CC hockey vs. Clarkson: Three things to watch

October 23, 2013 Updated: October 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm

1. Compete better in opposing and neutral zones

The Tigers (1-1) need to sharpen their forecheck and do a better job moving the puck through the neutral zone to better exert pressure on the Clarkson defense. That was lacking Saturday and Minnesota-Duluth was able to disrupt CC's transition game by clogging up the ice between the blue lines. Lapses in the CC forecheck also allowed the Bulldogs to advance quickly into the Tigers zone to create scoring chances.

"We need to keep getting better," Tigers coach Scott Owens said. "We played well Friday but we took a step back on Saturday."


2. Put in a smart road series

The Tigers need to play hard and clean in games involving ECAC referees, who tend to call things more tightly than western officials. CC must control its emotions better to avoid a string of penalties. That could be a challenge against a physical Golden Knights team that will try to grind out a win.


3. Maintain strong play on the penalty kill

Continued superior performance by the penalty kill would alleviate the sting of any Tigers penalties and take a boisterous crowd at Cheel Arena (3,000 capacity) out of the game. The Knights' 4-1-1 start has their fan base excited.

CC went 12-for-13 in the Minnesota-Duluth series despite two five-minute calls. The visitors will need a comparable performance against a Clarkson power play that is clicking at 20 percent (5-for-25).

"It's important for us to take care of business," senior captain Eamonn McDermott said.

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