Something about playing for trophies must get Clarkson going.
The ECAC’s Golden Knights clinched an in-season tournament championship for the third time in three years (after going a decade without one) last weekend, beating nationally-ranked Arizona State and defending national champion Minnesota Duluth to win the Desert Hockey Classic at Gila River Arena, the home of the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes.
Clarkson earned a 3-0 win over the host Sun Devils in the opening round, thanks to a 15-save effort from junior Jake Kielly. It was his third shutout of the season and 14th career, which puts him two away from tying the school’s career record that has stood since 1931. The Golden Knight starter in all 17 games this season, Kielly made 29 stops in Saturday night’s 3-1 championship game and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
With those efforts, the Eden Prairie, Minn., native ranks in the top-15 nationally in goals against average (1.96) and save percentage (.928) this season. Kielly has backstopped the nation’s fifth-ranked as the Golden Knights average only two goals allowed per game, behind only Quinnipiac among ECAC teams.