Sacred Heart (0-2) vs. Clarkson (0-1-1)
7 tonight, 7 p.m. Saturday, Cheel Arena, Potsdam
Clarkson:The Golden Knights opened the 2011-12 season with a long road trip to Anchorage, Alaska. Clarkson started with a 4-4 tie against Alaska-Anchorage that had both positives and negatives. Clarkson's negatives were blowing two leads - 2-0 and 4-3. But the positive was rallying from a 3-2 deficit to regain a 4-3 lead heading into the final period. Clarkson lost its second game 3-1 to Alaska. The Golden Knights converted on 25 percent of their power plays last weekend, a big improvement over last year's 11.8 percent mark.
Sacred Heart:The Pioneers traveled to Minneapolis where they were routed twice by the University of Minnesota, falling 9-0 on Friday and 6-0 on Saturday. Sacred Heart was outshot by a combined 92-40 in the series. The Pioneers were 21-13-4 in the 2009-10 season and lost to RIT in the Atlantic Hockey championship game. But last year was abysmal for the Pioneers, who slipped to 6-25-6 and were outscored 173-95.
Clarkson's Casey Jones
Sacred Heart's C.J. Marottolo
Video from Sacred Heart prior to last weekend's series at Minnesota:
Who to Watch
Clarkson:Nick Tremblay had a big game against the Pioneers last year, scoring one goal with two assists. Will Frederick scored one goal with one assist and Jake Morley and Nik Pokulok also scored goals. Last weekend's leading scorer was Julien Cayer, who tallied two goals. Louke Oakley and Joe Zarbo each had one goal and one assist and Tremblay also scored.
Sacred Heart:The Pioneers have not scored yet this season, but do return their top two scorers from last year. Matt Gingera led the team with 21 goals and 9 assists and Eric Delong scored 9 goals with 21 assists. Neither player scored in the game against Clarkson.
Special Teams Matchups
Clarkson PP 25.0 percent vs. Sacred Heart kill 78.6
Sacred Heart PP 0.0 percent vs. Clarkson kill 76.9
Neither team has scored or allowed a shorthanded goal
Special Teams Individuals
Clarkson:Julien Cayer, Joe Zarbo and Nick Tremblay have each scored power-play goals for Clarkson this season.
Sacred Heart:Matt Gingera scored four power-play goals last year. Kyle Verbeek scored two for the Pioneers.
Last Meeting:Clarkson traveled to Milford, Conn. on Dec. 10 of last season and routed the Pioneers 9-2. Clarkson scored two goals in each of the first two periods and then produced five goals in the third period. The Golden Knights scored on 3 of their 8 power-play chances and outshot the Pioneers 46-29.
Odds and Ends:Clarkson's only other game against Sacred Heart came on Nov. 1, 2003 at Cheel Arena and the Golden Knights won 4-1. ... Clarkson is 12-6-2 in its home openers at Cheel Arena and 5-0-1 in the last six. The last time Clarkson dropped a home opener was in the 2004-05 season when Niagara defeated the Golden Knights 5-3. ... Alex Boak and Allan McPherson led Clarkson in shots on goal last weekend with six. Louke Oakley, Ben Sexton and Matt Zarbo each had five and Nick Tremblay had four. ... Sacred Heart scored the first goal of a game only 14 times last year, but went just 2-6-6 in those contests. When the Pioneers led after one or two periods they usually won. Sacred Heart was 3-0-5 when ahead after one, but 3-25-1 when tied or behind. The Pioneers were 4-1-4 if ahead after two, but 2-24-2 if tied or behind. ... Former Clarkson recruit Jordan Ciccarello is a sophomore defenseman for the Pioneers.