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

Thursday, March 27, 2008

St. Cloud Preview

"This is college hockey's near equivalent of a Buffalo, Minnesota Super Bowl."
- The Sicatoka; USCHO Message Board

Gameday has finally arrived and for Clarkson fans the NCAA first round has been not a thing a beauty for the past 11 years. Clarkson's last win in the big dance was 1996, a 6-1 win over Western Michigan. Coming off a disappointing finish in the ECAC tournament the Golden Knights will be looking to prove something the college hockey world and advance to the regional finals.

St. Cloud State comes into the tournament never having won an NCAA tournament game. The Huskies are 0-7 in tournament play and is coming off a 4-1 loss to Maine in last years regional semi-final. One team will change their losing ways this weekend, the other will spend another summer wondering, "what if."

Previous to 2006 the Knights and Huskies had met up 4 times, with the teams splitting. However in the past two season the teams have met up 4 times, with the Huskies holding a 3 games to 1 edge. The Huskies swept the Knights in 2006 in St. Cloud. The Knights split with the Huskies this season in Potsdam. St. Cloud took the first game 4-1 despite being out shot 33-13 and the Knights battled back on Saturday defeating St. Cloud 3-2.

The Saturday lost set the Huskies into a tailspin going 2-8 over their next 10. St. Cloud rebounded over the course of the WCHA season and finished 4th over all. The Huskies swept Wisconsin in the first round of the WCHA playoffs but fell to Minnesota in the play in game of the WCHA final five. The Huskies wrapped up their season 19-15-5.

St. Cloud and Clarkson shared only two common opponents this season, Harvard and Colorado College. The Huskies split their four games with CC and defeated Harvard 4-1. Clarkson swept Harvard and was swept by the Tigers in two games we'd rather forget.

Up front the Huskies are lead by three very talented underclassmen, Garret Roe, Ryan Lasch and Andreas Nodl. These three have tallied 141 points between them this season and account for about %40 of St. Cloud's offense. To use a cliche, "You can't stop these guys, you can only hope to contain them."

Containing them is what the Knights did in the second game at Cheel this season holding the trio to 2 points. However the Friday game is proof that if these guys get some room they will score. The three had five points in the Huskies win.

In net Jase Weslosky has put up a very solid .931 save percentage and a 2.12 goals against average. However he is prone to periods of inconsistency, however since their mid-season dip St. Cloud has only given up 3 goals two times. The second game of the first round of the WCHA playoffs and the play in game versus Minnesota. It would appear Weslosky and the defense have found their stride.

So there is the tale of the tape, which for what it is, gives an advantage to St. Cloud. Talent and speed wise, they are a better team. However the intangibles in this series are very near mind boggling. Imagine if Aaron Boone didn't hit the homerun, and if Moises Alou made that catch. These are the kind of paranormal forces working for this game. The fluke bounce off a ref redirected in for a goal. The misplayed clearing pass, the inadvertent whistle.

Following Clarkson hockey for 10 years now, I know, for a fact, something weird is going to happen tomorrow. And I can nearly guarantee, somewhere in the great state of Minnesota, someone is thinking the same thing. There are forces greater than we can imagine at work here, and when that play happens, we will either raise our arms in triumph or slap our foreheads in disbelief.

One team will leave the ice with one monkey off their back, but with a probable 800 pound gorilla in the room, wearing maize and blue. The other team will return home and gear up to do it all over again in October. No matter the outcome, we can't wait to watch it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oh yeah. By the way.

We're in!

Clarkson faces St. Cloud in Albany on Friday at 4:00pm

Game will be broadcasted live on ESPNU and in regional outlets.

More to come as Friday nears!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On The Bubble

While we wait out the results of the conference tournaments we can now predict if the Knights will sneak into the NCAA tournament using College Hockey News' "You Are the Committee" prediction script.

Follow the link, plug in who you think we emerge victorious and see where the Golden Knights land in the Pairwise Rankings.

CHF is not responsible for loss of fingernails.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another year...

Another OT playoff loss.

Clarkson falls to Colgate 3-2 in 2OT. Loses series 2-1.
Knights will play waiting game for NCAA at large bid.

Colgate, Princeton, Harvard and Cornell round out Albany Final Four.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Joe Ross - Douchebag

Joe Ross leaves Potsdam

We're not one to critique officiating but tonight's official Joe Ross has taken John Murphy's title as the worst ref in the league. Congrats Asshat.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Odds and Ends

Clarkson leads the nation with 11 shorthanded goals. Denver and Colorado College each have 10. Only two teams in the nation have 0 shorties this year and they are Cornell and Union.

A win on Friday will match Clarkson's longest winning streak this year at 4 (OCT 12-OCT 26) and our longest unbeaten streak at 5. (JAN 12-JAN 26)

In conference play at home Clarkson is 10-0-1, scoring 40 goals and giving up 18, or 3.63 goals per game to 1.63 goals allowed per game.

Nick Dodge (121), Steve Zalewski (105), and David Cayer (107), all have 100 career points. The last time 3 Knights in the same class had over 100 career points was 1995 when Marko Tuomainen had 191 points, Patrice Robitaille had 175 points and Brian Mueller had 156 points. Clarkson now has 10 classes of at least 3 players in the 100 point club. '56 '64 '68 '73 '79 '81 '85 '91 '95 '08

David Leggio has posted 4 shutouts this season, the last goaltender to post 4 in one year was Mike Wlash in 2001-2002.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

ECAC Night 3

While Ron cools off here's what happened in the last night of the first round of the ECAC first round:

Cornell 6 - Dartmouth 0
Raymond Sawada had 2 goals and an assist to lead the Big Red to the second round. Sawada had 5 goals and 2 assists for the series. Ben Scrivens made 32 saves in the shutout.

Colgate 3 - SLU 1
Ben Camper had a goal and an assist and Tyler Burton tallied the game winner just 29 seconds into the third period. Colgate wins the series after dropping Friday night's game for the third time in the past three series with Colgate. Mark Dekanich made 30 saves in the win.

So with these results the second round shapes ups like this:
#8 Colgate @ #1 Clarkson
#7 Yale @ #2 Princeton
#6 Quinnipiac @ #3 Harvard
#5 Cornell @ #4 Union

I'll need a day.

Just need a deep breath after that rant before I really go into what a spectacular season the Women's team put together, and how the circumstances of today better not overshadow that. Congrats to the women on an outstanding season.


There's not much more than I can say than that. The selection committee will point to the head-to-head results between Dartmouth and Clarkson, but in the end, they've opened a pandora's box and the smoky backroom that college hockey fans have feared in both Men's and Women's Hockey.

Clarkson clearly won comparison's in RPI, common opponents and "Teams Under Consideration." The committee clearly decided that the amount that Clarkson won these comparisons did not outweight the single win Dartmouth took over Clarkson during the season.

While I will concede it's within the selection committee's rights to up and do whatever they want. The committee clearly decided to overlook the criteria they have consistently used in the past to determine the tournament participants, and that in itself will make the college hockey community very wary in the future.

The precedence has been set that head to head is now more important than how the entire season played out. They may disagree, but this is the Denver seeding flip from a couple of years ago, except it eliminated a team. They will say it was a difficult decision, but that's the reason why an objective system APPEARED to be in place over the past years.

With the Men's selection process upcoming, the mysterious appearance and disappearance of the .500 rule from the book, and eight WCHA teams currently in the field, don't be surprised if some decisions are made that you just might not be expecting.

Computer. Computer? Hello, Computer.

It's down to the computers..

UNH eliminates Providence from NCAA Contention

All of the needed wins and lossses have happened. Now we wait for the ECAC Hockey and WCHA Championships to conclude and see what the computer spits back out. The Golden Knights must have a higher RPI than Dartmouth to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Keep checking back for the latest updates as we get them.

UPDATE: The results of the UNH / Providence game had a negligible effect on the RPI differential between Clarkson & Dartmouth

UPDATE #2: Harvard wins the ECAC and Minnesota-Duluth wins the WCHA. Final PWR shows Clarkson in the #8 slot with a .0006 win over Dartmouth in RPI. Barring any subjective decisions by the committee it looks like the Knights will get their first NCAA berth. Now we wait for the selections.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Mercyhurst and Wayne State went to overtime in the CHA Championship this evening with several team's hopes in the balance coming down to the final games of the season.

In the end, the Lakers broke a 1-1 tie, giving Mercyhurst the CHA Championship, eliminating Wayne State from NCAA contention.

As the PWR stands after this evening's games, Clarkson remains in the #8 spot, with the Mercyhurst win. The victory only closed the crucial RPI gap between Dartmouth and Clarkson to .0006 in the Knights favor.

That being said, more scenarios stand in the way of the Knights making the NCAA tournament and thus scoreboard watching is still in play. (I feel like after every game, I find some other roadblock.)


  • UNH needs to win the Hockey East tournament.
  • Providence and Dartmouth have faced each other. Providence's game against must not change the RPI gap between Clarkson and Dartmouth by more than .0006.

We are fairly confident a UNH win will seal the deal, but no guarantees with the WOPR doing all of those computations.
All eyes on the Hockey East tomorrow for a 12:30p drop.

ECAC Night Two

Another brief summary of tonight's ECAC action:

Colgate 3 - SLU 2
Tyler Burton had two goals and an assist as Colgate extended the series to a third game tomorrow at Starr. Mark Dekanich rebounded from a shaky Friday night performance with 31 saves. John Hallas had 30 saves in the loss.

Quinnipiac 7 - Brown 1
The Bobcats stormed back from yesterday's near meltdown and eliminated Brown from the playoffs. Brandon Wong and Jamie Bates each had a pair of goals. Bud Fisher continued the trend of goalies rebounding from bad Friday starts making 25 saves in the win.

Dartmouth 5 - Cornell 3
The Big Green stayed alive for one more game on a 40 save effort from Mike Devine. 11 skaters for Dartmouth registered at least 1 point. Ray Sawada and Riley Nash each had a goal and an assist for the Big Red.

Yale 3 - RPI 2 OT
RPI jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Helfrich and Ornleas. Yale cut the lead in the second on a Ryan Donald goal. Last night's hero Broc Little came through big again tying the game at two with 5:21 left in the third period. Only one overtime was needed tonight as Sean Backman netted the game winner at the 5:11 mark of the first OT. Mathias Lange made 35 saves for RPI in a losing effort, giving him 88 saves on 94 shots for the weekend.
Headed to OT

And so it comes down to this.

The Women lost a hard fought battle against Harvard today at Bright Hockey Center 3-0, meaning their NCAA hopes dwindled on the off chance a bunch of things have happened.

So far they have:

  • UConn was eliminated from the Hockey East tournament (and NCAA contention) by Providence.
  • St. Cloud State was eliminated from the WCHA Tournament by Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Dartmouth lost to St. Lawrence in the ECAC Tournament.

After these three events, the Clarkson Women will still scoreboard watch and then see what the computers have to say at the end of the evening.

For any chance to remain:

  • Mercyhurst must defeat Wayne State in this evening's CHA Championship AND
  • The victory must not move the RPI in Dartmouth's favor by more than .0008.

How could the RPI move like this you say? Well remember, The RPI is
  • 30% Team's Winning Percentage
  • 24% Opponent's Winning Percentage
  • 46% Opponent's Opponent's Winning Percentage

My instinct tells me that Clarkson has faced both Mercyhurst & Wayne State this year, so it appears that this would be a wash for Tech, while Dartmouth has only faced Mercyhurst, which looks like it would hurt Dartmouth's RPI, but I'm no statistician.

This game will clearly affect the RPI the question is how much, and even more bizarre what if there was an RPI tie? Is it even possible?

Scoreboard watching begins in ten minutes!

Friday, March 07, 2008

ECAC Night 1

Here is a brief recap from the first night of the ECAC Playoffs.

SLU 5 - Colgate 2
The Saints took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission then used a 3 goal second period to bury the Raiders. Colgate's goaltender Mark Dekanich could not find his rhythm all night and was pulled in the third period. SLU defenseman Zach Miskovic had a pair of goals.

Cornell 3 - Dartmouth 2
The Big Red Raymond Swada's second goal of the night was the game winner as the Big Red wore down the Big Green. Cornell outshot Dartmouth 14-5 in the third period. Ben Scrivens made 23 saves.

Quinnipiac 7 - Brown 6 OT
In the wackiest game of the night Brown took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after the first period. Quinnipiac scored 5 goals in 4:53 of the second period to seeming lock up the game. Brown fought back to cut the lead to 5-3 at the 17:49 mark of the period, but the Bobcats went to the break up 6-3. Ben Nelson and Brian Leitch both had 2 goals after two periods. Brown found something extra in the last half of the third and cut the lead to 6-5 with 4:44 left in the 3rd. Jeff Prough tied the game at 6 with 5 seconds left in the period. Despite the furious comeback the Brown Bears could not contain David Marshall just past halfway into the first over time. Quinnipiac survived a wild one 7-6.

Yale 3 - RPI 2 3OT
Freshman Broc Little's ninth goal of the season was the game winner at the 105:40 mark of the game to lift Yale over RPI 3-2. Yale took a two nothing lead on a delayed powerplay goal and a powerplay goal in the first period, but RPI stormed back to tie the contest at 2 after the first 20 minutes. After that, there was no scoring for the next 85 minutes as Alec Richards and Mathias Lange put on a clinic. For the game Lange made 53 saves to Richards 27.

If all the winners from tonight win tomorrow the second round will shape up like this:
#9 SLU @ #1 Clarkson
#7 Yale @ #2 Princeton
#6 Quinnipiac @ #3 Harvard
#5 Cornell @ #4 Union

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Golden Knights Rest Up

Following this weekend's offensive explosion, the attitude of the future of this Golden Knights fan significantly improved. Nick Dodge's tip in game winner on Friday and Saturday's shooting gallery proved to me, and maybe to the rest of the league and nation that Clarkson's 8th ranking in the nation is well deserved. However with the past weekend behind us it's time to start to look at who the Knights could face in the second round of the ECAC playoffs.

#12 Dartmouth
Season Series: 1-1
Goal differential: Darmouth +1
Clarkson rode a Tims Mark hat trick to a 4-3 victory in Cheel. Dartmouth's Mike Devine turned away 36 shots to defeat the Knights 3-1 in Hanover.

Dartmouth is truly an enigma, they own wins over Vermont, BU and UNH, but have been swept by RPI, SLU, and Brown. Dartmouth takes on #5 Cornell this weekend at Lynah. Cornell is in a bit of a down year, and Dartmouth has shown ability to raise their game in big situations. Senior goaltender Mike Devine can steal a game pretty much any time, he is also susceptible to the stinker. Dartmouth's leading scorer is probable ECAC first teamer Mike Jones. Fellow senior and linemate TJ Wyman is the other major scoring threat. If Clarkson can shut down the first line it is likely that Clarkson will sweep the series. However as we saw in Hanover, and to an extent in Albany last season, Dartmouth is a team that can give the Knights fits in the post season.

First things first though, the Big Green need to get over the hurdle challenging them in Lynah Rink. If Dartmouth does win the series, the only team they can play in the second round is Clarkson, regardless of any other upsets in the first round.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

And things get more interesting..

A quick update of the Women's PWR after today's games has opened up a Pandora's Box of scenarios for next. Clarkson has flipped comparisons with Connecticut after they were swept by UNH. Clarkson is tied in comparisons with Dartmouth, but loses the RPI tie-breaker with Dartmouth by .0004. Dartmouth will face St. Lawrence next weekend and Clarkson will face Harvard.

Now don't hold me to it, but the scenarios appear to play out like this.

UConn must not win the Hockey East Tournament. If they do, Clarkson must win the ECACHL Tournament to advance to the NCAAs.

If UConn does not win the Hockey East tournament, the Golden Knights should advance to the NCAAs with an upset over Harvard and a Dartmouth loss.

If the Knights lose and Dartmouth wins, I think that's all she wrote.

Should both teams advance to the Championship it's winner take all.

And if both teams lose, we'll be keeping a very close eye on every game going on in the country as the critical components of the RPI are: Teams Winning Percentage, Opponents Winning Percentage, and Opponents Opponents Winning Percentage. Clarkson certainly stands to benefit from the matchup against Harvard in this scenario with Harvard's superior winning percentage, plus less of a hurting due to playing more games than Dartmouth.

Still, there's good news everyone *cough*, definitely a possibility that a game between two teams who never faced Clarkson and Dartmouth and seem to have absolutely no relevancy could determine who makes it to the NCAA Tournament.

Dancing of a Different Sort

A quick stick salute to the Clarkson Men's Basketball Team. The team earned their first NCAA Tournament bid yesterday with a 58-53 win over Hamilton in the Liberty League Championship game. With a record of 11-16, Clarkson will clearly be Cinderella at the ball, but clearly have the ability to build on an impressive end of the season run. All eyes will be on the Knights on Monday as their first-round opponent will be announced during the NCAA Selection Show.

Women Advance!

Marie Jo-Gaudet tallied two goals in the first period and Eve Grandmont-Berube made it stand up as the Golden Knights notched their second win in a row against Princeton 2-1. The victory which marks the first playoff series win in Clarkson;s short history, sends the Knights on a collision course with #1 ranked Harvard who is undefeated in league play this year, and is 29-1-0 overall.

The Knights face the Crimson who had a tough time putting away the #8 seed Cornell Big Red at Bright Hockey Center next weekend in Cambridge, MA on Saturday at 1:00p.. As the highest seed remaining, Harvard has earned the right to host the Championship. Clarkson has seen some success at Bright in the past few years including stretching Harvard to the limit in the playoffs a couple of years back.

Best of luck to the Women, and I hope to see you all in the Boston Area next weekend!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Your special teams are especially bad and don't get me started on your goaltending.

In hindsight the decision by the Bobcats to have throwback goaltending equipment night this evening was questionable.
Clarkson destroys Quinnipiac 8-0. Which you're saying to yourself wow, Clarkson's offense really tore it up and yeah they did.

Any team putting up an eight-spot deserve that scratch n' sniff sticker on the jersey at the end of the day. Here's the thing though, they were OUTSHOT 26-25. So not only was Clarkson's offense good, but Quinnipiac's goaltending was atrocious and certainly not helped by a special teams effort that gave up three SHGs including two on the same PP. The Bobcats had a gaudy 0.680 save percentage on the evening.

The Bobcats will be having some long discussions on the trip home this weekend, and will be preparing for their first-round matchup with Dartmouth, while Clarkson gets the bye in the first round and thanks to some bounces in other games are that much closer to securing an NCAA Tournament berth.

A little magic left in the tank.

Ashleigh Moorehead tallied the game-winning goal in overtime to send the Golden Knights to a decisive third and final game tomorrow against Princeton at Cheel Arena. The Knights squandered an early 2-0 lead by giving up two power play goals in the third period. Clarkson struck early in the OT scoring the GWG just a 1:17 into the extra frame. Clarkson picked a good time to take their first victory from the Tigers. The Knights were previously 0-8-1 against Princeton. The rubber match is tomorrow at 2:00p. The winner moves on and a loss for either team should be season ending. The game should be available through the usual channels, and if you don't follow Women's Hockey, this is a good time to take in your first game.