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Canisius hockey continues road swing at No. 4 Clarkson

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS


No. 20 Canisius rings in the new year Tuesday by completing its home-and-home series with No. 4 Clarkson.

Puck drop for the non-conference contest between the Golden Griffins (10-6-1) and the Golden Knights (15-3-1) is set for 7:05 p.m. at Cheel Arena in Potsdam, N.Y.
 
Scouting Canisius
• Canisius (10-6-1) continues a four-game road swing Tuesday that began Dec. 30 with a 6-2 setback at No. 5 Cornell.
• Sophomore Dylan McLaughlin is tied for the lead in the Atlantic Hockey Conference scoring race with 27 points (12g, 15a). McLaughlin, who ranks first in the nation in points per game (1.67), begins the week riding a 12-game point-scoring streak that has seen him amass 21 points (10g, 11a) in those contests.
• Senior Ryan Schmelzer ranks second on the team in goals (9), assists (12) and points (21). Schmelzer sits just three points away from becoming the 11th player in the Division I era of the program to reach the 100-point plateau.
• Sophomore Nick Hutchison is third on the team in scoring with 17 points (9g, 8a). Hutchison, who has recorded points in each of the last three contests, is tied for the national lead with four game-winning goals this season.
• Sophomore goaltender Daniel Urbani has started the last nine games between the pipes for Canisius, recording a 2.76 goals against average and a .916 save percentage in that span. 
• The power play continues to be effective as the Griffs are 19-of-71 (.268) with the man advantage thus far this season, ranking third nationally in that category. Canisius has recorded a power-play goal in 14 of 17 games played in 2017-18. 
• Canisius enters the new year ranked fifth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 3.59 goals per game. The Griffs have recorded two or more goals in 15 of 17 games played.
 
Griffs Open Second Half with Loss at No. 5 Cornell
• Canisius opened the second half of the regular season with a 6-2 loss at No. 5 Cornell on Dec. 30.
• With the score tied at 1-1 in the second period, the Big Red tallied three unanswered goals to build a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes. Canisius cut the deficit to 4-2 just 12 seconds into the third, but Cornell scored two goals in in a 3:30 span midway through the final frame to determine the four-goal margin of victory.
• The contest served as just the second meeting between the two Empire State foes and the first since the 2004-05 campaign.
• Canisius moved to 3-3 versus nationally-ranked competition in 2017-18 with the setback. The game was the Griffs' fourth straight against a ranked opponent.
• The Griffs were 1-for-3 with the man advantage as Canisius recorded a power-play goal in a game for the 14th time in 17 contests this season.
• Junior Dylan McLaughlin extended his point-scoring streak to a career-high 12 games with a goal and an assist against the Big Red on Saturday. McLaughlin has recorded two or more points in nine of 16 games played this season.
• Senior Ryan Schmelzer picked up an assist, giving him 97 career points. Schmelzer sits just one helper away from matching former teammate Ralph Cuddemi for ninth place on the program's Division I era career assists list (62).
• Sophomore Nick Hutchison recorded his fourth power-play goal of the season on Saturday, moving him into a tie with McLaughlin for first place on the team in that category.
• Sophomore goaltender Blake Weyrick and freshman defenseman Blake Wareham both made their collegiate debuts in the contest.
 
Scouting Clarkson
• Riding an 11-game winning streak, No. 4 Clarkson (15-3-1) opens the second half of the regular season looking to build upon its torrid start to the 2017-18 campaign.
• The Golden Knights' top line of Devin Brosseau, Sheldon Rempal and Nico Sturm has carried the way offensively this season, accounting for more than one-third of Clarkson's point production.
• Rempal leads the way with a team-high 25 points, highlighted by a team-best 16 goals that has him ranked first in the nation in goals per game (0.84).
• Brosseau is the Knights' second-leading scorer with 21 points; serving as the squad's top playmaker with 17 assists.
• Defense has been the name of the game for the Golden Knights as Clarkson boasts the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation (1.42). The Knights have outscored their opponents 63-27 through their first 19 games, and 45-14 during the current 11-game winning streak.
• Sophomore goaltender Jake Kielly has been outstanding in his second season between the pipes for the Knights, ranking among the top goaltenders in the country in goals against average (1.42/1st), save percentage (.947/3rd) and shutouts (5/1st). 
 
Canisius-Clarkson Series Notes
• Tuesday's contest between Canisius and Clarkson serves as the sixth all-time meeting between the two Empire State foes. The series is tied at 1-1-3 heading into Tuesday's tilt. 
• The Knights took the first matchup of the home-and-home series exactly one month ago, posting a 5-1 victory over the Griffs in early December at HARBORCENTER.
• Four of the previous five contests between the Griffs and the Knights have gone to overtime, with Canisius holding a 1-0-3 edge in those games.
• The Griffs lone win in the series came in their last visit to Cheel Arena, a 4-3 overtime triumph on Nov. 28, 2008. 
 
Griffs Versus Ranked Opponents
• Tuesday's contest at No. 4 Clarkson serves as another opportunity for Canisius to make a splash on the national stage.
• Canisius holds an all-time record of 9-39-4 against nationally-ranked schools since moving to the Division I ranks prior to the start of the 1998-99 season.
• The Griffs are 3-3 this season against ranked opposition this season, splitting an Atlantic Hockey Conference series against No. 18 Air Force at HARBORCENTER in late October, falling to then-No. 3 Clarkson, 5-1, on home ice Dec. 2, sweeping a home-and-home series versus AHC rival No. 20 Niagara Dec. 8-9 and suffering a 6-2 defeat at the hands of No. 5 Cornell on Dec. 30.

Canisius returns to national rankings
• For the second consecutive season and the third time in program history, Canisius finds itself in the national rankings as the Griffs checked in at No. 20 at the latest USCHO.com poll released on Dec. 11.
• Canisius was ranked for the first time in school history at No. 20 after winning the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Tournament in March of that year. The Griffs were tabbed No. 19 in the final poll of the 2013 season the following month.
• Last season, the Griffs were slotted at No. 20 in the March 13 edition of the weekly rankings after extending their program-record unbeaten streak to 17 games with a sweep of rival Niagara in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Conference Tournament.
 
Up Next
• Canisius closes out non-conference play Jan. 5-6 with a two-game series at ECAC Hockey opponent St. Lawrence.  
• Puck drop for both contests at Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y. are set for 7:05 p.m.