Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Captain Possibly Being Honored

Good news for Captain Kirk:

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

Friday, February 23, 2007

Quiet Before The Storm

Here we go- another weekend in the ECACHL. The playoffs are coming- here is what rpi fans gave to look forward to.

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


Well not quite the trip envisioned by the RPI faithful but clearly this is a team on the cusp but not there yet. Hopefully SA will get the lads tuned up for a respectible showing in the ECAC's

Friday, February 16, 2007

North Country

Here comes RPI! Well, they could use a sweep this weekend and certainly the quality of opponents they face this weekend will make that a difficult task. But it will be interesting to see if Appert really has em revved up for the ECAC playoffs or if this is a quick swan song....

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

Mixed Bag Again

Another win/loss weekend for the lads of Troy. RPI currently sits 9th in the ECAC and would face Princeton without home ice advantage if the playoffs were to commence today.

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

RPI Get Ready

Here we go- the weekend is here- grab a beer! And grab some RPI hockey. The predictions come from USCHO:

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

Well 0-2 after this weekend although everyone who listened or saw the games said htey are playing much better. It still seems RPI is a few seasons away at this point.

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 Live stats for both games will be available at

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?

According to USCHO:
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.