A North Country sweep and a tie at the top

Clarkson has piled up the wins over the first half thanks to a stingy defense. But this weekend, the Golden Knights showed they could win shootouts too, sweeping rival St. Lawrence by scores of 5-4 and 4-3.

The Saints led in both games, but Clarkson scored three unanswered goals over a six-minute span Friday, while the Golden Knights erased a 3-2 first-period deficit Saturday at a sold-out Appleton Arena. Friday’s game at Cheel Arena featured the third-largest crowd ever in Clarkson history.

With the two wins, Clarkson is now on a 7-0-1 run against St. Lawrence. The Golden Knights are also third in the ECAC with a 6-2 record, although they have two games in hand over first-place Quinnipiac. Clarkson is off for the holidays, resuming the second half against Vermont in the Catamount Cup on Dec. 28.

A winless weekend for the Bobcats; Dutchmen on fire:  It’s been a while since Quinnipiac has a weekend with a zero in the win column. That’s what happens when you rattle off unbeaten streaks of 21-and-13 games over the last calendar year.

But the Bobcats came home from the Capital Region with only one point, thanks to a 3-3 tie at Rensselaer Friday, and a 6-4 loss at Union Saturday.  The last time Quinnipiac didn’t get at least one win in a two-game weekend was Nov. 18-19, 2011, when the Bobcats lost at Colgate and Cornell.

The six goals allowed Saturday at Union were the most Quinnipiac has given up since a 6-3 loss against Harvard on Feb. 3, 2012.

Meanwhile, the Dutchmen extended their winning streak to seven games. Union is 9-1 over its last ten games, and is tied for first place with the Bobcats, with two games in hand.

The Dutchmen face Dartmouth Wednesday night before heading to St. Cloud State for two games this weekend.  The Huskies are on a seven-game unbeaten streak of their own, and were ranked No. 2 in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll entering the weekend.

Individual highlights abound:  Teammate Ryan Haggerty may lead the nation in goals, but RPI forward Brock Higgs is having quite a season of his own so far. The senior has a career-best 11 goals in 16 games this season, including this highlight-reel score against Princeton Saturday.

Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig became the second league goalie is under two weeks to score a goal.  While not as noteworthy as Cornell goalie Mitch Gilliam’s empty-netter Nov. 26, it’s still an unusual feat. Garteig was given the goal after review of the game film from Saturday’s matchup with Union. Dutchmen defender Shayne Gostisbehere tipped the puck into his own net, and it was determined that Garteig was the last Bobcat player to touch it.