Friday, November 30, 2007

The Southern Swing

Tonight and tomorrow, RPI is in my neck of the woods with trips to NJ and CT. I think both of these teams are about RPI's "speed" so I look for 2 wins this week. Does Appert continue to rotate goalies? I think he should stick with Lange at this point. Thoughts?

USCHO's previews:

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

This Weekend

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

Happy Thanksgiving

Well here we are, the day before I stuff my face full of turkey. Of course, I couldn't be happier as I am traveling up to the Capital District for this and will be catching the holiday tournament and the good ol HFH.

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: 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-

I will have lots of pics up on Monday and have a happy and safe turkey day! Go RPI!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cold Enough For Ya?

Looking up the weather for the Capital District has me lacing up the boots. Seriously, 29 degrees is the low tonight? Makes me glad I am living in the temperate NYC area. I will be up there next weekend for Turkey Day and hopefully catching a few games but this cold weather has me thinking hockey and has me thinking about this weekend.

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

We Are Who We Thought They Were

To borrow a quote from Dennis Green. Well, the weekend, went pretty much as expected. RPI, shutout by a superior Harvard team and then (with Appert lighting a fire under them) destroyed Dartmouth 7-4.

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

The Weekend Is Here!

First off- thanks for all the great discussions going on in the last post- I think this site has finally found its stride after a year!

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

Ummmm, what?

2 ties? Ties against teams RPI should beat? From what I heard, Yale out skated RPI and with Brown- once again there were third period problems in allowing them to come back. A "T" is not an "L" but what does this say about how RPI will fare against the rest of the ECAC? Anyone there at the games care to comment?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Is Here

Are you prepared for the RPI Swarm, errr Engineers, errr Res Hawks, errr the RPI Men's Hockey Team? I know I am! I also know that for the second year in a row, I have high expectations for the hockey team. We will see if they cool off from their 5-2 17th ranked start, I am hoping not!

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.