Clarkson is a team that features a lot of international flavor with fifteen Canadian born players and five European born players. Only five players are from the United States. That is expected when the Clarkson campus is close to the border with Canada. Expectations are much higher in Potsdam this season as the Golden Knights are expected to contend to reach Lake Placid and a possible berth in the NCAA tournament.
|Jordan Boucher (photo by Tansey Photography)|
|Sheldan Rempal (photo by Nanaimo Clippers)|
Defensively the Golden Knights are giving up 3.38 goals per game. At home that number jumps to 3.8 goals per game and if you take out the Merrimack shutout that number jumps to a whopping 4.75 goals per game at home. The opportunity is there for Quinnipiac to score on the Golden Knights especially with their home struggles. Of the eight defenders on the Clarkson roster not one of them checks in below six feet. Led by senior James de Haas (2012 6th round, Detroit) and junior Kelly Summers (2014 7th round, Ottawa) they have combined for 10 points already on the blue line. Two freshman defensemen have already seen a lot of minutes in Greg Moro and Jordan Schneider. Quinnipiac will need to use its speed up front and as Rand Pecknold puts it "hunt the puck". If they are able to be fast and aggressive and get good looks they should be able to put the puck in the net against the Golden Knights. Clarkson is a middle of the pack penalty killing team at 84.2% (48 out of 57) so Quinnipiac could have the chance to improve on its power play which has been a real struggle early in the season.
The Golden Knights start Jake Kielly in goal a 6'2 freshman out of Eden Praire, Minnesota. Kielly is off to an uneven start. In 8 games so far he has a 3-4-1 record with a 2.99 goals against with a .909 save percentage. He did however shutout Merrimack 4-0 on October 14. He came to Clarkson after a successful year with Tri-City in the USHL winning the Clark Cup as the league champions. He had an outstanding playoff in which he posted a 1.64 goals against with a .950 save percentage. Kielly is an athletic goaltender for someone 6'2 with the capability to make highlight reel saves like he in the playoff against the Fargo Force. It is a must that Quinnipiac creates traffic in front of the net to get re-directs and rebound opportunities against Kielly.
The Bobcats have had good success the last five seasons against Clarkson at Cheel Arena where they are 3-1-1 against the Golden Knights. Quinnipiac's last loss at Clarkson was a 2-1 defeat back in the 2014-15 season.
Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @jonathan_singer.