Monday, December 17, 2007
"For the second straight game, the RedHawks dominated the third period against the Engineers."
"Meanwhile, the Engineers (8-7-3) have been outscored 25-6 in the third."
As I have stated on here many, many times, RPI can compete in the ECAC but run out of juice in the third periods of games against top-tier opponents. I mean, when you get throughly dominated by the best teams in the country, doesn't that say something about the team and the coaching?
Sure, they lads only have so much energy but if you know they are going to skate hard for two periods and get blown out in the third, can't you up the conditioning and/or change coaching strategies to counteract this? Seth, I have been a big proponent of you and I believe in your skill for recruiting but wow, can we right this ship at some point for the ECAC stretch run (I think the holiday tourney is a lost cause at this point)?
Thoughts comments on the weekend that was?
Friday, December 14, 2007
I am excited but wary. I mean, this RPI team skates great against top tier teams for 2 periods and then blows it in the third. Minnesota and ND anyone? I think the long layoff will hurt them in the first game but I think they will win the seond one. Anyone's opinions are welcomed in the comments.
Friday, December 07, 2007
USCHO has lots of RPI goodies in its weekly column I figure I will reprint here. Have a great weekend.
USCHO gives us their month of December predictions:
Saturday, December 15
Miami at Rensselaer
Sunday, December 16
Miami at Rensselaer
Saturday, December 29
Rensselaer vs. Colorado College (Lightning Classic, Tampa, Fla.)
Sunday, December 30
Notre Dame vs. Rensselaer (Lightning Classic Championship, Tampa, Fla.)
Another treat from USCHO:
Red Storm Rising
Sorry Cornell, but it’s not always about you.
Seth Appert has Rensselaer rolling right now, though you may not suspect it at first glance.
“We’ve had a chance to win in every game we’ve played,” said the second-year Trojan. “We’ve had a chance to win in every third period we’ve played,” he added, almost incredulous at his team�s misfortune in translating effort into victories.
Appert pointed out that of the Engineers’ five overall losses, four were to highly ranked opponents (Minnesota, Boston College, Harvard and Notre Dame). The fifth loss was at highly potent and highly regarded Quinnipiac, who has fallen short of preseason expectations thus far.
However, it looks like the ‘Tute might finally be seeing some results to match their improved play.
With a 4-2 win over Harvard in the rearview, Appert was positively impressed with his charges’ game.
“It was probably our best effort of the season…as a combination of skill, execution, and physical intensity,” he said.
Putting four pucks past Kyle Richter should count as a victory in and of itself this season, but RPI made sure to take care of business on both ends of the ice to earn the true W.
“We got traffic to the net…where we were settling for fadeaway jumpers [before] ,” he said, to use a basketball analogy. “Part of the reason we were able to beat Harvard on Tuesday was playing BC, playing Minnesota, and coming close but not close enough.”
“There were more guys on the team who wanted the puck against Harvard and Princeton than there ever were against Minnesota and BC…they all wanted to sit back and wait out the win [back then] .”
“It’s too early to say that we’ve turned the corner, but the signs are there that we’re taking the proper steps,” said Appert.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
This was the best clause in the entire USCHO article: "The 19th-ranked Engineers became the first team to score four goals on the league’s top goalie this season".
Lange got the win and TH got 2 assists. Overall a great night. This has me thinking good thoughts that this game will mark the turnaround in the ECAC for RPI. Now I am just gearing up for their run to Florida!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Isn't it time to admit that the 2 goalie rotation is NOT the way to go. If you can't decide between Lange and Alford at least pick the hot hand and keep playing them until they lose.
What happened this weekend? Lange and Alford started and we got 1 win and 1 loss.
At this point I suggest going with Lange. Not only his is GAA better (1.96 to 2.1) but his save percentage is better (.936 to .926).
I was hoping this weekend RPI would establish themselves in the ECAC but they seem unwilling to win a full weekend. In the ECAC-only weekends so far, RPI has split 2 series and tied games in the other weekend. They did beat 2 ECAC teams in the Gov Cup but since USCHO has the (nc) after the game, it doesn't count in division for me either.
Whose with me?
Friday, November 30, 2007
Rensselaer @ Princeton
Now there’s a strange sight; Princeton is 0-3-0 at home, but 4-1-0 on the road. They’re a good team, but hey, if that’s the way they want to play it... 4-3 RPI.
Rensselaer @ Quinnipiac
QU can weather the hot-and-cold RPI attack ... if it’s toward the “cold” end of the spectrum. If both offenses happen to be on, however, it will be a fun fun game. For the heck of it, I’ll take QU, 5-2.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Well, first off, I have to say it was an amazing experience to be back at the HFH for last weekend's tilt. Its always great to be somewhere with a lot of people wearing the cherry and white. Check out my pics!
As for the games, well for Friday's contest, there was good and bad. The good definitely came in the form of numbers. Particularly 23, 27, 9 and 15. The speed on offense was explosive and while the passing wasn't quite there, the crashing the net was great.
The negative is that the defense was too slow. AIC's forwards were beating the RPI D ALL THE TIME and getting quality breakaways they had no business getting. This could be solved by having the fast forwards backcheck which they weren't doing. There is no way RPI should have a tie in the books from that game.
Saturday's game, what can you say? In what was basically a repeat of the Minnesota game, get out way ahead and have the other team come roaring back. What is it about top tier teams and RPI running out of gas? Clearly I think RPI has the horses to run in the ECAC but can only truly muster 2 periods against the upper echelon.
What were your thoughts of the game? Let me know in the comments!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The tourney is always a kick off to the holiday season and I look forward to it every year. Hopefully I will get another travel mug!
RPI, as typical with their tourney has scheduled an opponent from a conference I have never heard in the first game and then scheduled someone from the WCHA or CCHA in the other part of the bracket. Sure its their tourney and they want to advance to the finals but American International? Some of the teams similarly scheduled over the years have been Bowling Green, Merrimack, Niagara and Robert Morris.
This is not to say all of the teams are creampuffs. RPI has played some great teams in the tourney year after year- here is a listing: http://www.augenblick.org/rpi/h_rrvo.html In fact, just recently they have played OSU, Mercyhurst, Northeastern, among others.
Also, it seems that the CCHA/WCHA opponent will usually have the advantage just by playing in a tougher conference. I remember a few years ago seeing Lake State play at the HFH and while they were the dregs of the CCHA at the time (in between their title runs in the early 90s and their current resurgence) they handled the teams at the holiday tourney pretty easily. I am not saying that RPI will be a pushover to Notre Dame in the final but I have my doubts.
I really think it has to do with the level of play in the conferences. The CCHA, WCHA and Hockey East generally have better recruits and tougher opponents in conference. The ECAC, Atlantic and CHA while having good teams, are on a slightly lower tier competition wise. That is why I am glad Appert has scheduled so many tough non-conference games. Minn, BC, CC, Maine, ND. All of these opponents will be good to cut the ol "teeth" on for RPI and will make them a better program.
Regardless, I will be cheering my RPI heart out this weekend for the lads. Congrats to RPI for maintaining their ranking at 16- http://www.uscho.com/rankings/?data=uscho1m
I will have lots of pics up on Monday and have a happy and safe turkey day! Go RPI!
Friday, November 16, 2007
More specifically, how can RPI be idle this weekend? I can't remember the last time they had a weekend off during the ECAC swing of the schedule. It leaves a little less meat on the bone for the blog and my weekend options.
So question, who is going to the Holiday tourney next weekend? Does Turkey Day inhibit your RPI watching? How many of those travel mugs do you have? I must have 3-5 collected over the years. I look forward to this tourney a lot and can't wait to see the Cherry and White skate American International and probably get beat bad by Notre Dame. Have a good weekend!
Monday, November 12, 2007
TH had 2 assists in the game which, of course, I have to note.
So where does this weekend leave RPI? Its early in the season. We have seen them beat up on the weaklings of the college scene, run out of gas against the top programs and have third period problems against the middle of the pack teams. I guess what this suggests is that RPI will be in the middle of the pack in the ECAC and battling for home ice advantage come playoff team.
I do think they have the talent to be in the final four for the ECAC tourney in Albany. Let me know your thoughts about the weekend and the future in the comments section. Go RPI!
Friday, November 09, 2007
Second- to echo some of the comments, I LOVE our freshmen (especially TH as many of you know) but they are "pass first" type of players. Maybe we put some of them on the line with Ornelas who is a true scorer in my book we can turn those passes into assists.
Coach Appert seems to share the same opinions as many of us in his recent quotes on USCHO:
Rensselaer head coach Seth Appert is asking his team for more shots, more shots, more shots.
“We’re being too selective at times,” Appert continued. “We need to crash and drive the net … and create rebounds,” he said.
The Engineers put only 94 shots on net in their last four games combined, including last weekend’s back-to-back overtime contests against Yale and Brown (both ties).
“The confidence starts to slip [when you’re not scoring] ,” explained the coach, leading to fewer drives toward the net, and more cutesy peripheral passing. Despite holding a 2-0-2 record over those previous four, RPI only totaled eight goals.
Either way, this weekend is a true test for the lads as we see what they are made of on a roadtrip through the ECAC. While I would like them to go 2-0, I think I have to agree with Brian Sullivan's assessment for the weekend. Harvard always seems to have a good program and I am just not sold that RPI's speed can solve them. Let me know your thoughts in the comments and go RPI!
Rensselaer @ Harvard
Harvard took a win from St. Lawrence in the North Country, after losing 2-1 at Clarkson. RPI struggled against Brown and Union. It's Harvard's home opener, too ... what, you haven't seen all the commercials? 5-3 Crimson.
Rensselaer @ Dartmouth
The 'Tute could sneak up on you this year. Especially early, before Ken Schott and I write a whole lot more about them. 4-2 RPI.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
As always, here are the USCHO's picks for this weekend and I disagree. Really, with how the team is playing, how can you not expect a 2-0 weekend? Brown always plays terrible at HFH so that should be a win.
Yale @ Rensselaer
Engineers keep rolling along. Wish I'd seen that coming earlier this season. 3-1 RPI.
Brown @ Rensselaer
Brown in the upset. Bruno is a strong defensive team at heart ... but the Bears will have to show it too, not just feel it. 2-1 Brown.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Here I am, back fresh from Albany. What a weekend! RPI continues undefeated in G Cup play! And their PP and PK continue to be awful! They are tremendous in person with team speed and creativity. They are terrible in non 5-on-5 situations. Appert was yapping at the refs, Lange and Alford both played well, TH padded the stats but looked a little out of it from my vantage point. Good to see Ornelas play well without benefit of the CEO line. Uryadov creates lots of chances. Is it just me or does RPI have a great collection of international talent for a college program. I mean, St. Petersburg, Klagenfrut and Boca Raton. Craziness. I hope you enjoy the pics!
Friday, October 26, 2007
As for last week's games, RPI SHOULD have won those games and did. I think Appert is finally getting the horses he needs through his great recruiting skills to implement a plan of attack that should take RPI deep into the post season over the next few years.
In terms of the goalie situation as a few commentators pointed out, you can go back to previous posts but I have never been in favor of a rotation of goalies. I personally think you should stick with one and go with it. I have always been a supporter of Lange over Alford due to his rookie year but at this point I am willing to say JUST PICK ONE!
Below are USCHO's picks for the weekend. I will be up in Albany for the Cup and can't wait. I am also looking into getting Helfrich on my Puckman jersey but probably won't get it in time. I am not worried about the Union matchup but if they play SLU I think they may lose. It will be a good early season test for RPI with some solid conference rivals.
Rensselaer vs Union (nc, Governor's Cup)
Rensselaer played well at Minnesota and did away with Army and Sacred Heart last weekend. Union hasn't played an NCAA game in two weeks, and may be a bit rusty. 4-2 'Tute. Shrader: RPI
St. Lawrence vs Rensselaer (nc, Governor's Cup championship)
To reiterate, SLU = favorites. My job = predict probable victor. Favorite = probable winner. Saints, 3-2. Shrader: RPI
Friday, October 19, 2007
Rensselaer @ Army
The Engineers put on a good show at Minnesota, regardless of the results. This weekend, the effort should be rewarded on the scoreboard. 4-1 RPI.
Sacred Heart @ Rensselaer
The Engineers hit Houston once more, hosting Sacred Heart and looking for the four-point weekend. SHU is no pushover, and RPI will have its hands full ... but the win is still there for the taking, 5-3.
He's right, this should be a 4 point weekend. Hopefully, RPI can stay out of the box and my boy Tyler can keep adding to his point totals!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
What became clear from the game summaries on USCHO is that RPI took way too many penalties which directly lead to penalties. Minn scored 3 PP goals. With BC- 9 penalties in the third period????? Yeeesh.
I have every confidence in Appert, I don't think RPI is quite to the level of the big boys yet, I am much more interested to see how they fare in the ECAC conference this year.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Next up- a HUGE test for the Appert system now that he has his "horses". The IceBreaker Invitational. The Engineers play Minnesota, the 6th-ranked team in the nation, on Friday at 8:30pm and either #2 Boston College or #9 Michigan on Saturday at 5:30pm.
Let's Go Red!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
TROY, N.Y. - The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey team will conduct its Annual Red/White Scrimmage this Saturday, October 6, beginning at 5pm at the Houston Field House. Following the scrimmage, which marks the collegiate debuts of the team’s nine newcomers, both the men and women’s teams will take part in the Annual Skate with the Engineers.
Both the scrimmage and the skate, which will begin at approximately 7pm, are free and open to the public. The skate-a-long will run until approximately 8:30pm. All those interested in participating are required to bring their own skates.
Players and coaches from both squads will be on hand to skate, “meet and greet” fans, sign autographs and pose for photos.
Rensselaer’s men’s team finished the 2006-07 season with an overall record of 10-18-8. The 2007-08 Engineers return 17 players from that team, including ten forwards, four defensemen and three goaltenders.
Rensselaer opens the 2007-08 campaign on Tuesday, October 9, against Bentley College at 7pm at the Houston Field House. The Engineers then travel to Minnesota to play in the IceBreaker Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center. RPI plays the University of Minnesota, the fifth-ranked team in the country, on Friday, October 12 (8:30pm) and either #2 Boston College or #10 Michigan on October 13 at 5:30pm.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
APPERT NAMED AN ASSISTANT WITH TEAM USA
Head men's hockey coach to work with National Under-18 squad
TROY, N.Y. - USA Hockey announced the roster and coaching staff for its 2007
U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete in the 2007 Under-18 Memorial of
Ivan Hlinka from August 14-18 in Piestany, Slovakia and Hodonin, Czech
Republic and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's head coach Seth
Appert has been chosen to serve as an assistant coach.
Appert, who will be an assistant to Roger Grillo with the U.S. team, is
entering his second season with the Engineers, having led RPI to a 10-18-8
record in 2006-07. The 2007-08 Engineers return 17 players from that team,
including ten forwards, four defensemen and three goaltenders. Nine
newcomers are expected in the fall.
Prior to joining Rensselaer, Appert spent nine seasons 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 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 at Denver. Three of his goaltenders were draft
picks of the National Hockey League, including one Hobey Baker Award
finalist. Two of those netminders have gone on to play in the NHL.
Appert helped Denver sign nationally ranked recruiting classes during his
nine-year tenure with the Pioneers. Among those he coached or recruited were
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
averaged over 23 wins per year during his tenure as an assistant coach and
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 two daughters, Addison and Campbell.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
"We are very excited about this recruiting class," Appert said. "They bring a lot of differ¬ent elements in a nice blend of skill, speed and grit and com¬petitiveness. I think they'll improve us in every area."
The biggest three additions among the eight newcomers are right winger Tyler Helfrich, defenseman Bryan Brutlag and center Joel Malchuk, the final recruit of former coach Dan Fridgen.
Each was previously reported by The Record to be among the 2007-08 freshman class, as were left winger Ben Contini and right winger Scott Halpern.
The newest three additions to the program are solid defense-minded defenseman John F. Kennedy, who's expected to step right in and help the Engineers still painfully young defen¬sive corps, and right wingers Chase Polacek and Kevin Beauregard.
Polacek was a teammate of Brutlag at Academy of the Holy Angels High in Richfield, Minn.
Helfrich, who can also play center, had 18 goals and 32 assists in 42 games in the Alberta Junior Hockey League,
Brutlag was a First Team member of the Minnesota All-State team and Malchuk had 22 goals, 39 assists and a whopping 190 penalty minutes in 53 games in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Appert praised assistant coaches Shawn Kurulak and Jim Montgomery for "the out¬standing job they did in putting this class together. The three of us covered a lot of miles and they did a real good job, especially in their first year together."
Here's Appert's brief description of each recruit, with each's position, height, weight and hometown:
Joel Malchuk, C, 5-foot-10, 170, Brandon, Man. - "We feel like he's our recruit. Joel is a very strong two-way center who plays with passion and an edge. We need more of that around here."
Bryan Brutlag, D, 5-11, 180, Lakeville, Minn. - "Bryan is a very dynamic offensive threat from the blue line. His skill level and competi¬tiveness have made him one of the top defen¬sive recruits in the nation. We've found our power-play point man defenseman."
Tyler Helfrich, RW-C, 5-10, 190, Calgary, Alb. - "Tyler is a gifted offensive player with excellent hands and vision to make his teammates better. He is a proven point producer at every level at which he's played and we expect the same from him at RPI."
John F. Kennedy, D, 6-0, 195, Saginaw, Mich. - "John is a very competitive young man who is a real shut-down defenseman. He's a battler, a tough, tough kid and he's a leader."
Ben Contini, LW, 6-0, 175, Toronto - "Ben is an explosive offensive player. He will be one of our fastest and most talented players upon arrival to campus."
Chase Polacek, RW, 5-8, 165, Edina, Minn. - "Chase is a goal-scorer with great quickness and speed. He has been a high-level point-pro¬ducer for one of the best high school programs in the country."
Scott Halpern, RW, 5-10, 170 - "Scott has the speed and intensity to become an effective two-way forward for us. He has the ability to excel in any role he's put in."
Kevin Beauregard, RW, 6-4, 215, South Windsor, Conn. - "Kevin is a raw talent who has the size and mind to develop into a strong power forward."
Appert says the recruiting class isn't com¬plete.
"There will be at least one more," he said. "Another defenseman at least and if we can a (forward) ...
"You're never done recruiting," Appert added. "If you see a player in July or August who can help your program, you have to go get him."
The 2007-08 RPI roster will have seven sen¬iors on it Appert and his assistants have already gotten a big jump on next year's recruiting.
With high-scoring left winger Patrick Cullen and center Christian Morissette (no relation to captain Jake Morissette) and solid two-way defenseman Mike Bergin, the nucleus of that class is almost set.
"Again, we're excited," Appert said. "We've still got a ways to go, but we're on the way."
Friday, March 02, 2007
No. 9 Rensselaer 6-11-5 (10-16-8) @ No. 8 Colgate 7-12-3 (13-19-4)
Head-to-head Split the league series 1-1-0, Rensselaer wins season series 2-1-0.Rensselaer on the road 3-5-3 (4-7-3 overall)Colgate at home 5-5-1 (7-6-1 overall)Special teams power play: RPI, 10th — 13.8% (15.4) Colgate, 11th — 13.5% (14) penalty kill: RPI, 12th — 78.1% (79.5) Colgate, 4th — 85.3% (84.6)Team offense RPI, 10th — 2.50 (2.53) Colgate, 12th — 2.41 (2.53)Team defense RPI, 12th — 3.82 (3.62) Colgate, 4th — 2.73 (2.56)Key matchup Colgate's first line versus RPI's defense.
The Engineers won the Governor's Cup back at the end of October with a 2-1 win over the Raiders. The 'Gate won their league home game over RPI 3-2 on December 2, but the 'Tute drew even on February 9 with a 3-2 overtime win at the Houston Field House. Despite Seth Appert's favored two-goalie approach at Rensselaer, the three games between these teams have all been Mathias Lange-Mark Dekanich showdowns.
Rensselaer started the Appert Era on the right foot, out of the gate with a 4-1-3 record including a win over Denver, the Governor's Cup, and a tie against Boston University. Since then, however, the team has gone 6-15-5, and has only put together back-to-back wins twice all season ... not the best sign entering a best-of-three series.
The Engineers are hardly rolling over, though; the team has fought for 12 points from its last 13 games, and has split its last seven road games with a 3-3-1 record. Lange has played in each of Rensselaer's last seven games, but was replaced in the season finale against Yale and came in to try to get the Engineers into the game in a loss to St. Lawrence on February 16.
Overall, this is a team that has a very good chance of winning the close games, but can get lit up when the defense is forced to push the envelope facing a deficit.
Colgate's story has been well-documented: the Raiders have not won a single game this season in which they've surrendered three or more goals. In 15 such contests, the team is 0-14-1. But look at the bright side: in the remaining games, the squad is 13-5-3, and 7-4-2 in ECACHL play.
The tormented team has fallen prey to the three-goal curse six times in 17 games since the conclusion of winter break, and sports a 6-9-2 record over that period. In what should come as no surprise, but still seems ironically fitting, the Raiders were 6-0-0 in that same time when scoring three-plus in a game.
Colgate has the horses to play the tight, low-scoring games — the Raiders have won four games and tied three others when maxing out at three goals' production — and they have scorers, too: three players averaging a point-per-game overall, and two more with a dozen goals apiece in league (Tyler Burton and Jesse Winchester). Mark Dekanich is still the reigning Dryden Award winner, last time I checked, and finished the season with the ECACHL's second-best save percentage, .923.
The Red Raiders have been a snakebitten team this season, in that the offense just hasn't connected with the frequency necessary to contend for a title. Dekanich, the defense, and the penalty kill have been stellar. But when your team's top scorers in league earn 28, 25, 19, 11, and eight points, you'd darn well better have a top-notch D-corps. When Colgate has lost, it's primarily been by losing the third period, and decisively so. The Raiders have been outscored 10-1 in the final frame of those last six three-goal-plus losses.
I think Colgate has an edge overall in this series, regardless of the results from their matchups earlier (which didn't demonstrate much in the first place). Colgate won't be tested much by an up-tempo but sniper-deficient Engineer offense, and the youth and inexperience on RPI's blue line — not to mention Colgate getting the last change — will probably give the Raiders enough opportunities to earn the ever-important third-period lead.
A tournament series between Rensselaer and Colgate isn't that big of a deal this season, considering that the ECACHL playoffs mark the third tournament this year that both teams have participated in. Each took part in the Governor's Cup in downtown Albany on Oct. 28-29 and the Rensselaer/Bank of America Holiday Tournament in Troy on Nov. 24-25.
Past ECACHL Notebooks ECACHL Season Preview Oct. 19 Notebook Oct. 26 Notebook Nov. 3 Notebook Nov. 10 Notebook Nov. 17 Notebook Dec. 1 Notebook Dec. 9 Notebook Mid-Season Report Jan. 11 Notebook Jan. 18 Notebook Jan. 26 Notebook Feb. 1 Notebook Feb. 8 Notebook Feb. 15 Notebook Feb. 22 Notebook
In-season tournaments defined the seasons for these two teams. While both finished the regular season with sub-.500 records overall and in the ECAC Hockey League, they had the chance to test themselves against many quality opponents in pressurized situations. Colgate played in four in-season tournaments and RPI competed in three.
Rensselaer faced Colgate in one of those games, the championship game of the Governor's Cup and won the inaugural event with a 2-1 victory. Dan Peace scored with 49 seconds left in regulation to give RPI the late lead that turned into a victory.
The Engineers celebrated the title on the ice at the then-Pepsi Arena (now Times Union Center) and got to experience a tournament title of any type for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
"It definitely helps you and it's part of the reason you appreciate playing in those tournaments. You get a sense of what it feels like to be in a situation where you need to win to advance, and to compete for a championship," RPI coach Seth Appert said.
The tournaments also fill a need for non-Ivy ECACHL teams, as was mentioned in an ECACHL Notebook earlier this season. Several teams need to find a significant number of non-league games, and making them as meaningful as possible can only help a team once the playoffs roll around.
"You can never mimic what playoff intensity is like and the sense of urgency that you need to have," Appert said. "But with 12 non-league games for the non-Ivy League teams there can be a mental letdown for the non-league games and you try to sprinkle in tournaments like those."
The Engineers were the last team to celebrate on ice in downtown Albany, and their quest for the opportunity to do that again begins this weekend.
No. 9 Renssselaer at No. 8 ColgateR: 10-16-8 (6-11-5 ECACHL)C: 13-19-4 (7-12-3 ECACHL)Season Series: RPI leads 2-1Engineer Fact: RPI has never lost a playoff series to Colgate, but two of those series wins came at Houston Field House.Raider Fact: Colgate's current four-game losing streak is its longest since the middle of the 2002-03 season.How RPI Wins: Get more shots to the net. They averaged just 22.3 shots on goal in the three regular-season games against Colgate.How Colgate Wins: Take advantage when down a man. The Raiders have a strong 84.6 percent penalty kill, and RPI has allowed the most short-handed goals against in the nation (12).
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
KIRK MacDONALD A FINALIST FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FOR MEN'S HOCKEYTROY, N.Y. - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athlete KirkMacDonald has been named a finalist for the 2006-07 Men's Hockey Lowe'sSenior CLASS Award. A senior captain, he is one of ten finalists for theaward, which was initially developed in response to the trend of collegebasketball players leaving school early to turn professional. This is thefirst year the award has been extended to men's hockey.A forward from Victoria, B.C., MacDonald is Rensselaer's leading scorer with26 points, including a team-best 12 goals, in 31 games. Eight of his goalshave come on the power play - which ranks 17th in the nation - and one was agame-winning marker. He also has 20 penalties for 40 minutes. In hiscareer, MacDonald, the team's Most Valuable Player in 2004-05 and asecond-year captain, has 102 points (47 goals, 55 assists) in 135 games.MacDonald is a management major who has been on the Dean's List on multipleoccasions. He is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee(SAAC) and he will be inducted into Olympia, Rensselaer's student-athletehonor society. A cancer survivor, MacDonald is also very active in the community, havingserved in numerous charitable and volunteer activities during his career atRensselaer, including:. Helping organize a season-long campaign to raise funds for cancerresearch and awareness of the importance of being tested and educated abouttesticular cancer. At each home game during the 2005-06 season, two membersof the team volunteered to have their heads shaved if a minimum of $100 wasraised per player. Over $11,000 was donated to the Lance ArmstrongFoundation. The gift was one of the largest ever donated by a college ofRPI's size through a grass roots campaign; . Helping organize and obtaining prizes for raffles to help raisefunds for cancer research and to raise awareness; . Serving as a spokesman at RPI and at other local colleges for cancerawareness; . Serving as a member of the committee and Master of Ceremonies forthe inaugural American Cancer Society Relay for Life at Rensselaer, whichraised over $124,000; . Being named to the American Cancer Society Youth Council for NewYork and New Jersey; . Volunteering for the Troy Turkey Trot & as a youth hockey coach; . Helping organize a food drive to benefit Unity House of Troy byreplenishing the organization's shelves after Thanksgiving; . Currently working on the Second Annual American Cancer Society Relayfor Life at RPI.In addition to being named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award,MacDonald is also a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award as well asthe 2007 NCAA Skills Competition. He also won the 2007 Rensselaer AlumniAssociation Community Service Award.CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying inSchool. The award was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor theattributes of college senior athletes who remain committed to theiruniversity and pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bringVoting for the finalists - who were chosen based on personal qualities thatdefine a complete student-athlete (classroom, character, community, andcompetition) - will be done nationwide by fans, coaches, media, andsponsors. Fan balloting begins on March 10 at www.seniorclassaward.com.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Brown @ Rensselaer: RPI has indeed played quite well despite prima facie appearances, and with home ice only two points away, Brown may fall victim to home-ice energy. 3-2 Engineers.
Yale @ Rensselaer: Yale goes into the postseason on a mini-high, as Alec Richards saves the day in hostile territory. 3-2 Eli.
Rensselaer: The Engineers have surrendered 48 goals in their last 10 losses, all since the winter break. Their four wins in that time have each been by one goal. In those losses, the average difference has been a full 3.6 goals, with only one empty-net goal against. On the other hand, the 'Tute is 2-0-8 in overtime games; hard to hope for much better.
RPI looking beyond the Ls
Many teams would be content taking a point from the North Country this season.
Rensselaer and head coach Seth Appert were not.
"I'm disappointed," he said.
St. Lawrence won 6-3, exploding for three goals in the last seven minutes of the game following the Engineers' game-tying goal five minutes into the frame. Clarkson drew their contest even with four seconds remaining on the clock in the 3-3 tie.
"We don't have the ability to score a lot of goals," Appert assessed, "our strength has been winning the close games."
In discussing the significant margin of the team's recent losses, Appert pointed out that when losing close games, you have to take risks that will certainly make the team more vulnerable to counterattacks.
Plus, he said, "in the majority of our recent losses, we've out-chanced our opponents."
The state of his inherited team is one of a young and inexperienced defense, and a talented but productively limited offense. Hence, Appert adjusted his strategy to a quasi-possession game, maintaining the up-tempo style that he prefers despite the lack of intimidating scorers.
Oren Eizenman is doing his part though. Coming back off an injury, he had "probably his best weekend of the year" last week, said his coach.
The Engineers play two at the Houston Field House with postseason home-ice in sight.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
As always, from USCHO:
Rensselaer @ St. Lawrence: How can you not pick the Saints right now? Even I can't not pick them! 5-3 SLU.
Rensselaer @ Clarkson: Against my instinct, I'll stick with my early-season love for the new RPI: 4-2 Engineers.
Monday, February 12, 2007
The good news is that RPI is only 2 points out of the 8th spot which could be made up this week guaranteeing RPI home ice advantage. Either way though, you have to wonder about Lange.
As anyone knows, I have been a big supporter of Lange based on his performance last year and felt his one game in one game out rotation Appert has been doing all season has been hurting his consistency. Yet, when he played back to back games he was great in the first and then yees- 6-1 loss in the second!
I am not ready to give up on Mathias but he needs to show me something in the last part of the season and the playoffs....
Friday, February 09, 2007
Colgate @ Rensselaer: RPI has been struggling for offense, and Colgate has taken the concept of defense to a whole new level (11 goals against in the last six games). Sorry Engineers, but this isn't your night. 4-2 Raiders.
Cornell @ Rensselaer: RPI has looked solid lately, and Cornell has struggled to put pucks in the net with any consistency. I think home ice could be the difference in a defensive struggle. 3-2 Rensselaer.
Also some good quotes from Appert:
"I don't think you can analyze hockey the same way as baseball or football," said Rensselaer head coach Seth Appert, who uses the same basic stats that can be found in most comprehensive game notes.
The Engineers, according to their coach, have 10 set objectives for which they strive every game. These include such straightforward goals as winning the third period, blocking more shots (by percentage) than their opponent, winning 55 percent of faceoffs, and winning the special-teams battle.
"I think when we hit six or seven of those, we're undefeated," said Appert.
Monday, February 05, 2007
I will let Kevin's email update all of you on the weekend that was and the weekend that will be:
The Engineers went 0-2-0 last week against Dartmouth and Harvard. Junior Jordan Alford (Red Deer, AB) posted 24 saves in Friday’s 5-2 loss against the Big Green and sophomore Mathias Lange (Klagenfurt, Austria) stopped 20 shots in a 3-1 loss to the Crimson. Rensselaer is now 8-13-7 overall with a 4-8-4 ECACHL mark and returns to action this weekend when it hosts Colgate (Friday) and Cornell (Saturday). Both games begin at 7pm and can be heard live on 91.5, WRPI and at www.wrpi.org. Live stats for both games will be available at http://livestats.internetconsult.com/rpi/mhockey/.
Friday night's game against Colgate is Ned Harkness Night when the former legendary coach of the Engineers will be added to the prestigious Ring of Honor at the Houston Field House. Saturday's game against Cornell is the 3rd Annual White Out, to which all fans are encouraged to wear white. During the first intermission of that game, senior forward Kirk MacDonald will be presented with his Hockey Humanitarian Award finalist trophy.
The hockey team will also raffle off signed NHL jerseys at both games this weekend, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. In addition, the Engineers will donate their half of the 50-50 drawing.
Friday, February 02, 2007
RPI on the move
The Engineers took four points on the road from Yale and Brown last weekend, and hit Dartmouth and Harvard this week to conclude a four-game road trip.
"Our attention to detail is becoming a lot better," said coach Seth Appert of his team's newfound confidence. "We had trouble earlier on with our physical intensity and our execution ... sometimes we'd be too intense [and make aggressive mistakes] and not execute."
Appert will stick with his rotation of Mathias Lange and Jordan Alford, content with the results so far.
"Jordan had two big road wins [at Union and Yale] ... and Lange had a tough win on the road against Brown."
Catalysts of the team's success have been senior defenseman Jake Luthi and redshirt senior Kirk MacDonald. Luthi leads the team in points (22) and assists (19), while MacDonald has been "everything we'd want in a player this year."
"His leadership and passion are infectious," said Appert of his captain.
As far as this weekend is concerned, "Harvard and Dartmouth put a whoopin' on us [at home]," said Appert. "They embarrassed us on our home ice ... and dominated both games."
While the coach wouldn't go so far as to call it a chance at redemption, the weekend's results will go a long way in indicating exactly what kind of team — and what kind of tenacity — Rensselaer really has this season.
I certainly think RPI has a long way to go this season to cash in the promise of the start of the season but let's seem em beat up on Big Green and the Crimson!
Here are the USCHO predicitions:
Rensselaer @ Dartmouth: RPI is streaky so far this year, but it's the ECACHL — everyone's streaky. I'm not going to bail on the Engineers as my surprise team of the season just yet. 4-2 RPI.
Rensselaer @ Harvard: RPI cools Harvard, if only temporarily. 3-2 Engineers.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Oates fond of RPI
Former Engineer most proud of his diploma
By PETE DOUGHERTY, Staff writer Click byline for more stories by writer. First published: Tuesday, January 30, 2007
TORONTO -- Adam Oates doesn't keep many artifacts from his hockey career around his Palm Springs, Calif., home. One item he does have hanging, though, is his RPI diploma.
Oates, 44, played three seasons at the Troy school before moving on to a potential Hall of Fame pro career, which ended in 2004 with 1,420 points -- 15th on the NHL's all-time list.
"It took me four summers," said Oates, who received a degree in management. "It was very important to me. It's still one of the only things I have up on the wall of my house."
Oates was named honorary captain for this year's American Hockey League All-Star Classic, played here Monday night. His passion now is golf, but Oates, a native of Weston, Ontario, who helped RPI to the 1985 NCAA hockey championship, gets briefed on his alma mater by Dino Macaluso, a former player and his financial advisor.
"RPI is very frustrating to me," said Oates, who would like to see more of an emphasis -- especially financial -- placed on hockey. "I owe them a lot because it was an important time in my life, but I also thought I have given a lot back to the school in terms of recognition.
"You have a fantastic school that I know is an academic school, and no matter what happens, it will be an academic school. Harvard can win 10 titles in a row in every sport and it's going to be Harvard. RPI is going to be no different."
Expansion anticipated AHL president/CEO Dave Andrews said he anticipates a 29-team AHL next season, up two.
The Colorado Avalanche, which currently supply half of the Albany River Rats' roster, announced earlier this month that they will house their players in Cleveland, where a group of investors bought the dormant Utah franchise. The team will be called the Lake Erie Monsters.
The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to move their affiliation from Norfolk to Rockford, if the Illinois city can acquire a franchise. A dormant franchise in Cincinnati is targeted. The Edmonton Oilers or Florida Panthers are possible tenants for Norfolk.
Roster retooling possible
The AHL's agreement with its players association expires Sept. 1. Andrews said the subjects of expanded game rosters (currently 17 skaters and two goalies are permitted to dress) and schedule reduction may be discussed.
Monday, January 29, 2007
This weekend showed the grit of the lads against their Ivy League breathern with wins of 2-1 and 4-3 over Yale and Brown. Here are the game recaps via USCHO:
Orneals had 2 goals and an assist and its fair to say RPI needs him healthy along with Captain Kirk in order to make any run at all.
It seems that Appert is content on rotating the goalies. One has to think he will choose one eventually and I am all in favor of Mathias. We will see what happens- go Rippeee!
Friday, January 26, 2007
Rensselaer @ Yale: Yale's been going in the wrong direction, while RPI might be onto something again. 4-2 Engineers.
Rensselaer @ Brown: RPI resurgence is at hand. Brown can't outscore the 'Tute in this one, 5-3 for a happy weekend in Troy.
And even more on RPI from the ECACHL's blogger:
As coach Seth Appert sees it, the Engineers have hit the floor, and are already back into a climb.
"We've made good strides the last few weeks," he said. "We hit bottom that Harvard/Dartmouth weekend [January 5-6], but we've made good strides since about halfway through the Dartmouth game."
Appert cited a serial killer as the source of the team's frustrations: consistency.
"We lacked consistency in our mental and physical efforts," he said. "The combination has been elusive at times."
But the first-year boss reassured that the killer wouldn't inflict more than a wound on his team.
"There is frustration, of course. The players want to win, the coaches want to win. But it's how you deal with that frustration ... the players chose not to break up or splinter, but stay together." Morale, he said, is solid.
With four road games in a row up ahead, the travel time may be just what the 'Tute needs. Yale and Brown this weekend will serve as hearty appetizers, while the Engineers might hope to seek a measure of redemption — at least from within themselves — with the Harvard-Dartmouth trip next weekend.
"Sometimes it's good to get on the road," Appert said, "away from the distractions. It will be some good time to spend together [as a team]."
Rensselaer is still running with Mathias Lange and Jordan Alfond alternating between the pipes. Neither is putting up All-American numbers, but Appert is content with their efforts.
"Our young defense [three freshmen, one sophomore] is sometimes leaving them in tough situations. For the most part, [the goalies] have been pretty consistent."
Senior defenseman Jake Luthi's three goals and 19 assists leads the team in points, while four different players' seven goals lead the team in that category.
"Our depth is a strength," said Appert. "We don't have, right now, that many guys that we know night to night will put points on the board. We have to score by committee, win by committee."
And with any luck, rise by committee.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Clarkson still sucks!
I am not sure what to say at this point. Maybe the team can get a late season surge going here and do something in the ECAC playoff but probably not.
On the positive front, it sounds like the recruits are coming in for RPI but no ones out of the CHL. I think Appert has start to shaking those bushes to really up the talent level.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Its just right now there are too many injuries, too many young players and too new a system to get this together for this season.
It still doesn't mean I won't be cheering for Ripeee! Here is USCHO's take on the weekend:
Clarkson @ Rensselaer: RPI dodged a major bullet in splitting with Union last weekend. Clarkson is the warm-up act to the Big Red Freakout ... will this be a big turnaround weekend or not for the 'Tute? Clarkson says no. 5-1 Knights.
St. Lawrence @ Rensselaer: If RPI loses the Freakout, I'll ... be seriously disappointed ...? Gotta pick the Engineers in front of the crazies. 4-2 RPI.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Union @ Rensselaer: Rivalry weekend! If RPI can't win this game, their season might be — for all intents and purposes — done for. There is no way the Engineers will come out at less than 100%. Should be a heck of a fight... here's to underdog optimism, 4-2 'Tute.
Rensselaer @ Union: Heaven help me, I'm taking the home team again. Mrazek et al. split the weekend, 3-1.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
I thought that this weekend, when the ECAC schedule would really start heating up for RPI and would show what they could do and this is the result, I am very pessimistic for the rest of the season.
I am not sure what the fix is. Obviously Captian Kirk is pulling is weight but what is going on in goal and on D? Very discouraging results, anyone care to cheer me up?
Friday, January 05, 2007
Harvard @ Rensselaer: One win in your last ten games is not good. (Lookin' at you, RPI.) At least the Engineers got five points during that stretch, or the situation could really be dire. I'm not one to dismiss my convictions before the final gun, so I'm thinking that Appert will have his charges refocused for the second half against an up-and-down Crimson side. 3-2 'Tute.
Dartmouth @ Rensselaer: Dartmouth: hungry to win, Rensselaer: not looking too convincing entering the break. I'll pick the road upset in this one as the Visitors get a much-needed midseason insurance point. 2-1 Green.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Of course, its not all RPI's fault. There are 2 major cogs still injured and the team only recently got back Capitain Kirk. Still, I am not holding my breath as RPI really gets into the meat of their ECAC season this weekend.