Clarkson (15-19-2 last year) vs. Alaska-Anchorage (16-18-3)/Alaska (16-17-5)
12:07 a.m. Saturday: Clarkson vs. Alaska-Anchorage
8 p.m. Saturday:Clarkson vs. Alaska
The Golden Knights will open their 90th season under a new head coach, Casey Jones, and also by making the program's first trip to Alaska to compete in the Kendall Classic. St. Cloud State is also making the trip, but will not face the Golden Knights.
Casey Jones on the Weekend
Clarkson:Clarkson is opening a season on the road for the fifth straight year and the eighth time in the last nine years. Since the 2000-01 season, Clarkson is 3-8 in season openers. While this season will start with a long road trip in Alaska, Clarkson will come back to Cheel Arena for four straight games and six of their next eight.
Alaska-Anchorage:: The Seawolves have not won the Kendall Classic since 2006, but have a 20-14-8 overall record in the event. Alaska-Anchorage opened the season with a 7-2 win over the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Alaska-Anchorage returns six of its top 10 scorers from last year. The team was under .500 last year, but went 9-5 in its final 14 games and reached the WCHA final five before losing 4-2 to Colorado College.
Alaska:: The Nanooks, who are based in Fairbanks, played in nine overtime games last season, going 4-0-5. Alaska competes in the CCHA and was 10-13-5 in conference play last year. The Nanooks swept Michigan State in the first round of the CCHA playoffs and were swept by Miami (Ohio) in the second. Alaska returns three of its top five scorers. The Nanooks opened the season with an 8-0 win over Northern Alberta in an exhibition game.
Who to Watch
Clarkson: Clarkson's leading returning scorer is sophomore Allan McPherson, who scored eight goals with 15 assists last season. Senior captain Jake Morley scored seven goals with 15 assists and senior assistant captain Nick Tremblay scored nine goals with 12 assists. Sophomore assistant captain Ben Sexton missed 24 of 36 games with a broken arm but still produced five goals and three assists. Senior goalie Paul Karpowich was 15-18-2 with a 3.05 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.
Alaska-Anchorage: The leading returning scorer is sophomore forward Jordan Kwas, who scored four goals with 20 assist last year. All four of his goals came on the power play. Matt Bailey, another sophomore, is the leading returning goal scorer with 10. He also had 10 assists. Junior Mitch Bruijsten scored nine goals with eight assists. The team returns two sophomore goalies. Rob Gunderson played in 23 games and was 7-13-2 with a 2.75 GAA and an .897 save percentage. Chris Kamal played in 15 games and was 9-5-1 with a 2.62 GAA and an .895 save percentage.
Alaska: Sophomore forward Cody Kunyk led the team in scoring last year with 12 goals and 18 assists. Five of his goals came on the power play. Junior Andy Taranto scored 13 goals with nine assists and junior Nik Yaremchuk scored nine goals with 13 assists. Scott Greenham was the only goalie the team used last year. Now a senior, Greenham was 16-17-5 with a 2.23 GAA and a .917 save percentage. He had two shutouts.
Special Teams Matchups
Clarkson PP (11.8 pct, 4 SH allowed) vs. Alaska-Anchorage kill (84.3, 8 SH)
Clarkson kill (84.5, 6 SH) vs. Alaska-Anchorage PP (15.1, 4 SHA)
Clarkson PP (11.8, 4 SHA) vs. Alaska kill (84.1, 4 SH)
Clarkson kill (84.5, 6 SH) vs. Alaska PP (14.6, 3 SHA)