Clarkson opens the 2011-12 season at 5 p.m. Sunday at Cheel Arena with an exhibition contest against the University of Ottawa.
What can you learn from Clarkson's exhibition games?
From studying the past decade it's pretty clear you can learn nothing from the games Clarkson has won, but there are some dangers in the games Clarkson has lost or tied.
Starting with the 2002-03 season, Clarkson has lost or tied three exhibition games, and all three of those games were followed by bad stretches.
Clarkson tied the U.S. Under-18 team 2-2 in the 2004-05 season, lost three straight games after that and wound up starting the season 3-11-2.
In 2006-07, which wound up with Clarkson winning the ECAC Hockey Tournament and being a No. 1 seed in an NCAA Tournament regional, the Golden Knights lost 6-2 to the U.S. Under-18 team after starting off the season 4-1-1. Clarkson had a brief slump after that game, going 2-4 in a six-game stretch.
After two straight NCAA Tournament appearances Clarkson had some confidence early in the 2008-09 season, starting just 1-1-2, but tying top-ranked Colorado College in two straight games at Cheel Arena.
Then came a surprising 5-3 loss to Ottawa's Carleton University, coached by former Clarkson interim coach Fred Parker. Clarkson won its next game after that loss, but then went on an 0-9-2 stretch.
So, that covers the losses, but what about the wins?
It's pretty clear from looking over past results that the wins don't really prove to be a good indicator of what's to come, at least for individuals.
Consider these cases:
In 2002-03, Zach Schwan scored two goals in an 8-2 win over the University of Toronto. He did not score a single goal in the regular season.
In 2003-04, Jean Desrochers scored two goals in another win over the University of Toronto and went on to score just six the entire season.
In 2005-06, Steve Zalewski scored two goals in a 6-4 win over the U.S. Under 18 team, but finished the season with only nine.
In 2009-10, Scott Freeman scored two goals in a 6-1 win over Toronto, but scored only seven during the season.
And, in last year, Freeman scored three goals in a 5-2 win over Carleton, but finished the season with 10 goals.
One thing of interest in Sunday's game will be the first chance to see how Clarkson looks under new head coach Casey Jones.
Jones talked briefly about the game on Wednesday:
Like Clarkson, the Gee-Gees have a new head coach in Real Paiement, who played from 1979-1982 for the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League.
Paiement also was a major junior head coach from 1986-2008.
According to the team's website, the Gee-Gees lacked offensive production and depth last season, finishing second to last in goals in their conference. They also had the third-worst goals-against average in the nation.
Ottawa will play an exhibition game against Nipissing on Saturday before making its way to Cheel for Sunday's game.
Two recruits the program is excited about are forwards Maxime Chamberland and Alexandre Touchette.
Chamberland, who is 25, scored 92 points in major juniors in the 2006-07 season and also had 105 penalty minutes.
Touchette, who is 22, has played major juniors the last six seasons and scored 32 points in 37 games last season.