Clarkson Begins 29th Season At Cheel Arena On Friday
The 29th season of Clarkson University Hockey at Cheel Arena opens this weekend as the Golden Knights host Hockey East foes Vermont and Providence. The Knights face off against the Catamounts on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and then battle the 12/13th ranked Friars on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. during Parents Weekend on campus. Both games can be viewed livestream over ESPN+ (US viewers) and StretchInternet (International viewers)
Clarkson, guided by ninth-year Head Coach Casey Jones, Associate Head Coach Josh Hauge and assistant Mike Towns, is ranked 9/10th in the latest national polls. The Green and Gold, led by Captain Devin Brosseau and Assistant Captains Greg Moro, Jordan Schneider and Josh Dunne, are picked to place third in the 12-team ECAC Hockey standings by the league coaches.
With a tie and a win at Big10 power University of Michigan to open the 2019-20 campaign last weekend in Ann Arbor, Clarkson has set the tone for what looks to be a promising season.
• In Clarkson's first ever appearances at the University of Michigan's Yost Ice Arena, goaltender Frank Marotte came up big in his Golden Knight debut stopping 70 of 72 shots as the Green and Gold earned a 1-1 tie and a 3-1 victory. Marotte, a graduate transfer from Robert Morris, finished the non-league series with a .972 save percentage and allowed just one even-strength goal on the weekend to earn ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week honors.
• The Knights received a balanced effort offensively with four different goal scorers on the weekend. Dunne, who tallied the Clarkson goal in Friday's tie, a power-play marker, leads the team through two games with three points, including a pair of assists. Adam Tisdale and freshman Anthony Romano both scored their first career goals in Saturday's victory, while Grant Cooper, who was sidelined by injuries the past two seasons, netted his ninth career goal to cap off last Saturday's win. Four other Golden Knights recorded assists in the opening weekend.
• Specialty teams play, especially the shorthanded unit, were promising last weekend. The Knights went 1-of-8 on the power play and killed off 11-of-12 Michigan man-advantages.
• Clarkson is 17-9-2 in its previous 28 home openers at Cheel. Last season, the Knights swept Wisconsin 4-2 and Holy Cross 3-1 to start the 2018-19 campaign in Potsdam. Since the 1991-92 campaign, the Green and Gold have posted 313 victories and a .657 winning percentage on their home ice. Clarkson went 15-3-1 at Cheel last season.
• The Knights are following up where they left off last season in scoring the opening goal of a game. Clarkson scored first in 28 of the 39 games last season, going 19-7-2 when they got on the scoreboard first. This past weekend at Michigan, the Green and Gold scored first in both contests.
• Since the 2000-2001 campaign, the Knights are 8-11-1 in official season openers, and are 5-3-1 with Casey Jones as head coach.
• In its 98th season, Clarkson boasts 74 winning campaigns and a 1,463-873-163 all-time record for a .618 winning percentage since 1920-21.
• Four current Golden Knights have been selected in the NHL Draft. Junior Kris Oldham – 2015 by Tampa Bay (6th round, 153 overall), sophomore Nick Campoli – 2017 by Las Vegas (6th, 158), freshman Dustyn McFaul – 2018 by Boston (6th, 181) and freshman Anthony Romano – 2019 by Arizona (6th, 176).
• Several Clarkson alumni are playing in the NHL and AHL at the start of the 2019-20 professional season. Defenseman Mark Borowiecki '11 has played parts of the past eight seasons in the NHL with Ottawa and serves as a Senators Assistant Captain this year. The Knights' leading scorers from each of the past three seasons, who all left college for the pro ranks early, are starting the 2019-20 campaign in the AHL - Sam Vigneault '17 is with the Cleveland Monsters, Sheldon Rempal '18 is with the Ontario Reign and Nico Sturm '19 is with the Iowa Wild. Forwards Ben Sexton '14 and Jarrett Burton '14 are with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Rochester Americans, respectively. Defenseman James de Haas '17 plays with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Forward Josh Dickinson '18 is listed on the Colorado Eagles' roster. Jake Kielly '19, an all-star goaltender at Clarkson the previous three seasons, starts his pro career with the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL along with defenseman Aaron Thow '19. Defensemen Kelly Summers '18 and Terrance Amorosa '18 are playing in the ECHL with the Adirondack Thunder and Kansas City Mavericks, respectively, while Nic Pierog '18 skates with the Worcester Railers.
Clarkson holds a commanding 54-29-2 lead in the series against Vermont, which began with a 5-3 win for the Knights on January 13, 1971 in Potsdam. The Knights have won the past two meetings against the Catamounts, both by 3-2 scores in Burlington. Last year, the Green and Gold won in overtime on January 6. The Knights snapped a four-game losing skid to the Cats with a 3-2 victory at Gutterson Fieldhouse on October 8, 2016. UVM won the last meeting in Potsdam, 5-2 on October 7, 2016. Clarkson holds a slim 11-10-1 advantage over the Catamounts at Cheel Arena. Haralds Egle and John Carter MacLean are the only two current Knights with goals against Vermont. Greg Moro has tallied three assists.
The Knights lead Providence 36-17-2 in their all-time series, which began in 1953 with a 7-4 Clarkson win in Potsdam. The Friars, however, won the last meeting, 1-0 in the 2018 NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, CT to snap out of a six-game winless stretch against the Green and Gold. Clarkson swept Providence during the 2017-18 regular season, winning 4-0 at Cheel on October 21 and in Belfast Northern Ireland, 4-2 over the Thanksgiving break, to become the first ECAC Hockey program to win the Friendship Four. The Knights have never lost to the Friars at Cheel Arena, holding a 6-0-0 mark. Providence's last regular-season win in the series was a 4-2 victory at Schneider Arena on October 8, 2004. Devin Brosseau has tallied a team-high three goals and four points against the Friars. Grant Cooper has scored twice.
Vermont, guided by 17th-year Head Coach Kevin Sneddon, will be playing its first NCAA game of the season tonight after a two-week layoff from its 6-1 exhibition win over Guelph in Burlington on October 5. The Catamounts skated to a 12-19-3 overall record last season and finished 10th in the Hockey East standings with a 5-16-3 league mark.
A NCAA Frozen Four participant last April, Providence comes into this season again ranked among the nation's best. The Friars, guided by ninth-year Head Coach Nate Leaman and Associate Head Coach Ron Rolston, a former Golden Knight assistant and a former head coach for the Buffalo Sabres, posted a 24-12-6 overall record and a second place 14-7-3 Hockey East mark in 2018-19. Providence was impressive in its season opener on October 5 with a 7-0 shutout at home over league rival Maine. The Friars, who play St. Lawrence in Canton on Friday, stumbled a bit this past weekend at Schneider Arena, losing to Holy Cross 3-2 in overtime before edging the USA Under-18 team 2-1 in exhibition action.