Jan. 3, 2009

Courtesy of Clarkson

The Clarkson University Hockey team could not have asked for a better way to start the New Year after knocking off #2-ranked Miami University 4-2 in the opening round of the Ohio Hockey Classic at the Value City Arena in Columbus, OH on Friday evening. Four different Golden Knights scored goals and freshman goaltender Paul Karpowich (Thunder Bay, ONT) posted 40 saves as the Green and Gold broke out of an 11-game winless drought (0-9-2) with their first victory since November 7. Clarkson, at 3-10-4 overall, will face off against host Ohio State in Saturday’s championship game at 8:05 p.m.

“I thought our guys competed hard and Paul Karpowich was outstanding tonight, especially in the first period,” stated Clarkson head coach George Roll. “We really battled for loose pucks and did a great job on the penalty kill. Overall our effort was very good for 60 minutes. After we got that first goal you could see that we started to get confidence. We got some great plays from guys who we need to be our go-to guys. I thought Shea (Guthrie) was an offensive force. He really created a lot of things for us. I am certainly proud of the way the guys competed against one of the best teams in the country.”

With the victory, Roll gained his 99th win at Clarkson, while the Knights denied Miami head coach Enrico Blasi his 200th career victory.


Taking the opening lead of a game for only the sixth time this season, Clarkson gained the early momentum when senior assistant captain Shea Guthrie (Carleton Place, ONT) tallied his second goal of the season. At 1:39 of the first period, Guthrie finished off a passing combination from freshmen Nick Tremblay (Candiac, QUE) and Julien Cayer (Carleton Place, ONT) with a backhand shot from the bottom of the right circle for his 28th career goal.


Miami (12-4-3) tied the game with Carter Camper’s 4-on-3 power play tally at 8:44 of the second frame, but the Knights went back on top at 13:05 with their first power-play goal in their last 16 man-advantage chances. Cayer positioned at the top of the crease won the puck during a scramble in front and lifted in his second goal of the year. Sophomores Brandon DeFazio (Oakville, ONT) and Lauri Tuohimaa (Helsinki, Finland) assisted.


Clarkson, which is 47-0-4 in its last 51 games with a two-period lead, added to its margin with a two-goal spurt early in the third. Sophomore defenseman Bryan Rufenach (Cameron, ONT) connected for his third goal of the season on a shot from the slot at 1:28. Tremblay and Guthrie assisted. Just 2:18 later, DeFazio netted a power-play marker with sophomore Scott Freeman (Whitby, ONT) and Rufenach assisting to give the Knights a 4-1 advantage.


The RedHawks pulled to within two with Justin Vaive’s power-play marker at 7:57, but Clarkson, behind the stellar goaltending of Karpowich, was able to hold off the Miami comeback attempt.


The Redhawks held a 42-19 advantage in shots, but Karpowich was solid throughout the game, posting 15 first-period stops, six in the second and a season-best 19 more in the third stanza to finish with his second 40-save outing of the season


Playing against the number-1 ranked penalty-killing unit in the nation, Clarkson recorded its third multiple-goal effort of the season on the power-play with a 2-6 outing with the man-advantage. Miami was 2-of-8 on the power play.