Rensselaer

Game Notes: Knights Open Postseason Play Hosting RPI

With a sixth-place finish in the ECAC Hockey standings Clarkson University will be hosting a conference first-round playoff series for the fourth consecutive year at Cheel Arena. The Golden Knights, guided by sixth-year head coach Casey Jones and assistants Phil Roy '00 and Josh Hauge will face off against 11th-seeded Rensselaer for the second time in three seasons, and for the third time in Jones' tenure behind the Clarkson bench, in the opening round of the league's postseason action.  

The best-of-three game series starts on Friday at Cheel. at 7:00 p.m. The teams will meet again in Game 2 on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and if necessary on Sunday in a deciding Game 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Clarkson closed out the regular season with a six-goal rally to defeat Dartmouth 6-4 in Hanover, NH on Saturday. The Green and Gold fell to third-ranked Harvard 4-1 on Friday in Cambridge, MA. The Knights own a 15-14-5 overall record and finished with a 10-9-3 ECAC Hockey mark.

Final 2016-17 ECAC Hockey Regular Season Standings

• Clarkson and Rensselaer have faced each other 13 times in the ECAC postseason with the Engineers holding a slim 8-5 advantage. RPI has won six of the last eight postseason games in the rivalry. The Engineers have won the last two postseason series matchups, winning a pair of conference first-round series at Cheel Arena, both in three games. The Knights lead the overall series against Rensselaer, which dates back to the 1924-25 campaign, 90-51-11. Clarkson leads 5-3-2 in the last 10 meetings. Clarkson is 16-12-4 over RPI at Cheel.
• Clarkson is 31-13 in the ECAC Hockey playoff games at Cheel Arena.
• The Knights went 6-8-2 at home this season, but are unbeaten in their last three
games in Potsdam (2-0-1).
• The Knights are averaging 3.09 Goals Per Game (23rd in Division I), the best GPG average at Clarkson since the 2006-07 season (3.48 GPG).
• Struggling on the power play since the start of February, the Knights broke out of a 0-of-24 drought on the man advantage with two power-play goals (2-4) at Dartmouth.
• Clarkson has been a force in the ECAC since the league was formed at the start of the 1961-62 season. The Knights have participated in 54 of the conference's first 55 postseason tournaments, winning five league championships (1966, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2007). Clarkson owns an 88-76-5 record in the conference playoffs, and is 5-7 in first-round series (13-16).
The Knights are 5-8 against Rensselaer in conference postseason action. Clarkson has a 4-6 postseason record as the sixth seed.
After winning the 2007 ECAC Tournament title, Clarkson has been knocked out of the playoffs in its first postseason action in seven of the following nine years. Last season, Clarkson defeated Princeton in a pair of overtine thrillers (3-2 2ot, 3-2 ot) in first-round series action at Cheel before being edged out by St. Lawrence (3-2ot, 3-2 2ot) in the quarterfinals in Canton.
In 2015, the Knights lost its first-round series vs Rensselaer 2-1 (3-2, 0-5, 5-1) at Cheel.  Clarkson defeated Princeton in Potsdam 2-1 (2-3ot, 4-0, 3-2) in 2014. The Knights lost at Brown 2-0 (3-0, 4-3) in 2013, and also lost first-round series at Cheel to Rensselaer in 2012 (5-1, 3-4 3ot, 4-1) and Harvard in 2011 (2-1, 6-4). Clarkson lost at St. Lawrence in 2010 (3-2ot, 3-4ot, 3-2) and fell in Schenectady to Union (5-3, 7-2) in 2009. Colgate edged the Green and Gold in the 2008 quarterfinals at Cheel (0-1, 4-3, 3-2 2ot).
The Knights have advanced to 31 league championship tournaments and have skated in 13 title games, winning its fifth in 2007 with a 4-2 victory over Quinnipiac in the championship game at the Times Union Center in Albany.
• Junior Sam Vigneault paces the Clarkson offense with a team-high 33 points, including 22 assists, the most points by a Clarkson player over the past five years. Vigneault has tallied nine  points (4-5) over the past seven games. He recorded his first career three-goal game, a natural hat trick, for all the scoring in the 3-0 win over Colgate (2/17). He shares the team lead in plus/minus at +11. Vigneault leads all current Knights in career points with 72 (29-43) through 101 games.
• Senior Troy Josephs has scored a team-high 15 goals (more than his combined total of 10 through his first three years), the most at Clarkson since 2011-12. He is second in scoring with 25 points. The Pittsburgh Penguins draft choice also has a plus/minus rating of +11 and is tied for the team lead in game-winners with three. He recorded his his fifth career two-goal game, and second in the last three outings, to help power the Green and Gold come-back against Dartmouth. Josephs has eight points and five goals over the past six games.
• Clarkson's defensemen have accounted for six goals and 14 assists over the past six games.
• Senior defenseman, captain James de Haas leads the Green and Gold in scoring from the blueline with 22 points on six goals and 16 assists in 32 games.  The Detroit Red Wings draft choice has tallied nine points (2-7) over the last seven games after missing two with an injury.  He enjoyed a career-high four-point effort (1-3) in the win at Dartmouth, including the game-winner with an unassisted shorthanded marker.
• Junior defenseman Kelly Summers scored his second goal of the season and first since the game against Minnesota (10/28) at Dartmouth.
• Playing in only his fourth game of the season and for the first time since January 13, sophomore Marly Quince started Clarkson's rally six-goal rally at Dartmouth with his first point of the season. Quince scored his first goal since last year at Bowling Green on January 2, 2016.
• Clarkson's Freshman Line of left wing Devin Brosseau (6-8), center Nico Sturm (5-9) and right wing Sheldon Rempal (6-8) have combined for 17 goals and 25 assists through 24 games.
• Sturm (8-12) and Brosseau (7-13) are tied for fifth on Clarkson's scoring charts with 20 points apiece. Rempal follows right behind with 19 poins (8-11).
• The Green and Gold are 10-7-3 when scoring first.
• The Knights are 0-2-5 in overtime games this season.
• Despite not having any players among the top 27 in the country for points per game by a freshman, Clarkson's Class of 2020 is one of the most productive groups in the country.   The Knights' freshmen lead ECAC Hockey rookies in scoring and are tied for eighth overall in the NCAA, averaging 2.50 points per game.  The Knights' seven rookie skaters, and Kielly (one assist) have accounted for 32% of Clarkson's offense with 85 points on 32 goals and 53 assists.
• Freshman goaltender Jake Kielly has started 30 of Clarkson's 34 games, including 23 of the last 24. He posts a .915 save percentage and a 2.58 goals against average with three shutouts.
• Kielly's streak of consecutive starts ended at 23 on Saturday when senior Ville Runola made his second start of the saeason. Making his first ppearance in the Clarkson crease since December 30, Runola posted 20 saves against Dartmouth to record his second win of the season. Through four games Runola posts a .885 save percentage and a 3.13 GAA.
• The Knights have not won a game this year when trailing after two periods, going 0-8-1.
• Clarkson was ranked 15th among the Top 25 College Hockey Programs of All Time by HERO Sports - http://herosports.com/

Scouting Rensselaer
After a disastrous first half of the season Rensselaer began to turn things around in the 2017 portion of the schedule and posted a .500 record (4-4) over its last eight games. The Engineers, guided by 11th-year head coach Seth Appert, finished in 11th place in the league standings with a 6-16 ECAC Hockey mark. Overall, RPI stands at 8-26-1. The Engineers split in their final regular-season weekend, losing 2-0 at Cornell before winning 3-2 at Colgate. RPI is 3-14 on the road this season with league wins at Clarkson (1/28) and Colgate (2/25). Riley Bourbonnais (15-12) Evan Tironese (7-20) pace the RPI offense with 27 points apiece. Chase Perry is the Engineers' go-to-guy between the pipes with a .911 save percentage and a 3.21 goals against average en route to a 6-18-1 record, including one shutout.

Clarkson and Rensselaer have faced each other 13 times in the ECAC postseason with the Engineers holding a slim 8-5 advantage. RPI has won six of the last eight postseason games in the rivalry.

The Engineers have defeated the Knights in the last two postseason series matchups, winning a pair of conference first-round series at Cheel Arena, both in three games. RPI knocked off the Green and Gold in Potsdam on March 6-8, 2015, winning the first game 3-2 and the deciding third game 3-1. Clarkson won Game 2 of that series, 5-0. The Engineers also won the 2012 first-round series at Cheel 2-1 (5-1, 3-4 3ot, 4-1). The Game 2 victory for the Green and Gold was Clarkson's longest game ever (113:48) and the eighth longest game in NCAA history.

The Knights lead the overall series against Rensselaer, which dates back to the 1924-25 campaign, 90-51-11. Clarkson leads 5-3-2 in the last 10 meetings. Clarkson is 16-12-4 over RPI at Cheel.

RPI snapped a three-game losing skid against Clarkson with a 2-1 victory at Cheel Arena in their last meeting on January 28. The Knights had outscored the Engineers 11-3 in a pair of wins earlier this season.  The Knights scored three, third-period goals to knock off RPI 5-2 in ECAC Hockey action in Troy on November 11.  Five different Knights scored in the win and Juho Jokiharju recorded three assists. Clarkson skated to a 6-1 non-league victory over the Engineers on January 7 in Lake Placid. Sam Vigneault tallied two goals and two assists, while Haralds Egle netted two goals.

Vigneault has recorded a team-high eight points in the series with four goals and four assists. Terrance Amorosa also has a team-high four goals to go along with two assists. A. J. Fossen and Troy Josephs  have seven points each against the Engineers with two goals and five assists apiece.

Jake Kielly holds a .919 save percentage and a 1.90 GAA in three games. Steve Perry has played in five games in goal and holds a .910 save percentage, a 1.80 GAA and 2-1-1 record, including two shutouts in the series.