Friday, April 21, 2006

Appert Introduced!

Please join us at the Mueller Center tonight at 8pm for the introduction of Seth Appert, the new head coach of the men's hockey team, to the media and community. The Mueller Center is located on 15th Street between the AS+RC & Public Safety/Visitors Information Buildings. For those who cannot attend, the event will be broadcast live on WRPI, 91.5 FM, and Thank you. Kevin Beattie Sports Information Director Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New Head Coach!

SETH APPERT SLATED TO BECOME HEAD MEN'S HOCKEY COACH TROY, N.Y. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) President Shirley Ann Jackson today announced the selection of Seth Appert as the new head men's hockey coach. Appert is slated to become the 12th head men's hockey coach in RPI's storied hockey history. "Rensselaer attracts the best of the best and once again we have done so with the hiring of Seth Appert," President Jackson said. "He is a proven teacher and a leader. His passion for the sport and commitment to education make him a perfect fit for the Institute and we enthusiastically welcome him into the Rensselaer family." "Seth is recognized throughout college hockey as a winner on and off the ice," said Director of Athletics Ken Ralph. "He is a person who consistently brings out the best in his players and we fully expect him to do so at Rensselaer." Appert, who succeeds Dan Fridgen, is taking over a program that returns 18 players from the 2005-06 season, including two of the top three scorers and the starting goaltender. In addition, Kirk MacDonald, the team's top scorer in 2004-05 who was a medical red-shirt this season, is also expected to return. "I am honored to lead the hockey program at such a prestigious institution as Rensselaer," said Appert. "I am confident that my goals for the hockey program are consistent with Rensselaer's institutional vision that stresses the overall excellence of the students and the athletes. I am looking forward to the challenge of developing and maintaining a hockey program that both the institution and the community will be proud to call their own." "Seth is a dynamic coach who embraces the Rensselaer tradition of not compromising academic standards," Vice President of Student Life Eddie Ade Knowles said. "He will contribute to the development of our student-athletes into winners in all aspects of their lives." Appert recently concluded his ninth season as an assistant coach at the University of Denver, where he was responsible for recruiting, on-ice coaching, video breakdown, and game analysis work. He also played a big role in the development of Denver's goaltenders. A collegiate netminder at Ferris State University, Appert has individually coached one All-American, two All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) honorees, two WCHA Playoff Most Valuable Players, and two Frozen Four Most Outstanding Players. Three of his goaltenders have been draft picks of the National Hockey League, including one Hobey Baker Award finalist. Two of those netminders played in the NHL this season. Appert has helped Denver sign nationally ranked recruiting classes each of the past seven years. Among those he has coached or recruited are the 2006 Hobey Baker Award winner, eight All-Americans, a WCHA Player of the Year, 22 All-WCHA picks, three WCHA Defensive Players of the Year, two WCHA Student-Athletes of the Year, and 17 NHL draft picks at Denver. The Pioneers have averaged over 23 wins per year in his tenure as an assistant coach and have captured two NCAA National Championships, three WCHA playoff championships, and two WCHA regular-season titles in his years of coaching at Denver. A four-year letterwinner at Ferris State from 1992-96, Appert and his wife, Jill, have one child, a 1-year old daughter, Addison. Appert has verbally agreed to, and is in the process of finalizing, a four-year contract with Rensselaer.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Croxton Returns to A-town

Kevin Croxton was one of my favorite players on RPI in the last 20 years. I am glad to see that he is doing well in Springfield!

Croxton flies with Falcons as AHL rookie
RPI star gets assist in Springfield debut

By DAN FARRAND, Special to the Times Union First published: Thursday, April 6, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Kevin Croxton was waiting. His anticipation grew, his body tensed, but the moment passed in silence.
"That was the weirdest part," Croxton said after making his pro debut with the American Hockey League's Springfield Falcons last Friday against the Hartford Wolf Pack at Mass Mutual Center. "Not the uniform or the number, but during the anthem, and not hearing the 'Red' from the crowd was strange."
That was Croxton's wake-up call. That and taking a hard check that left him sprawled out on the ice from Wolf Pack defenseman Dale Purinton on his first AHL shift in the Falcons' 9-3 loss.
"It hurt," the Calgary, Alberta, native said. "There's more selective hitting at this level. Guys don't hit as much, but when they do it hurts."
Croxton said that early in the game, he was just trying to stay out of his own way, but he found his groove when he notched his first career point with an assist on Dan Cavanaugh's goal in the second period.
Croxton created the scoring opportunity by breaking out of his own zone, taking a pass from teammate Zbynek Hrdel at the center face-off circle, drawing both defenders as he crossed the blue line, and dropping a pass to a trailing Cavanaugh who beat Wolf Pack goaltender Robert Gherson on a shot that deflected off a Hartford defenseman.
Croxton, who led RPI with 15 goals and 25 assists in 31 games this season, called it a "garbage assist."
Claude Loiselle, assistant general manager of Springfield's parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, didn't see it that way.
"Just from that little play there, you could see his talent," said Loiselle, who signed Croxton to an amateur tryout contract on March 24. "He saw we had control of the puck; he broke to open ice and got the puck on his backhand."
Loiselle -- a former Adirondack Red Wing -- said Croxton's intelligence, hands, speed, and play-making ability piqued Tampa Bay's interest.
Loiselle was thrilled to see Croxton get on the board early.
"It's terrific, especially at this level," Loiselle said. "The next step is the National Hockey League; you're playing with a lot of good players out there, so getting a quick point can aide a player's confidence."
While Croxton appears to be taking to the professional game on the ice, he is suffering a tougher adjustment off it.
"It can get pretty boring," Croxton said. "Practices only go for about 30 to 45 minutes, an hour at the most, because we have so many games. It can be tough to really get your legs into it."
Croxton's former RPI teammates Kirk MacDonald, Brad Farynuk, Jonathan Ornelas, Jake Morissette and Mathias Lange made the trip to Springfield for last Friday's game.
Croxton's 149 games for the Engineers were the most in school history. His 86 assists leave him ranked 19th and his 143 career points place him 24th on the school's all-time list. His 15 goals and 15 assists in the 2002-03 season made him the first freshman to lead the Engineers in scoring since Joe Juneau in 1987-88.
The senior, despite leaving early, will also still graduate in May, having completed the core requirements for his management degree before this semester.
Croxton will remain with the Falcons until their season ends April 15 against the Portland Pirates. He will then become a free agent and be reevaluated by the Lightning organization.
Loiselle said Croxton could be one of about 30 players invited to the Lightning's rookie development and conditioning camp in Tampa sometime in mid-July. Meanwhile, Croxton is living his dream.
"It's unbelievable to play professional hockey," Croxton said. "Hopefully I can keep it going as long as possible."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

End Of Season Awards Announced

MEN'S HOCKEY ANNOUNCES YEAR-END AWARDS Croxton and Lange share team's Most Valuable Player honor TROY, N.Y. - The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's ice hockey team recently held its' season-ending banquet, where the team's 2005-06 award winners were announced. The men's ice hockey staff handed out five awards. Sharing the team's highest award, the Most Valuable Player, were forward Kevin Croxton and goaltender Mathias Lange. A senior from Calgary, Alb., Croxton led the Engineers in scoring with 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points in 31 games played. He had two power play goals and two game winning goals as well. Croxton finished his collegiate career with 57 goals and 86 assists for 143 points in a school record 147 games. A Pre-Season All-American Honorable Mention in his junior season and a three-time ECACHL All-Academic, he was the team's leading scorer in three out of his four years at Rensselaer. Lange started 34 games in goal for the Engineers. A freshman from Klagenfurt, Austria, he posted a 13-15-6 overall record with a 2.70 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. He had two shutouts. Lange also set the school record for ties in a season with six and was a unanimous selection for the ECACHL All-Rookie Team. The Engineers' Most Improved Player was junior defenseman Ryan Swanson, who tallied a goal and seven assists for eight points in 35 games. A native of Woodbury, Minn., he had played in 14 games through his first two seasons at Rensselaer, registering one assist. Taking home this year's Coaches Award was senior Keith MCWilliams. The defenseman from Valencia, Calif., tallied nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points in 34 games. He had three power play goals and one game-winning goal. He finished his collegiate career with 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points in 114 games. In addition to being named to the All-ECACHL Third Team at season's end, MCWilliams was a three-time ECACHL All-Academic. Sophomore Andrew Lord, a forward from West Vancouver, B.C., earned the Scholar-Athlete Award, which is presented to the player with the highest cumulative grade point average over a minimum of three semesters at Rensselaer. On the ice, the management major, who garnered his first ECACHL All-Academic honor this year, played in 32 games, tallying seven goals and six assists for 13 points, including four power play goals, and two game winning goals.