POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - The latest chapter in the men’s college hockey rivalry between Clarkson and St. Lawrence will take place Friday night.
When the puck drops on Friday night at Cheel Arena in the Route 11 rivalry between the Clarkson Golden Knights and the Skating Saints of St. Lawrence, it will be the 215th meeting between the two teams.
But it will be like no other match-up in the series, with the stands empty due to COVID-19.
Despite that, both coaches expect the intensity level to be just as high with both teams off to solid starts in ECAC play.
“Yeah, obviously that’s part of the fun thing, the antics that are going on behind the glass, so that’s always good,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “Fans not there, so there’s a lot of -- but the intensity’s still there, still bragging rights in the area. You know we’re looking up at them in the standings right now so a lot on the line here this weekend.”
“So that’s definitely something you miss is -- you walk on the ice at Cheel Arena and you’ve got the students yelling and screaming at you, pounding on the glass as you walk onto the bench and it’s fun,” St. Lawrence coach Brent Brekke said. “It’s what’s college sports are all about, is the engagement from the fans, especially the students, but it’s always a special time, you know, to be able to play them as many times as we do this year, it would have been nice to actually have the fans in the stands, but it is what it is.”
It’s an important two-game series for both teams. For the Golden Knights, they are coming off a three-game weekend series in Hamden, Connecticut where they beat Quinnipiac 5-4 in overtime, lost on Saturday 4-3 in overtime, and dropped the rubber game of the series 1-0 on Sunday.
“I did not like our game on Saturday,” Jones said. “That was my concern of the weekend. We were not prepared to play our style of game on Saturday, so when I look back on the weekend that’s the only regrets we have as a team on the weekend. Played really well on Sunday and, you know, got a hot goalie that played well.”
For the Skating Saints, they had their three-game unbeaten streak to open the season snapped at home on Friday night with a 4-2 loss to Colgate but bounced back on Sunday with a 1-all tie against the Red Raiders and won the shootout 3-2.
“You know, we’ve faced some pretty good opponents so far and Clarkson’s going to be right at that level if not better,” Brekke said, “so it will be a good challenge for guys to find out are we continuing to take steps forward every single week and it will be a new challenge against a very talented team.”
The puck drops at 5 p.m. on Friday, with the game broadcast on ESPN+.
Clarkson leads the overall series with 132 wins, 72 losses, and 10 ties.