The Clarkson men head to Schenectady this weekend for an ECAC Hockey League first round playoff series against the Union Dutchmen. Clarkson had the opportunity to stay at home for the first round but could not take away a win at Union last Saturday, thus sending the Knights and Dutchmen into a tie for 8th place. The Knights lost the tiebreaker to the Dutchmen based on number of conference wins.
This has been a trying season for the Knights who won the league regular season title last season. Untimely injuries, lack of offense, and suspect defense has plagued the Knights most of the year. Although the season has been long there have been flashes of brilliance with this team. The 1-1 and 2-2 ties of Colorado College, the 4-2 win over Miami, the 2-2 and 3-1 games against SLU and the 0-0 tie with Cornell all have shown the Knights are capable. The question now is are they capable when the season is on the line?
History has not been kind to the Union Dutchmen. By now we all know Union has never won a playoff series at the D-1 level. This piece of trivia is interesting to know, but has little bearing on the outcome of the games. History does not lace up skates, history does not tape sticks, history does not play the game. Union is 9-6-0 at home this season, Clarkson is 4-11-2 on the road. Union can win this series, the Knights can not enter this weekend with any other attitude than one of underdog.
I think the Knights will find that playoff magic this weekend, but this series will be close. I like Clarkson in 2 games over the Dutchmen, with at least one game going to OT.
Clarkson 4 - Union 3
Clarkson 5 - Union 3