bud Fisher on the short side to give the Knights a 1-0 lead just past 3 minutes in the period.

Six minutes later Shawn Weller beat Fisher on a powerplay giving the Knights what would seem to be an insurmountable 2-0 lead. With a powerplay of their own Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold elected to pull the goaltender at the 4 minute mark. Wong converted on the chance and the game was afoot.

Quinnipiac kept the net empty and had a chance, but a centering pass was intercepted by Grant Clitsome who skated to the center line and fired the puck into the empty net. David Cayer added an empty netter a minute later and the Knights we're victorious 4-1.

In the end Clarkson stayed in second in the league and 5th in the Pairwise Rankings, nullifying the horrible game the previous night. Clarkson will look to build from this game in the playoffs at Cheel in two weeks.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Gameday @ Princeton

Clarkson looks to lock up second place tonight at Hobey Baker Rink.

Golden Knights also looking to keep pace in national Pair Wise Rankings.

Puck drops at 7.

College Hockey News Tale of the Tape

Clarkson can clinch second place with:
A win or tie
A SLU win or tie AND a Dartmouth win or tie

A SLU win at Quinnipiac gives the Saints the league title.

#2 St. Lawrence v. #7 Clarkson

Yessiree! Playoffs! While the men are working on nailing down one of the most successful regular seasons in recent history at Princeton and Quinnipiac, the Women are looking to make their mark by winning their first ever ECACHL playoff series against the hated Saints of St. Lawrence in a best of three series in Appleton Arena.

Some thoughts:

Clarkson is 1-4-1 all-time against St. Lawrence, and has never won at Appleton Arena. Despite this, Clarkson has played well in Canton, taking the Saints to the wire several times.

Despite having 25 wins already this season, St. Lawrence is ranked fifth in the Women's PWR. This series isn't just critical to their ECACHL hopes, but could make some significant waves in the NCAA tournament as well. In addition, Clarkson is currently a Pairwise TUC, but without a win this weekend, would likely be knocked out of that status, effecting a number of teams positions.

This series will be squarely on the goaltender Senior Kira Hurley and the defensive corp in front of her She has rebounded nicely from her mid-season injuries to keep the Knights competitive against strong Dartmouth and Harvard teams. She'll need to do the same here.

In the past Clarkson has had success against St. Lawrence when they've been able to cut down their offensive opportunities. Again, this means staying out of the box, forcing St. Lawrence to take bad shots that Hurley can handle easily, and making the most out of opportunities that are created from blocked shots that pop out of the zone. In Clarkson's lone victory against St. Lawrence they were outshot 34 to 8, but won 2-0.

Clarkson will need to see production from the freshman trio of Eusepi, Lavoie, and Selina. This will definitely be Marie-Jo Gaudet's time to shine as well. The sophomore has an 8-12-20 line, and is really standing out on a team that will lose a lot of its leaders at the end of this season.

Pleasant Surprises:

Clarkson was one of three teams to take a point from #1 Mercyhurst this season. The others? UConn and St. Lawrence.

Christine Balikowski is quietly putting together her third consecutive solid season. The defenseman has ten goals and six assists this season.

Amanda Dittmer has twelve assists this season, equalling her total from 2004-2005.

Stephanie Hansen has recorded an 11-3-0 record in 15 games during Kira Hurley's absence. The senior has a 1.59 GAA, .917 Save Pct, and three shut outs in her senior campaign, helping to lead the Knights to their playoff berth.

Lindsay Williams is a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award again this season. The senior captain was selected from a group of 13 nominees earlier this season.

Interesting notes:

Clarkson is 1-0-3 in OT this season.
Clarkson is 14-1-0 when leading after two periods, and 0-6-1 when trailing.
Clarkson is a dominant 1st and 2nd period team. Outscoring opponents 67 to 37, while being outscored 31-25 in the 3rd.
Clarkson is 6-9-1 when their opponent scores first. A very good record actually.

CHF Prediction:

SLU 4, Clarkson 2
Clarkson 3, SLU 2 (OT)
SLU, 5, Clarkson 2

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Envelope Please...

With the last weekend of the regular season upon us, there are still plenty of things to sort out in the ECACHL this year. A regular season champion, the first round byes, and the last home ice spots. However some things in the league are a given, namely some of the post season awards to be handed out. In this season of Award Nights we at CHF will make some predictions of who will be receiving some new hardware in Albany.

First, let's start with the easy ones and work down to the tougher choices:

Coach of the Year: Joe Marsh, SLU
A no brainer. Marsh has taken a team of sophomores and freshman and has put together a championship caliber team. The Saints are one point away from the Cleary Cup and will be looking to make a run to the NCAA's at Albany. This was a team last year that finished 5th in the league at 12-9-1 and when the season was over the Saints lost most of their offense. Joe Marsh has the award in the bag, if anyone else wins, it's robbery.

Honorable Mention - Rand Pecknold, Quinnipiac; George Roll, Clarkson

Rookie of the Year - Brandon Wong, Quinnipiac
Leads all rookies and is third in conference points with 13 goals and 12 assists. Has two shorthanded goals and two game winners. Most serious competition will come from SLU goaltender Alex Petizian, who has put up solid numbers this season as well. The two teams meet Friday and if Wong can score a couple goals, the award is his.

Honorable Mention - Alex Petizian, SLU; Sean Backman, Yale

Offensive Defenseman - Reid Cashman, Quinnipiac
Leads the conference is points per game by a defenseman, and leads the conference in powerplay points. Tied for twelfth in league points with Nick Dodge. Coach Rand Pecknold has called Cashman his best player and his go to guy.

Honorable Mention - Drew Bagnall, SLU; Jake Luthi, RPI

Goaltender of the Year - David Leggio, Clarkson
Leggio has been pretty much the steadiest goaltender in the league this year. As coach Roll says, "Dave's not the flashiest of goaltenders, but he is very consistent." Leggio has posted a league best .929 save percentage and a second best 2.14 GAA in 19 league games. His record of 12-3-4 in league is second only to Petizian, with Petizian falling short in GAA and save percentage. Leggio has been the backbone of a Clarkson defense that allowed 2 or fewer goals in 13 of their 20 league games so far.

Honorable Mention - Dan Rosen, Brown; Alex Petizian, SLU

Player of the Year - Kyle Rank, SLU
Probably the toughest choice of the bunch. The field is wide open this year as no real superstar has emerged. Rank, a former walk-on, has been the on and off ice leader for St. Lawrence this year, and his leadership has just about sewn up another banner for the Appleton rafters. No one expected much from SLU this year after the departure of last years POTY, T.J. Trevelyan, but Rank has answered with 24 conference points so far and has anchored SLU's top line with Sean Flanagan and Andrzej Sandrzej.

Honorable Mention - Nick Dodge, Clarkson; Jesse Winchester, Colgate

All ECAC First Team
Kyle Rank - SLU
Nick Dodge - Clarkson
Jesse Winchester - Colgate
Reid Cashman - Quinnipiac
Drew Bagnall - SLU
David Leggio - Clarkson

Second Team
Tyler Burton - Colgate
Brandon Wong - Quinnipiac
David Jones - Dartmouth
Sean Hurley - Brown
Jake Luthi - RPI
Alex Petizian - SLU

Rookie Team
Brandon Wong - Quinnipiac
Sean Backman - Yale
Matt Beca - Clarkson
Brendon Nash - Cornell
Alex Biega - Harvard
Alex Petizian - SLU

Monday, February 19, 2007

Weekend Thoughts.

When is a tie almost as good as a win? When you let a 2-1 lead slip away in the third, fall behind 3-2, then score a power play goal with your goalie pulled with 3.3 seconds left to tie the game. Instant beach-ball frenzy. One of the more electric moments in recent Cheel Arena history, and a great way to salvage Senior Night.

Clarkson looked fairly dominant against Union, although there was a brief moment when it appeared the Knights let their guard down and almost let the Dutchmen back into the game... then a beer later at Club 99, it was 4-2 and the rout was on.

The change of pace between Union and RPI the following night was substantial. RPI brought a lot of speed and skill to the game early on, and being in the stands I was definitely surprised. It took nearly eight minutes for Clarkson to register their first shot on goal. Part of this is because the offense clearly has a plan to generate strong opportunities close to the net as opposed to just tossing bombs from the blue line.

Coach Roll will definitely put the team to work on converting five on three opportunities. Clarkson missed out on several over the weekend and seemed very tentative on the two man advantage. RPI on the other hand scored their second and third goals off of a 5 on 3 and the ensuing 5 on 4 to take the lead.

Last thought about the men's games. Unbelievably strong OT period for the Knights. No doubt in my mind they need to take that extra period confidence with them into the playoffs where the buzzer at five minutes won't save anyone.

Other Thoughts:

The Women had a strong final weekend of regular season play, sweeing RPI and Union. Their reward? The 7th seed and an opportunity to win their first ever playoff series against arch-rival St. Lawrence in Canton this coming weekend. Puck drops at 7:00 both Friday and Saturday, and at 4:00 on Sunday if necessary. In their previous matchups, St. Lawrence was victorious 3-1 and 5-0. Clarkson will need some serious goaltending and defense, and to take advantage of every opportunity presented to have a chance to advance to the ECACHL Final Four.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with #10 Mike Sullivan's Mom and Aunt for a few moments at Cheel Arena on Saturday while sporting my new game-worn #10. They had spotted me and took a few pictures. Definitely fun as a fan to see family members so excited about support for the team and their son or daughter, and of course we appreciate them becoming dedicated members of the Clarkson community. When Mike makes the bigs some day, and his family is showing off the scrap book, keep an eye out for the other #10.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

And we're back!

Due to last weekend's Boston Extreme Beerfest, and this week's prolonged hangover, posting has come to a standstill. In the void the Golden Knights locked up home ice in the first round and have their eyes on a first round bye this weekend.
Clarkson took it's first four point weekend of 2007, and their first home four point weekend in league play defeating Brown and Yale.

Shawn Weller was named ECACHL Player of the Week and David Leggio was named to the Honor Roll. The Knights look to extend the winning streak this weekend against Union and RPI. There are plenty of events scheduled this weekend. Starting with a ceremony honoring former Knight and Stanley Cup Champion, Erik Cole, on Friday night. Saturday night is senior night, honoring Clarkson class of 2007. All weekend the Pep Band will be hosting their alumni weekend and Ron and I will be at both games.

Clarkson can lock up a first round bye with a win on Friday. There are actually a multitude of scenarios that would give Clarkson the bye, but the Knights need to keep winning to keep themselves alive in the NCAA at large bid hunt. An entertaining weekend is afoot, we'll do our best to keep the page updated, which might be easier this weekend when the Extreme Beer is not flowing as freely.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Weekend Preview

The table is set for the Clarkson Golden Knights.

Six games left in the regular season, four at home and five against the bottom five teams in the league. Just one point out of second place and two points out of first Clarkson sits poised to make a move to the top of the league in the next couple weeks.

This is the ECAC, however, anything can happen.

The league is very tight right now with a mere nine points separating first and last. Of the 31 completed season series, only ten have been sweeps. This year, more than any other year, any team can beat any other team on any given night. This is where Clarkson needs to be careful.

The Knights are 3-1-1 are over their last five and have had trouble finding a consistent game during the stretch. At Cornell last weekend the team took a night off, and were handed their worst loss in two months for it. They rebounded the next night and gutted out a 2-1 win at Colgate. If Clarkson wants to take four points this weekend they will need to put forth two sixty minute efforts this weekend.

Brown comes into Cheel with a 9-9-5 overall record and a 5-8-3 conference record, good enough for 9th in the ECAC. Brown took three points from Princeton and Quinnipiac last weekend. The injury bug has hit the Bears and it appears that they will be without three of their top seven scorers this weekend. This puts pressure on the Brown defense and sometimes hot, sometimes not goaltender Dan Rosen. Rosen has an 8-7-3 record this season, and has not been as sharp as he was earlier in the season.

I would be very surprised if Clarkson did not come out of the gate and try to put the first goal on the board in the first 5 minutes. The Knights are 13-0-2 when scoring first and are looking to reestablish their dominance on home ice from last season. If Brown can weather the early storm and get some clutch saves from Rosen, they have a chance. I think this is too important an opportunity for the Knights and I think this is the start of statement weekend.

Clarkson 5 - Brown 1

The Yale Bulldogs come in also in 9th place in the league but have been struggling to find wins. After starting the season 6-1-1, Yale has gone 3-10-3 and have won two of their last eight games with both wins coming against Princeton. To make the trip tougher they start the weekend out at SLU where the Saints have only lost to Clarkson this season. This would be the definition of a tough roadtrip.

In the last match-up Clarkson took sixteen minor penalties to Yale's ten. Yale also took a five minute major and had two misconducts. Clarkson took advantage of this scoring all four of their goals on powerplays. Three of which were 5 on 3. The ECAC has not been a strict in their penalty calling in the second half of the season, this is not to say special teams will come into play. If Clarkson can stay out of the box, which they have done so in the past four games, six penalties per game in the last four, Yale will have a tough test ahead of them.

Yale's leading scorers are two freshmen, Sean Backman and Mark Arcobello with 25 and 21 points respectively. After that the Bulldogs only have three other scorers in double figures this year. The Bulldogs rank 8th in the league in scoring, Clarkson ranks first in defense. If Clarkson can shut down the first line of Yale, the Bulldogs will have trouble finding the net.

Alec Richards is a goaltender that can steal a game, but with the way things have been breaking for the Eli's this year, having a goaltender bail the team out might be asking too much.

Clarkson 3 - Yale 1

Senior Weekend

Sadly, we haven't done enough to cover Women's Hockey this season as we would like. Regardless, this weekend marks the final weekend for the twelve women who have skated for the first four years of Clarkson's Women's Hockey Program and we wanted to give a shout-out to them for helping make this program a national success. Despite a tough road this season, as bloggers and fans we have great appreciation for being able to walk into any game that they're playing in , and go in expecting to win. As fans, that's all we can ask for. Be sure to support the Women's team as they face Princeton on Saturday at 3:00, and Quinnipiac in their final home game this season at 2:00 on Sunday.

With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Golden Knights find themselves in the eighth and final playoff spot, five points ahead of Quinnipiac and seven points ahead of Brown. With Quinnipiac and Princeton rolling into town, a victory over Quinnipiac or three points this weekend should clinch this spot. Clarkson can finish as high as fifth and as low as tenth depending on how the next four games turn out.

Kira Hurley is back in net and has regained her form. Along with Marie-Jo Gaudet, they led the Knights to a huge victory over ECACHL upstart Colgate, and a tie with an increasingly competitive Big Red. The freshman trio of Lavoie, Selina and Eusepi have a combined 73 points. Lavoie looks to be Clarkson's first "point per game" scorer with 31 points in 30 games heading into this weekend With momentum on their side, I'm not sure any of the top four seeds want to see a Clarkson team stroll into their barn for a best-of-three.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bring it!

The esteemed MikeR our on again off again contributor dropped a bomb in the roundtable today, dropping the names of some teams that will apparently be facing the Golden Knights in non-conference play in 2007-2008.

Some of the names and games that could be making the cut:

  • @ LSSU - Do we get to bring our band?
  • UMass and Providence - Turning into a HE / ECAC Tradition
  • St. Cloud - A flip of the scores would be nice.
  • @Florida College Classic - Cornell, Maine and TBD.. Could be one of the best road trips ever!
  • Boston College - A former Clarkson coach returns?
  • @Colorado College - I HATE them in the post-season.

Right now we're looking at a schedule full of TUCs where a solid run in 2007-2008 could put us in a PWR position that Notre Dame, Denver, UNH and the like are in now. No doubt the Knights success in 2006-2007 is making it much easier for the staff to make their case!

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Belated Birthday

Just over a year ago Ron and I started this blog with no real intent. We both read the Clarkson Roundtable and contributed, but we wanted something more, a place where we could get info and put out our personal feelings in a non-message board setting. I don't think either of us expected the return we have seen. In the past 12 months, according to our stat trackers, we have had over 25,000 individual viewers accounting for over 35,000 page hits. Not too bad for two alums covering a little school in the middle of nowhere. Hopefully we can continue to provide quality coverage of the Golden Knights for the next year and beyond. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 03, 2007



1. SLU 11-4-1 23
2. Quinnipiac 9-4-4 22
3. Clarkson 9-4-3 21
4. Cornell 7-6-3 17
4. Dartmouth 7-6-3 17
6. Harvard 7-9-1 15
6. Colgate 6-7-3 15
8. Princeton 6-8-2 14
9. Yale 6-9-1 13
9. Brown 5-8-3 13
11. Union 6-10-0 12
11. RPI 4-8-4 12