POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - The 2020-21 college hockey season kicks off Sunday for the Clarkson Golden Knights men’s hockey team while the St. Lawrence Saints saw their season opener scheduled for Friday night at Appleton Arena postponed Thursday afternoon due to a spike in COVID-19 cases on campus.
The Clarkson Golden Knights hit the road Sunday to travel to Hamilton to face the Colgate Red Raiders in a non-league contest, one of 2 non-league games with Colgate and 9 overall before the start of ECAC play.
These two teams met twice last season, with Clarkson winning 5-1 at Cheel Arena and skating to a 1 all tie in Hamilton.
The players are excited about getting back on the ice and renewing a heated rivalry.
”Yeah, it’s a, you know, we’re all really excited for obvious reasons. Haven’t played in a very long time. You know, we’ve had some good games with Colgate over the years. One thing that stands out for me is that they’re usually a pretty sound defensive team, they’ve had some good goaltending and it’s hockey. It’s, you know, we’re gonna have lots of fun. I think that’s what it comes down to. I think we’re just all really grateful to be back playing games,” said Clarkson junior forward Josh Dunne.
”They’re a good team. They’ve always had good systems.. They play hard, they’re good defensively. It’s gonna be a good test for us right from the start and really get into what ECAC hockey is all about,” said Clarkson senior forward Jack Jacome.
”Well, obviously we had a tough game against them last year, they played us great the last week of the regular season, so Donny always does a good job. Our games are always tight against them. I think they’re excited about their team. You wanna get the season going and see what you think you have. You think you see what you have in practice, you hope it translates into games and we’re just anxious to kinda see the final product.” said Clarkson Men’s Hockey Coach Casey Jones.
Down Route 11 in Canton, the Skating Saints of St. Lawrence should have started their season Friday night, but Thursday afternoon the University announced that the campus COVID-19 alert status had gone from green to yellow, forcing all athletic practices and competitions to be suspended until November 30th, when the school will re-evaluate the situation.
While Saints Coach Brent Brekke is disappointed, he understands the situation and says what’s happened to the Saints is a situation many other teams around the country have seen or are seeing as well.
”I talked to a few coaches across the country from different leagues as they’re going through their week of preparation, and there’s so many teams that have had a bunch of cases already. They still have current cases right now that they’re trying to get guys back in the next few weeks to play, and their roster is limited with their practices, you know? So other than not playing games, we’ve been fortunate we’ve had a full roster. So it’s just one of those where a setback like this, what’s going on around us in the north country here, and then on campus, is a side effect that we’re gonna have to deal with,” said Brekke.
To Brekke’s point, the Clarkson Women’s Hockey Team learned Friday that their season opening 2 game series against Quinnipiac slated for November 28th and 29th at Cheel Arena has been canceled.
Officials at Quinnipiac say that due to a spike in COVID-19 cases on campus, they were calling off both games as a precautionary measure.
The Lady Golden Knights 2 game series at Quinnipiac slated for December 4th and 5th are still on as scheduled for the time being.
Clarkson is looking to fill the 2 dates Quinnipiac was to be at Cheel Arena with another opponent.