American International (0-3) vs. Clarkson (2-1-1)
7 tonight, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Cheel Arena, Potsdam
Clarkson:The Golden Knights swept a nonconference series against Sacred Heart last weekend, winning 3-0 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday. Clarkson, which won only five home games all of last season, has a chance to win games three and four at Cheel Arena this weekend against another Atlantic Hockey foe in American International. Clarkson has not played the Yellow Jackets since Feb. 4, 1959. Special teams has been an early-season bright spot for Clarkson. The Golden Knights have a power-play goal in every game this season and are clicking at 30.4 percent. Clarkson did not score its first power-play goal last year until the eighth game of the season. Clarkson has killed 88.9 percent of its penalties and has a shorthanded goal.
American International:The Yellow Jackets have not had a winning record since going 14-12 in the 1993-94 season. The last time American International won at least 10 games in a season was back in 2002-03 when it went 10-20-2. Since the 2003-04 season, when it joined Atlantic Hockey, AIC is 49-196-26 (.229). The Yellow Jackets were 8-24-1 last year and were outscored 140-85. The team has dropped its first three games of this season, but each have been close. AIC opened with 4-3 and 3-1 losses at Michigan Tech and lost 2-1 at Holy Cross last Saturday.
Clarkson's Casey Jones
AIC Season Preview with coach Gary Wright
Who to Watch
Clarkson:The top offensive producers for the Golden Knights so far this season have been seniors Louke Oakley (5 goals-1 assist) and Julien Cayer (3 goals). Oakley had four goals last weekend for the Golden Knights. Sophomore Ben Sexton has one goal and three assists. Freshman Joe Zarbo has one goal with two assists and sophomore Allan McPherson has assisted on three goals. Paul Karpowich is 2-1-1 with a 2.21 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
American International:Michael Penny and Steve Mele are the early-season scoring leaders for AIC as each has one goal and two assists. Adam Pleskach, who has one goal, is the team's returning leading scorer. He scored 13 goals with 15 assists last year in 33 games, including five power-play goals and four game-winning goals. Ben Meisner has played every game in goal and has a 3.02 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.
Special Teams Matchups
Clarkson PP (30.4 percent) vs. AIC kill (77.8)
AIC PP (7.8) vs. Clarkson kill (88.9)
Clarkson has scored and allowed a shorthanded goal.
AIC has allowed a shorthanded goal.
Special Teams Individuals
Clarkson:Louke Oakley and Julien Cayer each have two power-play goals and Kevin Tansey has Clarkson's shorthanded goal. All four of Ben Sexton's points have come on power plays.
AICAdam Pleskach has the only power-play goal for AIC this season.
Last Meeting:Clarkson beat AIC 17-0 on Feb. 4, 1959, scoring eight goals in the second period and six in the third. Bud Gilchrist led the Golden Knights with four goals and two assists. Ken Gardiner, playing his first career game, had three goals and two assists.
Odds and Ends:Going back to last season, when Paul Karpowich has a save percentage of .900 or better he is 17-5-3. ... The first period has been big for Clarkson so far this season. The Golden Knights have scored seven of their 13 goals in the first period, but just one goal in the third period. ... Freshman Kevin Tansey leads the team in plus/minus at plus three. Allan McPherson has taken the most shots this season, with 13 and defenseman Alex Boak has 11. ... Corey Tamblyn is 41-34 (.547) on faceoffs and Ben Sexton is 42-39 (.519). ... All five of AIC's goals this season have come in the first period and the Yellow Jackets have scored first in two of their three games and led after one in two of their three games, yet have no victories. ... Last year AIC was 2-15 when the opposition scored first, but 7-0 if it had a lead after two periods and 1-24-1 if it was behind or tied after two.