November 8, 2007
Clarkson's Marks Man Takes On Bigger Role

By Joe Gladziszewski

When Clarkson forward Shawn Weller opted to sign a professional contract with the Ottawa Senators last spring, just weeks after helping the Golden Knights back to the NCAA Tournament and back to the top of ECAC Hockey with a team-high 19 goals and 40 points, it was clear that his contributions and style of play would be missed in Potsdam.

ECAC Hockey Notebook

Tim Marks recorded his first career hat trick in a win over Dartmouth last Saturday and was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week.

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But the Golden Knights' coaching staff saw an opportunity for someone to step in and pick up the slack for Weller's departure, and turned to a freshman who played in 37 games last year and produced only six points in a fourth-line role. And while Tim Marks' point production was vastly different from Weller, he did bring attributes that made Weller a highly regarded college player.

Specifically, the 6-foot-3, 217-pound frame of Marks compares favorably with Weller's physical stature (6-1, 200). Clarkson's coaches challenged Marks to get better over the summer, specifically improving his skating and fitness, and he responded by coming back to campus ready to make a difference after working out with former Clarkson stars Craig Conroy and Chris Clark.

"The big thing for him to get this opportunity depended on how he conditioned himself. Tim made a commitment and came back in great shape and fit in great in that spot, and they're similar players," Clarkson coach George Roll said.

No longer stuck on the fourth line, Marks has slotted in on the left wing of a line with Steve Zalewski and Matt Beca, where Shawn Weller played last year. He's responded with five goals and six points already this season, including a hat trick in last Saturday's win over Dartmouth.

The Golden Knights are off to a 3-0-0 in ECAC Hockey with wins at home against three teams expected to finish in the upper half of the league standings (St. Lawrence, Harvard, Dartmouth) and now Clarkson needs to find a way to carry that success on the road with games at Quinnipiac and Princeton. They'll look to lessons learned in a late-October trip to Lake Superior State, where they played well but only managed a split as defensive breakdowns and penalties plagued the Knights in the second game.

Clarkson was bolstered by the return of stalwart defenseman Phil Paquet last weekend, who paired with Grant Clitsome and didn't miss beat after missing the first six games of the season due to injury. Paquet had two assists and a plus-2 rating on the weekend.

"He was awesome, and has such a presence. Those guys are great together and it gives us a pretty good pair of defensemen that we can put out against the other team's top line," Roll said.


Balancing Anger and Swagger: No losses in six games is usually viewed as a success, and it is at Rensselaer, where the Engineers are 4-0-2 in their last six after two ties last weekend against Yale and Brown. The six-game unbeaten streak is only bettered by Miami's 8-0-0 start. The first night saw RPI salvage a point when Jake Morissette scored in the final minute against Yale. The second night saw RPI take a 2-0 lead and miss on a few odd-man rushes and hit some posts late in the second period, and Brown turned the game around in the third period and eventually tied it in the last minute.

"We played too well to tie on Saturday, and I give credit to Brown for playing a great third period and coming back to tie the game," Rensselaer coach Seth Appert said. "We didn't take advantage of our opportunities and they got some life with their first goal and tied it at the end."

RPI was good in the close games last year, compiling a 9-3 record in games decided by one goal. They also had eight ties. So what do those ties mean for this weekend's games at Harvard and Dartmouth?

"There are two ways to look at it," Appert said. "You don't want to be happy with the ties and you want some anger and some edge to your game, but you also want to carry a swagger that we're playing well and right now it's tough to beat us. That's something that we're trying to develop and we took another step forward against Yale, but against Brown we took a step back."

Great Weekend Getaway
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Clarkson at Princeton
(Saturday, 4:30 p.m.)

If you were asked before the season to pick a game between two nationally-ranked teams on Nov. 10, you'd probably have selected St. Lawrence-Quinnipiac or even Dartmouth-Rensselaer. But the Princeton Tigers are off to an undefeated start and welcome first-place Clarkson to Baker Rink, where Princeton has defeated the Golden Knights in each of Clarkson's last two visits.

While You're There: Get to town early and check out one of the longest-standing rivalries in college football as Yale visits Princeton for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday. After the game, head to the hockey game at Baker Rink ... and make time to stop at Hoagie Haven sometime during the weekend.

Stick Salute

Former Cornell standout Matt Moulson scored a goal in his first NHL game last week for the Los Angeles Kings. He played two games last weekend before being sent down to Manchester of the American Hockey League, but wasn't there long as the Kings recalled Moulson to The Show again on Wednesday.

Bench Minor

Four different goalies have started games for St. Lawrence out of eight games played so far this year. If you have four starting goalies, you actually have none.


• Sunday's Colgate-Yale game at Ingalls Rink will be televised on ESPNU, beginning at 4 p.m. The Raiders have scored just four goals in their last five games. The Bulldogs have a win and two ties in their last three outings, and goalie Billy Blase has allowed just four goals in just under 210 minutes.

• Six different players accounted for Harvard's seven goals last weekend in a 2-1 loss to Clarkson and 6-1 win over St. Lawrence, and Kyle Richter stopped 62 of the 65 shots he faced.

• Union outshot Brown 35-18 and Yale 37-23 in two games last weekend, earning a tie both nights. Goalie Justin Mrazek was yanked in the first minute of the second period against Brown after allowing two goals on six shots.

• Quinnipiac's Ben Nelson, Bryan Leitch, and David Marshall each have three goals on the season to lead their team in that category. Brandon Wong has yet to score in six games this season, after tallying 27 times last season to rank among the nation's leaders.

• Brown standout seniors Jeff Prough and Sean Hurley could reach noteworthy milestones this weekend, as each could play in his 100th career game. Prough, a forward, has 99 career games played and 85 career points. Hurley, a defenseman, has played in 98 games so far and has 61 points.

• Dartmouth goalie Mike Devine summed up the Big Green's weekend split at St. Lawrence (a 2-1 win) and Clarkson (a 4-3 loss) as follows: “Friday night, we played a whole 60 minutes,” Devine said. “Saturday, we took some shifts off and only played about 50 minutes of our type of hockey, myself included. Unfortunately, during those 10 minutes we took off, they scored three goals and that won the game for them.”

• The numbers don't tell the whole story for Cornell goalie Ben Scrivens, who has allowed six goals in his two games. Four of those six goals were scored while the opposing team was on the power play and a fifth one came on a penalty shot (by Quinnipiac's Mike Atkinson). Scrivens and goaltending mate Troy Davenport have combined for a .865 save percentage through the Big Red's three games.

• Clarkson's Roll has 80 career wins as the head of the Golden Knights and 199 wins overall as a collegiate head coach. His next victory will be the 200th of his career.

• After Saturday's game against Clarkson, Princeton will host a dedication ceremony for the lobbies at the east end of Hobey Baker Rink. The weekend event will be Princeton's second of three Saturday afternoon games in the span of four weeks. After playing Colgate in the afternoon last week and this week's game against Clarkson, the Tigers and Quinnipiac will play on Nov. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in a game televised on NESN.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be reached at