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Clarkson men begin 4-game homestand hosting Colgate, Cornell

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POTSDAM - As the regular season winds down the Clarkson University men’s hockey team will look to take advantage of home ice with an upcoming four-game stand in Potsdam starting this weekend when the Golden Knights host Central NY rivals Colgate and Cornell in a pair of 7 p.m. games at Cheel Arena on Friday and Saturday.

With 10 games remaining, Clarkson, guided by second-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy ’00 and Andy Jones, owns a 5-13-6 overall record and is in a three-way tie, along with Cornell and Brown, for eighth place in the ECAC Hockey standings with 10 points on a 4-6-2 league mark. In a very balanced 12-team conference, the Knights are five points out of third place, but just one point ahead of 11th-place Rensselaer.

Clarkson has struggled at Cheel Arena this year with just a 1-8-2 record at home, but the Green and Gold have the opportunity to improve upon that mark with six of their final 10 games in Potsdam. After this weekend’s games, the Knights will host Union and Rensselaer on February 8-9. The Knights final regular-season home games are on February 22-23 when they host Dartmouth and Harvard.

Playing its first road games of the New Year, Clarkson came away with a split in the New England over the weekend, winning 5-1 at Harvard on Friday before losing by the same score at 12th/13th-ranked Dartmouth on Saturday.

Sophomore Joe Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) recorded a hat trick and freshman goaltender Greg Lewis (Mars, PA) posted 30 saves, including several key early stops, as the Green and Gold broke out of a six-game winless (0-5-1) stretch with the victory over the Crimson in Cambridge, MA. Seniors Andrew Himelson (Monroe, NY) and Adam Pawlick (Utica, NY) also scored as Clarkson won for the first time since early December.

The Knights struggled the following night in Hanover, NH as the nationally-ranked Big Green held a 49-21 advantage in shots, including a 36-12 margin through the first two periods. A strong effort by Lewis kept Clarkson in the game early, but Dartmouth pulled away in the third period with four goals. Lewis posted a career-high 44 saves. Joe Zarbo continued his scoring streak, netting the Knights’ lone goal. Joe Zarbo was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week.

HOST COLGATE FRIDAY

Winners of seven of its last nine games, Colgate is making a late season push and challenging for a top four position in the ECAC standings. Guided by 20th-year head coach Don Vaughan, the Raiders own a 13-9-2 overall record and are tied for sixth in the league with a 5-6-1 conference mark.

Colgate is coming off a big weekend sweep at Starr Rink, edging Brown 2-1 on Friday before knocking off 8th-ranked Yale 4-1 on Saturday. The Raiders are 2-6-2 overall in away games this season and have not won on an opponents’ home ice in ECAC Hockey play (0-4-1).

Clarkson leads the Raiders in their all-time series, which began during the 1927-28 campaign, 81-47-15, but Colgate is 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings of the rivalry. The Knights snapped a nine-game winless stretch against the Raiders with a 2-1 victory in Potsdam on February 18 last season, but Colgate regained the momentum in the series with a win in the first meeting this year. The Raiders pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory at Starr Rink on December 1. Clarkson holds a slim 10-9-7 advantage over Colgate at Cheel Arena. The Raiders’ last victory in Potsdam was a 6-2 triumph on January 16, 2010. Joe Zarbo (2-1), Jarrett Burton (1-2) and Will Frederick (0-2) lead the Knights’ offense against the Raiders with three points each. Greg Lewis posts a .872 save percentage in one game of the series.

HOST CORNELL SATURDAY

With just one win in its last seven games entering Friday’s game at St. Lawrence, Cornell is striving to turn its season around. The Big Red, guided by 18th-year head coach Mike Schafer, stand at 8-9-2 and are tied for eighth in the league at 4-6-2.

Cornell suffered a rare sweep at Lynah Rink with a pair of losses to Yale and Brown this past weekend. The Big Red suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to Yale on Friday and fell 3-0 to Brown on Saturday. It was the Big Red’s first shutout since Dec. 3, 2011, when they played to a scoreless draw with Clarkson in Ithaca. Cornell, which is 2-5 in away games, last skated away with a victory when it won at Union 3-2 on January 18.

Cornell is the Knights’ oldest current rival having first played during the 1922-23 campaign with the teams battling to a 0-0 tie in Ithaca. The Big Red lead the rivalry against the Knights 57-49-14. Cornell holds a current 10-game unbeaten streak (7-0-3) in the series.

In the first meeting this season, the Big Red edged the Knights 3-1 at Lynah Rink on November 30. In 2011-12, Clarkson and Cornell battled to a pair of ties in ECAC play, 0-0 at Lynah Rink in Ithaca on December 3 and 1-1 at Cheel Arena on February 17. The Big Red also skated to a 5-3 non-league victory in the consolation contest of the Florida Tournament on December 30, 2011. Clarkson took two from the Big Red during the 2007-08 campaign, winning 4-2 at Lynah Rink (1/20) and 4-1 at Cheel Arena (2/8), for its first conference sweep in the rivalry since the 1998-99 campaign and its last victories in the series. The Knights have a 10-7-6 advantage over Cornell at Cheel Arena. Ben Sexton is the Knights’ leading scorer in the series with two goals and one assist in two games. Adam Pawlick and Joe Zarbo are the only other current Clarkson players to have scored a goal against Cornell with one tally each. Allan McPherson and Jarrett Burton have a team-high two assists through six games in the series.Greg Lewis posts a .931 save percentage in one game against the Big Red.

KNIGHT KNOTES: Joe Zarbo’s three-goal effort in Friday’s 5-1 win at Harvard was the Knights’ first hat trick since December 12, 2010 when Brandon DeFazio ‘11 completed his second consecutive hat trick in a 9-2 win at Sacred Heart. DeFazio also scored three times at Quinnipiac in a 5-3 victory on December 4, 2010, Clarkson’s last hat trick against an ECAC Hockey foe … Since being a healthy scratch from the lineup for the January 5 game against UMass-Lowell, Joe Zarbo has recorded five goals and one assist in the past five games. He leads the Knights in goal scoring with 11 after scoring three goals in his freshman campaign. Joe Zarbo, who finished the weekend with four goals and one assist, has tallied 13 points through 20 games this season. He leads the conference in goals scored with nine, averaging .90 goals per ECAC Hockey contest. Joe Zarbo became the first Golden Knight to earn ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honor this season … Clarkson received goals from Andrew Himelson and Joe Zarbo nine seconds apart late in the second period to put the Green and Gold in the lead for good against the Crimson … The fastest consecutive goals scored for Clarkson were five seconds apart by Tom Meeker ‘56 in an 18-2 win over Hamilton on February 12, 1955. Meeker posted a hat trick in 15 seconds of that victory … After a solid 30-save outing in the win at Harvard, Greg Lewis came through with his best effort of the season at nationally-ranked Dartmouth, giving the Knights a chance for the win with a career-high 44 saves, including a season-best 18 stops in a scoreless first period against the Big Green. Lewis has made seven consecutive starts in the Clarkson crease and 22 appearances overall for the season. He posts a .907 save percentage and a 2.78 goals against average … Junior Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) registered a career-high three assists in the win at Harvard … Junior defenseman Alex Boak (Norwood, NY) also enjoyed a multiple-point night in Cambridge with two assists … Adam Pawlick tallied his second goal of the season at Harvard and first since November 10 … Junior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT), who helped to set up Clarkson’s lone goal at Dartmouth, has a team-high 18 points, including 14 assists, through 24 games … Playing in his first game since November 17, junior Mike Garlasco (Mahwah, NJ) picked up his first point of the season with an assist on Saturday … Former Clarkson standout defenseman Kent Huskins ’01 recently signed a National Hockey League contract with the Detroit Red Wings. Huskins won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He joins Mark Borowiecki (Ottawa), Grant Clitsome ’08 (Winnipeg), Erik Cole (Montreal) and Willie Mitchell (Los Angeles) as former Knights on NHL rosters in 2013. Huskins, Cole (Carolina) and Mitchell (Los Angeles) have all raised the Stanley Cup as NHL champions. All three were members of the same freshman class at Clarkson, starting their collegiate careers in 1997, and all three were named All-Americans.

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