NOTE: Making one change this weekend to the format by combining both opponents into one preview, but the information in the previews will not be shortened.
The Golden Knights (4-3-2 overall, 0-1-1 conference) face a big weekend after earning just one point in the opening weekend of ECAC Hockey play at Cheel Arena.
Not only does Clarkson not want to fall further back in the conference standings, but the team is also facing opponents it has performed well against in recent years, even last season when the squad finished in last place.
Clarkson is 2-0-1 in its last three games against Dartmouth and has a lifetime record of 14-2-3 at Cheel Arena against the Big Green. The Golden Knights are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games against Harvard and are 13-6-2 in Cheel Arena against the Crimson.
Harvard went 1-1 at home last weekend to start the conference season and Dartmouth went 0-1-1. Both had upsets of nationally ranked teams. Harvard defeated Rensselaer and Dartmouth tied Union.
Clarkson Coach George Roll on Weekend
"You hate saying it's a critical weekend, but we don't want to fall back any further than we did last weekend, being home for five straight in the league. I thought we did a lot of good things last weekend, but this is a weekend where we've got to continue to do a better job, defensively, of limiting the other team's chances. I didn't think we did a very good job of that last weekend. To me, it's a critical weekend to come out for six good periods and play the type of hockey we're capable of."
Stats of the Night
Dartmouth: Clarkson's penalty kill ranks third nationally (90.7 percent) and Dartmouth is just 1 of 19 on the power play (5.3).
Harvard: The last Crimson win in Cheel Arena was on Nov. 27, 2004, when Harvard earned a 3-2 victory.
Who to Watch
Clarkson vs. Dartmouth: Brandon DeFazio has three career goals in six games against the Big Green. Bryan Rufenach has one goal and two assists and Scott Freeman has three assists. Other Clarkson players with career goals include: Jake Morley, Adam Pawlick, Julien Cayer, Louke Oakley and Mark Borowiecki. Goalie Paul Karpowich is 1-0-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. Richie LaVeau is 1-0 with a 3.00 goals-against average and an .857 save percentage.
Clarkson vs. Harvard: Andrew Himelson, who is out with an injury, and Bryan Rufenach each have one goal and one assist against Harvard. Louke Oakley and Lauri Tuohimaa are the other Golden Knights with career goals against the Crimson. Scott Freeman, Mark Borowiecki and Brandon DeFazio each have two assists. Paul Karpowich is 1-1-1 against Harvard with a 2.55 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. Richie LaVeau is 0-1-1 with a 2.77 goals-against average and an .885 save percentage.
Dartmouth: The Big Green's top offensive threats are forwards Scott Fleming and Evan Stephens. Both players have one goal and one assist through four games. Fleming has 42 goals and 35 assists for his career and Stephens has 17 goals and 46 assists. Jody O'Neill has started half of Dartmouth's games in goal and is 1-1 with a 4.00 goals-against average and an .869 save percentage. James Mello (0-0-1, 0.00, 1.000) and Cab Morris (0-1-0, 4.00, .810) are the Big Green's other goalies.
Harvard: Matt McCollem, a St. Louis Blues draft choice, has the best career numbers against Clarkson with one goal and two assists in three games. Michael Biega, a Carolina Hurricanes draft choice, has two assists against Clarkson. Kyle Richter is 0-4 against Clarkson and has allowed 13 goals in four games with an .882 save percentage. Ryan Carroll is 0-1-2 and has allowed seven goals in three games with a .903 save percentage.
Special Teams Outlook:
Clarkson: The Golden Knights got off to a horrible start on special teams, going 0 for 36 on the power play to start the season. Since that point Clarkson is 3 for 6, but still is converting at only 7.1 percent for the season. Clarkson has killed 49 of 54 penalties (90.7 percent). The Golden Knights have two shorthanded goals and have not allowed any.
Dartmouth: The Big Green is just 1 of 19 on the power play and has killed 15 of 17 penalties (88.2 percent). Dartmouth has not scored a shorthanded goal, but has allowed one.
Harvard: The Crimson have only played two games, but went 1 for 5 on the power play and killed 7 of 8 penalties last weekend. Harvard has not scored, or allowed, a shorthanded goal.
vs. Dartmouth: Clarkson ended the regular season last year with a 3-3 tie at Cheel Arena against the Big Green. Adam Pawlick, Brandon DeFazio and Markus Piispanen scored goals for the Golden Knights.
vs. Harvard: Andrew Himelson scored 3 minutes, 11 seconds into overtime to give Clarkson a 2-1 win over Harvard at Cheel Arena in the second-to-last regular season game. Louke Oakley also scored for the Golden Knights.
Stats and Notes: Clarkson has outscored its opponents 17-4 in its four wins this year, but has been outscored 17-1 in its three losses. ... Dartmouth's last win at Clarkson came on Nov. 26, 2005 with a 4-0 shutout. ... Clarkson is 4-0-2 if it scores the first goal of a game, but 0-3-1 when it does not. ... Corey Tamblyn has been effective in faceoffs this season with a 114-78 record (59.4 percent). Ben Sexton, who broke his arm last weekend, was 22-17 (56.4).