POTSDAM When asked about this weekends ECAC Hockey series with rival St. Lawrence University, Clarkson coach Casey Jones was in a playful mood.
Is that who were playing this weekend? Jones said. I havent even seen the schedule yet.
Jones was kidding of course. Even if he had forgotten who was up next on the schedule his network of friends found a way to remind him.
I know I had a lot of ticket requests, Jones said.
There may be more interest than usual for the Clarkson/SLU games, which begin with a 7 p.m. game tonight at Cheel Arena, followed by Saturdays game at Appleton Arena at 7.
Clarkson is 10-3-1 overall heading into the games and has a 4-2 record in ECAC Hockey games. SLU is 8-6-2 and 2-2-2. It is the first time since Oct. 20, 2007, that both teams have winning records coming into the game.
Its a rivalry game that means a lot to our guys, to our campus, the community, both towns, Jones said. How often do you have universities this close together that can compete like this? Theres a little bit more edge to it and theres excitement to it too, because our buildings are packed. We have people working on campus here who have spouses working at the other campus. Theres a lot of bragging rights involved and it makes for a lot of table talk.
Clarkson has had the upper hand in the series lately, going 7-1-1 in its last nine games against SLU. The run is Clarksons best since it went 15-1 against the Saints from 1992-99. Heres a look at each game in the current stretch, beginning on Oct. 30, 2010.
nClarkson 2, St. Lawrence 1 (OT): Freshman Matt Zarbo scored an overtime goal to give the Golden Knights a win in the rivalrys first matchup in Lake Placid since the 1999 ECAC championship game. Clarkson strikes first on a shorthanded goal from Jake Morley in the second period and Max Mobley answers eight minutes later for the Saints.
nClarkson 3, St. Lawrence 1:Matt Zarbo scores two goals less than a month after the Lake Placid matchup to lead Clarkson to win over the Saints in Cheel Arena. Scott Freeman also scores for the Golden Knights, who build a 3-0 lead before SLUs Kyle Essery scores.
nClarkson 2, St. Lawrence 1: Clarkson completes a season sweep of the Saints with Louke Oakley scoring the game-winning goal 5 minutes, 12 seconds into the third period at Appleton Arena. Scott Freeman scores just 3:56 into the game to give Clarkson an early lead and Nick Pitsikoulis answers for the Saints at 17:10 of the second period.
nClarkson 5, St. Lawrence 3: The Golden Knights make it four straight wins over SLU with another victory in Appleton Arena, despite being outshot 25-18 over the final two periods. Clarkson scores twice in the first period on shots from Joe Zarbo and Will Frederick. The Golden Knights build a 3-1 lead after two only to see SLU tie the game with third-period goals from Jordan Dewey and Mark Armstrong. Matt Zarbo scores the game-winning goal at 16:56 of the third period and Will Frederick scores an empty-net goal in the final minute.
nSt. Lawrence 4, Clarkson 1: The Saints score two goals in the second and third periods to snap Clarksons win streak in the rivalry during a nonconference game in Lake Placid. Kyle Essery, Patrick Doherty, Greg Carey and Chris Martin score for SLU while Corey Tamblyn scores the lone goal for Clarkson.
nClarkson 4, St. Lawrence 3: Clarkson outshoots the Saints 50-13 and completes a season sweep in conference play with a win at Cheel Arena. Patrick Marsh scores the game-winner midway through the third period. SLU led 3-2 after two thanks to goals from Greg Carey, Jacob Drewiske and Chris Martin. Nick Tremblay ties the game for Clarkson early in the third period.
nClarkson 4, St. Lawrence 1:Will Frederick scores twice in the first period as Clarkson wins its third straight game in Appleton Arena. Joe Zarbo and Simon Bessette add goals for Clarkson while George Hughes scores for the Saints.
nClarkson 3, St. Lawrence 1: Three days after the win in Appleton, Clarkson takes the final game in the three-year, nonconference series at Lake Placid. George Hughes scores first for SLU early in the second period, but the Golden Knights respond with goals from Simon Bessette, Jeff DiNallo and Jarrett Burton.
nClarkson 3, St. Lawrence 3 (OT): SLU scores the first three goals of a game at Cheel Arena and appears to be ready to snap Clarksons streak, but the Golden Knights score three times in the last 11:07 to salvage a tie. Greg Carey, Jeremy Wick and Kyle Flanagan score for SLU. Pat Megannety scores twice for Clarkson, including the tying goal at 17:16 of the third. Alex Boak also scores.
Sportswriter Cap Carey covers Clarkson University hockey for the Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org