Friday, February 29, 2008

Last Stand

Here we go folks- the last weekend of the regular season. RPI's season has been a disappointment. There has been massive losing streaks, third period meltdowns and the first Freakout loss in forever. If this team is going to inspire me with any hopes for any type of playoff run, this is the weekend to do it.

Going up against weaker Ivys should do the trick. I predict a sweep this weekend for the cherry and white. Of course, it matters not as they are the road team next weekend for the ECAC playoffs but let's show some spirit. USCHO disagrees with me. Do you?

USCHO's picks.

Rensselaer @ Brown
Brown has been playing better, and holds an advantage in a game between two sputtering offenses. 3-2 Bruno.

Rensselaer @ Yale
No reason for it, but just to demonstrate my wild and wacky antics, I'm picking RPI on a hunch. 4-2, and this one's a 5:30 p.m. start at the Whale.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Different Location Same Results

On non-consecutive weekends, RPI played SLU and Clarkson and came away 1-1-0 from the weekend. What does this mean? Is it the only team RPI can defeat is SLU? Why didn't Clarkson know that they still suck?

TH is coming on in the goal scoring category which I think is more important for the team then him racking up assists. He has been consistently the leading point scorer on the team but with much more assists. Hopefully he will develop into a goal scorer which seems to be lacking recently.

I really don't have much to add as I am very fearful the season will end with the first round of the playoffs this year. Maybe I will feel better if they destroy the Ivyies this weekend.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Weekend Fun

Ok- here we go. My last post was pretty depressing. And I am kind of keeping that theme for this weekend's predictions. I mean, I thought they would split and now they have the North Country contingent coming to town. If I had hope, I would say they would beat SLU and lose to Clarkson but at this point I say a tie with SLU and a loss to the Golden Knights. There needs to be a change in the team's attitude and this is definitely the weekend to do it.

USCHO picks:

St. Lawrence @ Rensselaer
"Oh dear God, you're speechless. I won I won an argument Jack, it's unprecedented. We'll be at the playground drinking beer. Oh God, we love beer." Rensselaer wins this argument, and celebrates accordingly. At the playground. 4-2 'Tute.

Clarkson @ Rensselaer
"Or ... we could skip the day-trip to Unnecessary Land and instead simply concede that Mrs. Wilk is my patient and that, while we are both attendings, we are in no way equals — we are in fact not equals. We are — hmmm — unequals." These teams? Unequals. 5-2 Knights.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Wow- was I wrong. Here I was thinking the Dartmouth game was a turning point in the season. Something to look back upon and say- hey this team is FINALLY going in the right direction but what do we have......

4-0 and 7-1 losses? Sure Central New York is not kind this year but man, that was just rough. I guess for me, its really all about seeing if they can do anything in this next stretch of games otherwise its just looking at my watch until they lose in the first round of the playoffs.

These are dark times in RPI-fan-land. I think the team gave up after that holiday tourney in Florida. Once they went up against the cream de la creme and lost AGAIN they spiraled downward. Appert clearly can't steer this team back this year. Here is to next year!

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Weekend That Will Be

A tough stretch of games in the heartland of NY for sure but who isn't pumped up after that spirited comeback last week? USCHO seems less than positive about this weekend's tilts but I still hold out hope. Will the cherry and red beat Cornell? Doubtful. Will they give Colgate a good tussle- yes! I foresee a split weekend which would be a good confidence builder for the lads (its sad that is where we are in the season but so be it).

RPI 4-3 over Gate and 5-2 losers against Cornell. You heard it here first!

Rensselaer @ Colgate
Could be a good one; RPI's alright on the road, and Colgate's got a good home record. Goalie battle? 2-1 Raiders.

Rensselaer @ Cornell
Lynah is a harsh mistress to those who don't feed her daily. Open up, we've got some Engineer for you... 3-1 Cornell.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Turning The Corner?

Its not a win but damn it was exciting to read about how RPI "roared" back from a 4-0 deficit to tie Dartmouth! Uryadov with the game winner (and pretty sick from the Troy Records recounting).

TH with a goal and an assist very nice.

Great quote from SA

“I wasn’t happy that we gave them that lead,” Appert said, “…but when all seemed to be going against us, we were struggling … to have the resiliency to come back and to play that hard, I was really happy to see that. It showed (there’s) a lot of character in that room.”

So is this the turning point? Is this when we look back on this season as the point where the team didn't give up and instead turned on the jets in the third period and beat teams? This couldn't come at a better time due to the Central New York swing with two very tough teams in Cornell and Colgate (thoughts on this coming later in the week). Still, a hopefully night at the Troy Fieldhouse.

I can't say it any better than this:

“Goals seems to come in bunches, especially when you’re struggling,” said RPI captain Jake Morissette. “You get that (first) one and the confidence comes and you’re able to put a couple more in the net.”

Friday, February 08, 2008

Here We Go Again

The fanbase is restless. Reading the fan posts over on the USCHO forum is an exercise in trying not to kill yourself when looking at this team. Passing seems to be an issue. Why is this an issue- haven't these guys been playing for all of their lives? Scoring seems to be an issue. Again.....

This weekend, we get one of the weaker teams (like us!) in the ECAC. My dad's old alma mater. Dartmouth over the last few years have shed their pathetic hockey lineage but this year has em right back in the crapper again and if there is anything to look forward to (i.e., home ice in the ECAC playoffs) this is the game to kick start things. I agree with USCHO, this should be a win.

Dartmouth @ Rensselaer
The Big Green are looking greener by the minute, at 0-3-1 in their last four, and in the midst of a four-game road swing. RPI needs to pounce here and now if the 'Tute wants to stay in the running for home ice. 3-1 Engineers.

Monday, February 04, 2008

What The Hell???

17 Freakouts without a loss until this one. Losing to a team called the Bobcats.

I had a conversation with my father about this ridiculous situation and it seems to me that SA is a better recruiter than coach. After all, doesn't this seem exactly like last year. The team starts off super hot and then go through a prolonged losing streak?

Is it time to start thinking of a change?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Get Your Freak On!!!!

I have my Freakout shirt all ready to wear in solidarity for the lads in Troy this weekend. Growing up, this was my favorite time to go to RPI. Every year I would beg my dad to take me and then get me one of those great red noise horns. There was a stack of them in my parent's house until recently.

This is one of the great traditions in college sports (not just hockey) and I am a wee bit sad that I will miss it. In honor of the weekend I am predicting a sweep for the lads in cherry and white. USCHO is doing the same! Any thoughts are welcomed in the comments:

USCHO's take:

Quinnipiac @ Rensselaer
These two teams always play it close. RPI's trying to rebound from the skid, and will be mighty driven to take two points going into the Freakout. 3-2 'Tute.

Princeton @ Rensselaer
I just can't pick a Freakout! to go bad in good conscience. If anyone belongs at an event called "The Freakout!" it's me. 4-2 'Tute.

Princeton @ Rensselaer: Saturday, 7 p.m.

It’s the Big Red Freakout! It’s also the meeting of one of the league’s top teams, Princeton, and one that’s under more teams than it’s on top of, in Rensselaer.

The programs are surprising in opposite ways thus far. The Tigers were picked to finish eighth by the coaches and media (and seventh by yours truly) in the preseason poll, and yet were in possession of first place as of two weeks ago. RPI, well, the Engineers were picked low, but I doubt even their heartiest detractors expected the Engineers to suffer a 10-game losing streak midseason.

It’s the second game of the weekend for each team, and RPI hasn’t lost a Freakout! game in decades.

“The fans at RPI are with you through thick and thin,” said volunteer assistant coach (and former Engineer captain) Ben Barr. But the Big Red Freakout! is an entirely different beast.

“You can be there an hour before the game, and the place is packed; it’s electric. It’s one of those things that seems to be sold out before tickets even go on sale.”

RPI head coach Seth Appert deferred to Barr on the Freakout!, as Appert has only experienced one so far, and none as a player.

Early each February for the past quarter-century, the school’s Alumni Weekend has corresponded with an otherwise everyday hockey game. It’s not a Homecoming game; there is no traditional pageantry or pomp to accompany the game. It is as though an arbitrary contest were picked off the calendar, but everyone in Troy knows when it is and where to be.

“You kinda get goosebumps as you walk out” to the ice, said Barr. “You don’t want to let your community down, or your school.” The energy is raw, dynamic, and contagious.

Barr noted a couple of contests from his playing days, in which rival Clarkson had come to town for the Freakout! “You can get jacked up, and let the moment control you a bit and get you running around,” Barr said of some of the undesirable side effects.

While that happened against ‘Tech, it didn’t sink the ‘Tute.

“We came back from down 3-0 [in 2002] and 2-0 [2004] late to win. It’s not the way you want to do it, but the fans loved it,” Barr recalled.

“Right now, this is one of the toughest weeks of the season,” said Appert, whose team draws Quinnipiac on Friday before the big fiesta on Saturday. “The power play’s taken a step in the right direction [2-for-6 last weekend] … Quinnipiac has one of the most dynamic offenses in our league.”

Appert and the team are focused first and foremost on Friday. But if you feel a little extra buzz around the Capital District on Saturday evening, now you know why.