Monday, January 01, 2007

Clarkson Wins!!!

. Monday, January 01, 2007

An 11-year drought in regular-season tournament action came to an end for the Clarkson University Hockey team on Saturday evening in Madison, Wisconsin, as the Golden Knights earned a hard fought 3-2 victory over Lake Superior State to claim the title of the Badger Showdown.

The Golden Knights, who won their first holiday tourney since 1995, knocked off defending national champion and host University of Wisconsin, 6-2, in first round action before 13,661 at the Kohl Center on Friday night. Clarkson, which became the first ECAC Hockey League squad to win the Showdown in 18 years of the tournament, owns the third longest current winning streak in the country at seven games. The 15th-ranked Knights stand at 13-5-1 overall and are next in action on Saturday, January 6 when they host McGill University in an exhibition game at Cheel Arena.

Clarkson’s power play, which is ranked second in the country, was once again at peak performance against the Lakers, clicking for man-advantage goals on its first two chances. Junior Shawn Weller (South Glens Falls, NY) put the Green and Gold on top 1-0 late in the first period with a power-play marker at 17:26. Weller took a pass from out of the corner by classmate captain Nick Dodge (Oakville, ONT) and scored his eighth goal of the season on a quick, low shot from the slot. Junior David Cayer (Longueuil, QUE) also assisted.

Just 59 seconds into the middle frame, Dodge made it 2-0 with his fourth goal of the weekend. While on the man advantage, Dodge picked up a behind-the-net pass from Cayer at the side of the net and slipped in his 10th goal of the year. Weller also assisted.

Lake Superior got on the scoreboard at 2:59 of the second when Josh Sims picked up a fortunate bounce off the left boards into center ice and skated in for a shorthanded breakaway goal. Sims scored again at 10:35 of the third to tie the game 2-2.

Sophomore Shea Guthrie (Carleton Place, ONT), who recorded three assists in Friday’s win over the Badgers, came through with his second game-winning goal in the past three games to help keep the Knights’ longest winning streak in six years alive. Guthrie netted his fifth goal of the season, knocking in a backhand shot off a rebound in the slot at 14:34, just four seconds after a Clarkson power play had come to an end. Sophomore Chris D’Alvise (Mississauga, ONT) and freshman Matt Beca (Mississauga, ONT) set up the deciding goal.

The Lakers, ranked 16th/17th in the nation, pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker with one minute remaining, but the Knights, behind another solid effort in goal from junior David Leggio (Williamsville, NY), were able to withstand the late pressure and stopped LSSU’s unbeaten streak at five games. Leggio finished with 27 saves.

For the second straight game, Clarkson went 2-of-4 on the power play and killed off all five Laker chances.

The Knights return to NCAA play on January 12-13 when they host ECACHL foes Colgate and Cornell at Cheel.

Badger Hockey Showdown All-Tournament TeamForward - Nick Dodge, Clarkson (MVP)Forward - Josh Sim, Lake Superior StateForward - Jake Dowell, WisconsinDefense - Tyrell Mason, ClarksonDefense - Barnabas Birkeland, Lake Superior StateGoaltender - David Leggio, Clarkson