Monday, October 30, 2006

Thoughts From Albany

Well I finally watched RPI in action at the Knick (sorry I refuse to call it the Pepsi or the TU or whatever it is called nowadays). Here are my thoughts:

SO MANY PENALITIES: Wow, are the refs calling it like the NHL game or what? The problem is that many of the penalities were ticky tack and not really hooks and interference penalities. This was not just in the RPI games either, it was evident in the Dartmouth/Vermont game which I caught on TV last night.

SPEED KILLS: My favorite NHL team is the Sabres and they kill teams with their speed. RPI might not have a lot f set plays for breaking out of the zone or setting up in the opponent's zone but man can they fly. I understand now why they could hang with teams like Denver and BU, they have some serious speed coming down the wings.

CAPITAIN KIRK: They can't get him off the puck. He look like Jaomir Jagr out there with the puck on his stick. Clearly the most important cog in the RPI machinery.

PP- WHERE ARE YOU?: I know the season is young, RPI has a new coach and new palyers but that PP looked terrible. The passing as bad and everyone was bunching up where the puck was. Yeesh- someone needs to work on the tape to tape passing skills.

2-1-2 overall- not bad- its too abd the NCAA doesn't recognize the shootout but still that Union game was a classic. The USCHO guy picked RPI as the darkhorse team to win the ECAC this year and I have to say, after seeing the team in person, they have a real shot. Best of luck in the coming weeks!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Big Doings Out West

Well- for a team picked close to last in the weak ECAC, RPI has certainly been turning heads so far. After earning a tie with national power BU, they spilt a weekend series with DU winning 2-1 and losing 5-1.

I think its safe to say that Kirk is really leading this team on and off the ice.

But I have to ask, what is with all of the penalities? Is it that RPI is getting outplayed and is resulting in clutching and grabbing? Also, RPI is a young team but sooner or later they have to learn how to close out a game. They lead in the BU game and kept it close for 2 periods in the second DU game but then let up several goals in the third period.

Overall, I have to say I am very impressed by RPI's 1-1-1 start. If they play this well against nationally ranked competition, they will fare very well in the ECAC's.

I will be at the Governor's Cup this weekend and hope to see all of you Red and White supporters out!

Here is a recap of the 2-1 game.

Here is a recap of the 5-1 loss.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

RPI Gets a Tie, Yea?

Sorry for not posting earlier but I was traveling all of last week. Well RPI tied with BU (story follows below). I think the thing to take away from it that Appert already ahs these kids playing at a higher level than last year but they are savy enough right now to put away a game they should have.

Glad to see McDonald have a great game. Hopefully, the Rippees will take away from this game how to win now that they are putting themselves in the position TO win.


TROY, N.Y. — In his introductory press conference in April, new Rensselaer coach Seth Appert promised that the Engineers would play an up-tempo style.
Appert delivered on that promise Saturday against third-ranked Boston University in the season opener for both teams. The Engineers skated hard, were creative offensively and had some excellent scoring chances.
The unfortunate part for RPI is that it didn't translate into a victory. The Terriers rallied from a 3-1 first-period deficit to earn a 4-4 tie before a frenzied sellout crowd of 5,152 at Houston Field House.
"We played how we wanted to play," said Appert, who replaced Dan Fridgen. "We were aggressive, we were up-tempo, we attacked, defensemen were active in the play, we took calculated risks and we made some mistakes, but that happens. I thought, in terms of how we want to be a team [and] how we want to be about, I thought we did a great job and, more importantly, a belief that they have in each other, especially after being scored on right away."
The Terriers took the lead 55 seconds into the game when Brandon Yip beat goalie Mathias Lange. But Tyler Eaves got that one back for RPI 20 seconds later.
Just over a minute after that, Jake Morissette picked up the puck after it went off the skate of Kirk MacDonald, who was making his return after battling testicular cancer last year, and fired it past goalie John Curry. MacDonald got another assist when Jake Luthi scored a power-play goal late in the period.
"It was the longest pregame I ever had today," MacDonald said. "I've been up since the break of dawn, just sitting around thinking about. It's good to get it over with. It was a lot of fun. It was a great atmosphere."
It wasn't so good for BU coach Jack Parker, who saw his team outshot, 15-4, in the first period, and get called for six penalties for 23 minutes, including a major and game misconduct to defenseman Brian Strait for hitting from behind.
"We were embarrassed with what they did to us in the first period," Parker said. "We were outshot, ... and kept the puck in our end. They were all over us."
Chris Higgins started the comeback, scoring a power-play goal with 7:28 left in the second period. Steve Smolinsky tied it 4:38 into the third.
The Engineers regained the advantage on Oren Eizenman's power-play goal with 7:32 remaining in the period. But Higgins tied it 1:18 later.
RPI almost won it late in the third on some nice passing between Eaves, Jonathan Ornelas and Kevin Broad on a three-on-two rush. Ornelas, who had three assists in the game, sent a pass from the right side of the net to Eaves on the left. Only Curry's pad prevented Eaves from scoring his second goal of the game.
"I thought that was great," Appert said. "The creativity, the confidence and the willingness to try to make a great play, not just the safe play and take the outside lane shot, we were extremely pleased with that."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Moy's Season Prediction

Have to say I agree with a lot of his assesments. Great win over York and Kirk apparently looked great. Let's see how red does against BU this weekend.

The Rensselaer Engineers will go into the new season with a new coach and a new attitude. Dan Fridgen's contract was not renewed after last season and new bench boss Seth Appert hopes to bring his style to a team that has not advanced very far in the last few years.
What is there for the Engineers? What has Appert seen?
"We believe we will be very competitive with every team on our schedule," said Appert. "With our solid mix of speed and size we expect to play an up-tempo but physical style."
The up-tempo style is one that Engineer fans have become used to seeing, so many welcome the words coming from Appert. The Engineers have some tools to do just that as Oren Eizenman (16-22-38) returns along with Jonathan Ornelas (13-9-22).
But the biggest boost may be the return of Kirk MacDonald.
After the end of the 2004-05 season, MacDonald learned he had testicular cancer and spent last season getting back in form while fighting it. Now that he has won that battle, he's back for his senior season and ready to lead the Engineers as the team's captain.
"There is no finer example of a class act that Kirk," said Appert. "He's worked real hard to get to this point and he's ready to go. There is no doubt that he is ready, and ready to lead this team."
MacDonald brings 16 goals and 20 assists from two seasons ago back to his team, which can only benefit as the Engineers try to put together an offensive attack.
Kevin Broad missed the last 14 games last season due to injuries and will be welcomed back into the fold as well.
After his battle with cancer, captain Kirk MacDonald returns to bolster RPI's attack (photo: Dave Harmon Photography).
"Kevin is also highly regarded," Appert said. "His passion and commitment to this program and his teammates are evident in everything he does. He always conducts himself in a manner that puts the team first."
Andrew Lord, Kurt Colling, Matt Angers-Goulet and Jake Morrissette will also be asked to up their totals from last season. Jordan Cyr and Paul Kerins will be asked to contribute almost immediately as well.
In the nets, the Engineers return a pair of players who could each be a starting goaltender. Last season, Mathias Lange wrestled the job from Jordan Alford, but both are goaltenders who have stood the test in game competition and will both be a strong foundation.
And they'll need to be, as the Engineers are a little thin on defense. Reed Kipp, Ryan Swanson and Jake Luthi are the only Engineers returning on the blueline, leaving youth and inexperience in at least three spots.
Erik Burgdoerfer, Christian Jensen, Jason Fortino, Peter Merth and Garrett Vassel (who also plays forward) will compete with the other three to get into the lineup.
The Engineers have a lot of work to do, so their progress will likely depend on how fast the defense comes together. The youngsters will get their first big test early, as the Engineers open with Boston University, Denver, Union and either Colgate or Quinnipiac in the nonconference portion of their slate, before the ECACHL games begin.