Thursday, December 30, 2010

Welcome Back!

Halo RPI fans, I hope you had a good holiday break! I certainly did as my absence from the blog can attest. Of course, RPI did me a favor by not playing any games over the last 12 million weeks but it feels good to be back and to have Ripeee back in action as well.

RPI is in Alabama for a back to back holiday twofer and I see no reason for them to lose any of these games coming up. RPI does historically well against lesser NC opponents. With Alabama being 2-16 on the season, I would say that qualifies them to be lesser. This should be good to get RPI back into a groove before the always tough North Country boys come to Troy for a true test of the ECAC prowess of the Cherry and White.

As always, Let's Go Red, Let's Go White!

As usual, here is USCHO's picks:

Rensselaer at Alabama-Huntsville — 8:00

I try to make my picks before reading my guest-guessers’, but Mr. Davis’ first sentence below says it all. 5–1 RPI.

BD: Anyway you look at this series it should be all RPI. The Engineers should have no issues with the Chargers even in Alabama. Engineers in a close one due to travel legs 3–1.

Read more:

Rensselaer at Alabama-Huntsville — 4:05

Second verse, same as the first (but a little bit louder and a little bit worse). Oh, Henry the eighth I am, Henry the eighth I am, I am... oh wait, wrong song. 4–2 ‘Tute.

BD: RPI runs all over the Chargers in the final on the week. Engineers 5–1.

Read more:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Turnaround?

I do not wish any team ill. College players are not professionals, have off nights and despite fans paying for tickets and jerseys and the rest, the fans still can get caught up in the games.

I do not wish BU ill but for some reason, I wanted them to lose, lose, lose and lose some more to the lads in Cherry and White and that is exactly what they did. RPI brought the hammer down 4-1 against those durr hurrr hurrr Terriers from Boston.

It is only one game and it is a non-conference game to boot but perhaps this team gets RPI going strong into the break and the ECAC schedule with a bit of a jump in their bones and as Without A Peer says, "And when you get a chance to play a highly ranked team, you need to grab the bull by the horns and go for the win."


Friday, December 10, 2010

Playing With The Big Boys

A beautiful day here in LA and yet thoughts are firmly on the ice as RPI hosts the dreaded Terriers from Boston on Saturday. While RPI has played to my expectations, I recently detailed how they have started to pick it up against NC foes. Well, if there is ever a time to shake off the .500 dusting that has coated the program with winning against perennial National power BU.

BU is currently tied for second in Hockey East and putting together another fine season. Still, I think with home ice advantage and the students still there before finals, RPI has an excellent chance to win this game. No inde-pth analysis this week, just win RPI!!!!

USCHO finally comes through with their picks this week and they are picking the lads!

Boston University at Rensselaer — 3:30

Two teams with a lot to prove: BU squeaked out a comeback home win over low-ish (if not lowly) Northeastern on Wednesday, while RPI is still trying to establish the consistency that carried them so well last year. This is one of those cases where I believe the national stereotype of the ECAC might work for the Engineers, giving them some element of surprise on the shorthanded Terriers. 4–3 RPI in a close one.

TR: I am hesitant to predict the outcome of this game. As you know I bleed cherry red and white, and I would love to see an upset here. R.P.I had the upper hand last year against the Terriers, but B.U. is coming off of a weekend in which they were smacked by B.C. by a combined score of 14 — 7. I would imagine they are going to have extra motivation in this one. That being said... I am still going to go with the Engineers in a 4 — 3 win.

Read more:

Sunday, December 05, 2010

.500? But of course!

So RPI loses 4-2 against Yale and wins 6-2 against Brown. What are we to take from all of this? I think that RPI is in the middle of pack of the ECAC which puts them in the lower half of teams in the country.

Do I think they are better than this? Yes! Do I think they have the goal-tending, the scoring, the coaching to take them to the top of the ECAC and make them competitive against the Hockey East's of the world? Yes! Do I think all these elements are inconsistent and coupled with a suspect D makes for about a .500 team? More than yes.

Do not get me wrong, I root for RPI, win or loss, year in and year out.

I just think that when you look at the body of SA's coaching efforts, they lead right to the middle of success and failure and RPI needs more than that right now. As always, GO RED, GO WHITE!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Back Into The Thick Of It

Ok Non-Conference, ADIOS! The lads of RPI are fully into the ECAC swing of things this weekend with two games in division. Yale and then Brown are on the radar tonight. Yale is putting together an impressive year at 8-1 and 4-0 in the ECAC. Brown is hovering around .500 the same as RPI.

Clearly, based on past history, I am expecting a split although a win against Yale could be a good sign of things to come over the next few months. I have always thought the ECAC was among the weakest divisions in college hockey and for RPI to really start clicking on a national level, they would really have to tear through the ECAC. This weekend could start that. However, I think the way RPI is currently constructed, we are looking at a slightly better than .500 team.

Can't wait to be proven wrong and GO RPI!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

200th Post- RPI Holiday Win?

It has been a crazy couple of years here at RPI Hockey. Blogspot. Com. I have posted my musings on the Cherry and White and have been linked on many RPI blogs and College hockey blogs, for which I am truly thankful. I am just a fan who wants the lads to do well and it seems like y'all out there agree!

And what a better way to celebrate 200 posts then to talk about RPI ACTUALLY WINNING THEIR OWN TOURNAMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN LIKE 700 YEARS!!!! It was also a real up and down tourney with RPI scoring 9 but giving up 7. It is nice to know that if the D gives up easy ones (like the last BG goal in regulation) or York is off, the O can pick it up and actually win shootouts. I think the key to this team starts in net but it bodes well for the second half of the season if the O can pick up the slack when needed.

Also, congrats to Tyler who had two goals over the weekend. Of course, Brutlag was the real MVP amassing 2 goals and one assist but more importantly a goal when it counted, for the freakin' win! Go Red, go White!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Great Video

From those folks over at Without a Peer, really check this out. A great way to start Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday, Holiday, Holiday, Holiday

Happy Turkey Day to everyone out there in Cherry and White land! Can't wait to listen to the Holiday Tourney on the Interwebs as RPI some questionable teams again. It has been awhile since RPI has actually won the tourney but hope spring eternal!

I just stumbled across this new RPI Hockey blog which I thought I would turn you guys onto. They say hockey is a religion well this guy takes it to new heights.

I particularly like this second commandment:


Thou shalt respect thy idol, Father Puckman

For the tourney, I see RPI beating Conn in the semifinal and then losing to BGSU in the final. Whatever the results, I hope you have lots of turkey and lots of good family memories!

Friday, November 19, 2010

No Hockey? What To Do.

Well the lads in Cherry and White are taking a week off. The next games will be after Turkey Day for the annual Holiday Tournament. I had many a mug from the Holiday Tourneys of old but as I believe I have documented on here, no mugs this time!

This will be my first HT that I have missed in awhile. I usually tried to make the first RPI game but now I will have to listen from afar. Still, what to do with the downtime?

I Think I Will

1) Start cutting out felt letters and numbers for an eventual champeenship on my mini-replica National Championship banner.
2) Create a Paypal account and website to help pay the fines SA receives for speaking his mind.
3) Polish the old vuvuzela that was used in 80s freakouts before the World Cup came along.
4) Light a candle of thanks for Jason Moy and his brilliant USCHO website.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Split?

I can accept a lot of things about my life. I can accept the fact that I am good looking. That people want to fly me on their private jets everywhere. That I live in a place that is perpetually sunny and in the 70s.

What I am having difficultly understanding is how a team that is as talented as RPI has been over the last two seasons CONSISTENTLY be a .500 team. It gets to the point where you want them to win the weekend, they NEED to win the weekend but man, they just lose that Friday night game and that is that.

I really believe the ECAC is there for the taking. If you said that a team had a top league scorer and the best goaltender, you would think that team would be tops of the table. Instead it is a constant split weekend, split months and ultimately not a good position for the ECAC playoffs.

I remain hopeful though. Things slow down after the holiday tourneys and then the real meat of the ECAC schedule takes hold and we will see what's what for RPI this season. Until then, I will accept RPI is a .500 team in the ECAC until they prove me wrong.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


What makes for a good rivalry? Certainly the function of geography helps. "Cross town", "subway series" and other catchphrases belies the fact that if you are in the same town, county or even sometimes state you have fanbases ready to state why they are best.

History also plays a part. Is one team the new kid on the block? Have there been missed calls or terrible puck bounces that stick with the fans forever?

Finally, who do the fans look to as their rival? One of the most interesting thought exercises is to ask "who is your top rival?" between Sabres, Leafs, Sens and Habs fans. Often, who you look to as a rival is big kid/small kid syndrome due to location and history.

Well, RPI has this in spades with Union and this weekend, the travel partners become bitter enemies in back to back games. As an RPI fan, I can say my dislike for Union comes mostly from location as well the history of the 2 programs. RPI, long standing program, 2 time national champ with multiple NHL players. Union, seems like they were formed yesterday, have done slightly better over the last 10 years and really, their uniforms are terrible. Factor that all in and I want RPI to stomp all over them this weekend.

I don't want RPI to be a .500 team (an ENTERTAINING .500 team but still) and it all starts this weekend. I think York leading the way, hopefully stomps all over em. Let's go Cherry And White!

One Night Only, Hurray Hurra Hurra

Hey everyone, this was passed along to me and if you have time and the desire to go up the Northway, go see one of the former Cherry And Reds go at it tonight!

Attention all RPI alumni and fans! Jerry D’Amigo returns to the area as a member of the Toronto Marlies for the only time this season! The Adirondack Phantoms face Jerry and the Marlies at 7:00pm. Come to the Glens Falls Civic Center box office, say “I’m from RPI” and receive a special $5 ticket tonight only. For more information, call the Adirondack Phantoms at 518-480-3355.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Buy Me A Powerball Ticket

For some crazy reason, RPI is pretty much tracking along my predictions each week. 1-1 this weekend, killing D, losing to H? Yea I think I nailed it. What is apparent is that SA better do everything he possibly can to convince York to stick around for the next two years. He keeps the Cherry and White in the game and very rarely lets other teams back in once RPI's offense is clicking.

I think with the season in full swing, we will see RPI break out of the .500 blues this season and maybe get it up to .666 (DEVIL!) this season. With Tyler assisting, Chase scoring and York backstopping, I think the team has a legit chance to be in the top 4 of the league this year. One thing I would like to see if the scoring be more consistent. 4 goals 1 game and NONE the second game? York will keep them in it, just get a few more goals lads!

Friday, November 05, 2010


RPI is going up against the Green of Dartmouth and Crimson of Harvard this weekend. Both teams don't have a lot of history this season to draw upon but you have to like the goals for/against on Dartmouth (5/8). Dartmouth has traditionally been around a .500 team but Harvard has had some great runs in the regular season. I figure probably a split this weekend with RPI taking Big Green.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Oh RPI, you slime my heart on a regular basis. Just when I think you are on your way to another .500 season you roll off two good wins and are primed to kick some Union butt this weekend up in Lake Placid.

I don't know what it is about Union. The "young" upstarts (compared to RPI), the lousy color scheme of their jerseys (maroon and gray?, just saying those two colors makes me depressed!), a nondescript arena, it all just adds up to suck. Of course, they have been slightly better than RPI in recent years which only leads to the jealousy and bad ghost-like thoughts.

In any event, I think RPI is on a roll after last weekend and with another scoring outburst like last weekend, they should win handily with York in net. Let's get it on Halloween style!

Monday, October 25, 2010

RPI You Rock!

Well, well, well, I am thinking I might not know all there is to know about RPI hockey as my prediction of a 1-1 weekend was woefully inaccurate as RPI scored 8 (count em 8!) goals over there weekend to go 2-0. Even more impressive was the win over RIT, 4-1!

In both games, RPI was super hot through the first two periods. 3 goals in the RIT game and 2 in the Niagara game. Of course, I don't want to give the lads too swelled a head, RPI managed to be outscored 3-1 in the third period of the Niagara game to force an OT. That might be a function of York being a bit tired after the last 3 weeks or else terrible D efforts. In either event, RPI got 2 W's.

Upcoming is the Halloween faceoff where RPI plays against the dreaded Union Whatevers. More on that game later this week!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bring On Westerrn New York!

I lived in Western New York for a time. Lived in Buffalo, commuted to Rochester and visited Jamestown many a time. I was all over the place in WNY and the Southern Tier and yet, the only college hockey I ever watched was Canisus College (pre-incident). I never got a chance to go up to what looked like a raucous barn in Niagara or out to the hockey factory at RIT. That program's history of winning at all levels of hockey is incredibly impressive.

So, if you don't want to make the 4 hour drive to see those teams, you are in luck RPI fans, they are coming to see you this weekend! These two teams from WNY are always a tough out if they get into the NCAA tourney and I expect no less of tough games against the Cherry And White.

I think RPI has a chance if Tyler and Chase keep clicking as they have. After the Colorado games where there wasn't much offense, RPI got clicking last weekend and I expect them to continue rolling through Niagara on Friday night. Niagara is currently 0-0-2 with 6 goals against. RIT is a surprising 0-2-1 but those losses have come against WCHA opponents. I expect them to get healthy against Union and RPI this weekend.

Again, the thing that will keep RPI in the game against a team like RIT is York. One hopes he has another shut out in him like last weekend.

Still my thoughts are RPI comes out of this weekend 1-1 which would be a good NC result. In any event, I am cheering for two wins for the lads, go RIPPPPEEE!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shut Out

Allen York. Draft pick, starter for a season and a half. And a damn fine goaltender as we are seeing. Last weekend, he kept RPI in it despite their rather porous defense. This weekend, he kept RPI hanging around Northeastern making 26 saves on 28 shots and then of course the great SHUT OUT against Bentley on Saturday. That game Allen made 23 saves.

Allen has so far saved 108 shots out of 114 shots for a sterling .947 save percentage. I think this is due in no small part to Appert choosing to ride York without switching him out with another goalie. Part of it is due to the lack of depth of goaltending on this team but part of which I think is SA finally recognizing the peculiar nature of a goalie's psyche of needing consistent work. Whatever the reason, the goaltender situation for RPI is solid.

Of course, the weekend was also great with Tyler picking up three points in the Bentley game and the lads playing pretty well over all. Of course, this IS Bentley we are talking about but a win is a win is a win.

Next up, a very tough game against RIT (can they recruit over the last 20 years or what?) and Niagara. Preview to follow at its usual bat time/channel!

p.s. can I also point out how I totally CALLED this weekend in the preview post? Its nice to be right 15% of the time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Weekend, More NC Games

We are getting closer to that great Halloween showdown in the North Country. However, before we get there, the RPI lads must keep going through their NC schedule. A schedule which is much easier this year than year's past. I think SA even admitted as much on Without A Peer's weekly podcast last week.

That being said, as I showed last week, RPI does just not do well against NC foes unless the team's name starts with Ben and ends with Tley. And look at who is on the schedule for the Saturday night game? I think they will give RPI their first win of the year. The Northeastern game, I am not sure of. NE is a rather middle of the pack team but in a loaded Hockey East division so I think at best RPI ties them.

I think the lads won't be too disheartened after last week and if York plays as well as he sounded on the radio, I think the team pulls out a 1-0-1 weekend.

As always, here are USCHO's picks:

Rensselaer at Northeastern — 7 p.m. Eastern

The Huskies held tight with Providence and top-ranked Boston College last weekend, but each opponent won the third period against NU to send the dogs to 0-2-0. That said, Matthews Arena is a true experience, and a terrifying place to wear anything other than black and red. Hey, wait a minute … cherry is pretty close to red, isn’t it? 3-2 Engineers.

Bentley at Rensselaer — 5 p.m. Eastern

Will the quick turnaround hurt the Engineers? Perhaps a bit, but that should be no excuse for anything short of a victory against Bentley. After all, the Falcons are coming off a night game at Quinnipiac, too. 5-3 ‘Tute.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Well, Not Too Shabby Except...

Ok, I was tempted to actually post that RPI was going to have an 0-1-1 weekend but wasn't sure how WCHA handled tied games (shootout, overtime and then a tie) and well, RPI got a tie.

AAAAAAND RPI got the tie but coming from behind IN THE THIRD PERIOD (I don't think this point could be stressed enough). For all the criticism I give SA for having his teams constantly fold in the third in a variety of ways, I have to give him props for lighting a fire under the team and of course with Tyler and Bergin scoring, it was a good Saturday.

However, do I just have to point out that RPI was horrendous in the second period of each game with taking penalties. Whether the refs in Friday's game were calling it tight or not (and they were), there is NO EXCUSE for having 12 billion penalties in both games combined. Both teams were knocking off the rust so I will chalk it up to that but there will be some monitoring of this penalty situation here at RPI Hockey in the weeks ahead.

Overall, I am about as happy as I can be for a 0-1-1 weekend. The boys played hard and York was clearly playing out of his mind at times. I think not being blown out will also benefit the psychology of this team for the coming season. Overall, we are at condition pleased!

Friday, October 08, 2010

C Is For Cookie

Tonight, RPI kicks off their season against the double C's, Colorado College. Typically, when one steps out of the confines of the ECAC, one finds the level of competition increased regardless of that school's rank in its division. This of course, does not apply to the teams of Atlantic Hockey that RPI continues to schedule during tournaments to fatten up its record (Bentley, I am looking at you punk!).

Against, WCHA, CCHA and Hockey East opponents, RPI, more often than not, comes up on the short end of the stick. By my rough calculations, RPI over the last three years is a combined 3-13-1 against teams from those three divisions. Last year was certainly an improvement, going 3-3-1 against those teams so perhaps the Cherry and White are on a slight uptick.

Colorado College comes into this weekend's pair of games ranked in the middle of the WCHA. Apparently they are going by a score by committee approach this year backstopped by a very good goaltender in Howe. I won't profess to know as much about CC as some other WCHA schools but I do know that RPI is in for a tough test.

I think RPI is going to look for scoring from Chase but also from guys like Angers-Goulet and Halpern. There needs to be secondary scoring so good teams like CC don't key in on the top guys. There are also a lot of freshmen on the team and one wonders if they will start to make an impact. Maybe not this weekend but in the coming weeks of the season. Of course, with York backstopping the team, they will remain competitive no matter the contribution.


RPI will lose the first game by a score of 5-2 but will rally to win the second contest 3-2. In any event, I will be cheering on the lads tonight. Go Get Em RPI!

Monday, October 04, 2010

RPI Ranked 13th But Should They Be (Season Preview)?

Hello one and all! We are back on the RPI beat for another year. RPI starts off the exhibition season against New Brunswick before traveling to Colorado College for two very tough non-conference games (any team in a WCHA conference should be considered tough even a middle of the road team like CC).

However, let's look at the overall picture of RPI hockey heading into this season. INCH apparently has the cherry and white ranked 13th in the country.

The major reasons for this is the return of Chase and the continual evolving of York. Also, I think my favorite player on RPI (Tyler Helfrich) should have a bounce back season for his final campaign.

The issues for this team really come down to three questions.

1) Can Kennedy and Brutlag earn those C's and A's on their chests this year and lead the defensive corps to more than just an adequate showing? Often, when catching RPI games in person and listening on the radio, it struck me how inconsistent the D was and that the goalies never really had a chance on many of the shots taken.

2) Can RPI actually find offense now that two of their best players split for the NHL? Facts are facts. If any program like RPI (young and arguably on the rise) loses not one but TWO blue chip prospects in an offseason (D'Amigo and Pirri I am looking at you!) it is tough for a program to restock immediately. One thing we have seen is SA's ability to recruit but the team needs to win now. Which leads me to question 3.

3) Can SA actually coach to the level needed for this team to win? I give him recruiting. He is great at that. I give him credit for saying the right things. However, he does not get credit for having his teams consistently fail int he third periods of games and recently, playoff series that RPI SHOULD WIN. Closing out, let's do RPI.

Looking ahead at the schedule this year, it is clear the non-conference schedule is weaker then in years past. Other than Colorado College, RIT is the only other major NC opponent RPI faces. Hopefully, they can use this to build momentum going into the conference schedule in 2011.


I am uncertain about this team. Last year they played about a .500 level which was a disappointment considering the talent on the team. Can they win with one true scorer in Chase and one true star in goal in York? That remains to be seen. I think if SA can get the team over the third period hump and the D can stick together, this is a ECAC Final Four team. If they muddle along at .500, I don't see them getting out of the first round of ECAC playoffs. Once again, this is a transition year. Will next year finally be the realization of our suffering fans hopes and dreams? Stay tuned.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wooooo Scary!

2 RPI Hockey posts in one day? That is just the man I am! I recently found out that RPI will be playing in the North Country and I do love me some Lake Placid. I am not sure if I will be dressing up for this sucka but I am looking forward to attending if I can. I like how RPI is trying to branch out with its game and contests. A few years ago, a road trip to Quebec City. And now this. Roll Cherry and White! Here is all the info:

Tickets are on sale by calling the Olympic center box office at 518.523.3300, or on line at Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for juniors, seniors and students if purchased by Sept. 30. After Sept. 30, admission will be $20 for adults and $15 for juniors, seniors and students. Fans that come dressed in Halloween costumes will have the chance to win great prizes.

Getting Pumped For The Season!

So what if RPI lost their two best players to NHL contracts? So what if I haven't posted in like 6 months?

RPI hockey is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER and I am glad to see the athletic department embracing their inner YouTube.

I promise, thoughts within a few days about the recent departures but first, Puckman!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


So it has been two days since the disastrous Sunday game. The RPI listserv practically blew up with griping and then backtracking on the griping. Who was at fault? Was it York in game one? D'Amigo in game 3?

Actually, where I think the blame lies is on consistency. SA has created a high tempo style but clearly has not imparted onto the lads that they should play that way for 3 periods. I saw the Saturday game in person and despite RPI winning 4-1 and despite Brown having at most 3 good skaters, RPI constantly let Brown take the play to them. Dmen blew coverages and could not adequately clear the zone. The forwards did not beck check and York looked slightly spastic in goal and was out of position frequently. And this was during A WIN!!!

I will have a full season recap coming up in a week or so but for now I think the failings of the playoffs should be clearly centered on the team as a whole and SA's handling of it.

As always, go RPI!

Sunday, March 07, 2010


So good to see the lads last night in person. Also good to see them come out after getting down 1-1 in the first and put the foot on the accelerator and finally look like the better team against Brown. Of course, there were waaaay too many defensive lapses but York was up to the task and the forwards certainly were.

Tonight is game 3 which I will be on pins and needles for. I think the lads WILL and SHOULD pull it out. As always, Go Red, Go White!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Panic Time!

Well, so THAT happened...

What is UP with the *(&%$%$ third period??? I could recount on many, many fingers the third period failings of Mr. Appert's team over the last few years. This year was supposed to be different. Finally, "we" had the horses to play the full 60 minute uptempo style SA brought from Denver.
Tonight, it didn't happen. I don't care what those wrascially wrabbits on RPI say about RPI's effort after they fell down 2-1 early in the third. It should have never happened. I do not have the shot totals in front of me for the individual periods but I don't care if RPI eventually outshot Brown in the third. Brown did outshoot RPI 27-25 which is UNACCEPTABLE ON THE ROAD considering Brown's history this season.
York let in 2. Ok, you have to accept that. It wasn't 3 or 5 (the final score reflects empty net goals). He misplayed a puck, that happens but really, RPI has the offense to easily match that score. Hell, during the first period intermission, the Brown coach even admitted that they were 1-16-and something when they were scored on first.
Since Brown scored their two goals off of rebounds, you have to ask, what is up D? Everyone is saying that the D (led by Kennedy) is much improved this year but every time I watch RPI in person and listening tonight, it really makes me wonder if obtaining the young guns on O have sacrificed the D.
I am hoping to attend the game tomorrow in person. This team has to turn it around tonight. No after-game pizza, no iPod downloads, just focus on the job at hand between right now and tomorrow night at 7.
I believe RPI has the talent to compete with the ECAC. I believe they can get it done against Brown. As always, go Red, go White!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Playoffs Are Here!

Well that last weekend didn't go so well eh? Win and RPI was in the fourth spot. Lose the "right" way and RPI was in. Neither of that happened which makes me fearful for the playoff run ahead of RPI.

They do have home ice advantage for the first round which they have not had during SA's tenure which is great. Also great, is the opponent, Brown. 8-17-4 is a good sign but the REALLY great news is the away record, 2-12-1. If ever was there a road dog that RPI can fatten up on at home to get ready for the next round, this is it.

Head to head, RPI won the first game 3-1 and then there was that crazy overtime loss to Brown just a few weeks ago. I think this series, like all of the ECAC contests remaining for RPI this season, hinge on York. If he can keep the score low, it allows the forwards the freedom to really do their stuff and not have to backcheck as much to help out the D. RPI's forwards can score with any team, but why bother if the goalie keeps it to 1-2 goals for the game?

Overall, I think this is a good matchup for RPI and I expect them to advance. I hope to make it to at least one game up there this weekend and cheer on the Cherry and White in person!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Want Fourth

There...I said it. I feel better. I want the first round bye. I want home ice advantage. I want all the things the program has missed out on for multiple ECAC winters. I want RPI to start rising to the occasion and have the standings reflect what we all feel about the team (that they are good).

What do I think is going to happen? Well I think they will hold true to form and beat the Friday night game (Colgate) and then lose, lose, lose to Cornell. How can they take 4th in this scenario? USCHO breaks it down:

"If Colgate beats Rensselaer on Friday, the Dutchmen get the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, should RPI win — and then lose Saturday at Cornell, while Colgate beats Union — then the Engineers would take the fourth spot based on the third tiebreaker, record versus the top four (2-4-0 against Yale/Cornell/Union, while Colgate would be 1-4-1.)"
Of course, as always, is USCHO's take:

Rensselaer @ Colgate (NHL Network)
The Raiders have scored 18 goals in their last four games — six, two, six and four — but are 2-3-0 in their last five home games. The question will be whether the 'Gate can pull it together for 60 minutes in a way they have been so infrequently able to do all year. RPI is 5-4-0 on the road in ECAC Hockey play and looking shaky after getting blown out at home by Princeton. Both teams can be very strong when they're playing well, but you never know what you're going to get on any given night. I may not get this pick right, but I'm sure I'll be watching: 4-3 RPI.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who Was Right?

I didn't want to be right, mind you. I wanted RPI to get the 4 points last weekend. I think this team has enough talent to get those points. But what do they do?

Win of course against the Q and completely self destruct against Princeton in the Freakout. The Princeton game has been discussed in depth on USCHO boards and on the Listserv so I won't beat a dead horse. I think that RPI needs to turn things around in a hurry to get in the top 4 and this weekend's games against the C's schools won't help.

Preview coming shortly!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hockey Weekend Is Here

For me, this weekend is all about hockey although I will not be able to follow much of RPI flavored hockey this weekend.

First stop, probably going to Elmira to watch the Jackals play. Then I am going to the outdoor game in Syracuse on Saturday. Sunday, its back to the pad to watch USA vs. Canada which hopefully won't be interrupted like many of the games so far by curling!?!

As for RPI Hockey (which is what you are here for right?), well I expect them NOT to come away with 4 points this weekend considering how the last few weekends have gone. I am willing to bet RPI beats the Q and then loses or ties Princeton somehow.

On more positive news, Chase is officially leading the NATION (that's right the NATION) in scoring. Let's hear from RPI's archrival shall we (via USCHO): “We’ve played against Chase four times this year, and he’s a tremendous player,” said Union coach Nate Leaman, who has seen nearly as much of Polacek as Appert. “He has breakaway speed, he has good vision, he’s a good finisher.”

Of course (as always) UCHO's take on the weekend.

Quinnipiac @ Rensselaer
Following consecutive shutout wins over Colgate (2-0) and St. Lawrence (5-0), I was almost about to declare the Bobcats "back" ... but what happened Saturday? A 4-1 loss at Clarkson? Not very "back" of you, QU. RPI is 3-1-1 in its last five, but lost top goalie Allen York to a minor ankle sprain in a torturous loss at Dartmouth on Saturday. While York is no longer on crutches, freshman Bryce Merriam will nonetheless tend the 'Tute's twine this weekend. Starter or no starter, I like RPI's chances against an infernally inconsistent Quinnipiac club, 3-2.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well, so that happened. Chase gets a hat trick and the boys apparently have ANOTHER (counting the entire reign of SA not just these particular lads) third period meltdown and they come away with only 2 points this last weekend.

Somehow, at the end of the weekend, the 5th place with a bullet becomes 4th place tied with the Saints. Admittedly, this season is much better and the lads are much more in it then past years. Still, one can't help but feel that points were left on the table over the last few weekends. Points that will probably be the difference between a 4th place and a 5th place finish.

Still, hats off to Chase and Jerry who had lots o points this weekend and for York keeping the lads in the Friday game.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

#5 With A Bullet!

RPI is one point in back of St. Lawrence for the 4th spot in the ECAC. Of course, the Saints have a game in hand over RPI but I am not worried. The Saints next 4 games are against Quinnipiac, Princeton, Yale and Brown. Those 4 teams have a combined ECAC record of 29-29-6. RPI faces ECAC squads over the next two weekends with a combined ECAC record of 24-35-5. Certainly worse records, easier strength of schedule, RPI, should vault over the Saints to take 4th place in the ECAC.

Why is this important? The top four seeds receive byes in the first round. Plus home ice advantage, all of which can be advantageous to the lads in Cherry and White.

As for this weekend, I fully expect RPI to sweep Harvard and Dartmouth. Of course, based on past precedent, RPI will come away with 3 points. Go Rippeeee!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Must Beat The North Country

There are only a few games remaining. RPI MUST lock up home ice advantage for the upcoming ECAC playoffs. While they have a better team then in years past, I feel they need the home ice to make the ECAC final four this year (which is what I am pulling for AND expect!).

Yes, yes, they are 7-5-1 at home vs. 6-5-1 on the road, barely any difference. I don't care. I want them to take these teams and shake em around and win 4 points! The key is the continued offensive output from the top 2 lines and the continued stellar play of York. Of course, in looking at that last sentence, its clear that the REAL key is the defensive play. If the D can actually alleviate instead of cause pressure on York, RPI wins over these two teams easily.

USCHO agrees with me. You?

USCHO's Picks

St. Lawrence @ Rensselaer
The Saints are 4-1-1 in their last six, while RPI is 6-3-1 in its last 10. Should be a great showdown, and I will grant whichever team wins legitimate "on a roll" status. At home in front of a goalie who just shut out Yale, I'm going to have to back RPI in this one, 3-2.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What A Weird Weekend!

Against Brown, RPI's defense blows up and let's in terrible goals. Then the O comes storming back in the third to force OT. THEN the lads lose it.

Only to blow out league leading Yale the next day 4-0 with a huge shutout from York (which I intimated he needed to do [pats back])???

I have been watching RPI hockey for awhile and I can't think of a weirder way to get 3 points then the lads did this weekend.

Of course, I thought it should be 4 points and the fact that it wasn't remains one of the frustrations of the state of RPI hockey today. They need to get home rink advantage for the playoffs. 3 points help and the offensive display this weekend make me think that a Top 4 finish is possible.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Weekend's Games And A Good Cause

Before we get to my take on this weekend's games, I want to alert all you readers of RPI Hockey to a charitable event that is taking place on February 5th. There will be a fundraising endeavor in connection with "Hannah's Hope" (which you can read more about here: The organization is working with Coach Appert and selling tickets, the proceeds of which will go to the fund. I highly suggest contacting them and help contribute to a worthy cause!

Now, onto the games!

RPI is making their Ivy swing through Brown and Yale territory this weekend. Brown is a tepid 4-7-1 in ECAC play while Yale is a sparkling 7-3-2. One could look at this and look at RPI "slighty better than" .500 record and think "split". I would be inclined to agree with you.

However, I think this is a NEW RPI team. I think they have turned the corner this year. I think, this is the statement game before going into the North Country teams next weekend. I think RPI sweeps the weekend.

Against Brown, I think its simply keeping the foot on the accelerator. RPI has the horses to run a team like Brown around in their own building (like the game in Princeton). With Yale, it all rests on the shoulders of York. He has had big games for RPI in the past and now is the time for a shut out or 1 goal game to get RPI up the standings and in contention for a top 4 spot at the ECAC championships this Spring.

C'mon RPI, get er done!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1-0-1, I'll Take It

Beat Dartmouth (yea!) basically lose the third period and allow Harvard to tie (boo!) but still come away with a tie (eh?) and that was the weekend.

York is continuing to play well stopping 26 of 29 and 27 of 28 against Dartmouth. Tyler scored a goal and the regular suspects added goals and assists throughout the weekend.

One can't help but be suspicious of this third period meltdown since RPI fans have seen it too many times before. Next weekend should be a good "great healthy" swing against Brown and Yale which I will cover more full later this week.

RPI has to get healthy soon as the North Country comes to Troy the following weekend which should be a tough test for the Cherry and White. Still, after last season, the fact the lads are

13-11-2 (.538)
ECAC: 6-5-1, 13 points

Speaks well of the upswing the program is on at the moment. Go RPI!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Union Kicked Ass But

I remain optimistic!

The lads are going much better and they are playing some of the weaker ECAC opponents this weekend. I predict sweep. You?

Of course, USCHO's picks are below:

Dartmouth @ Rensselaer
My gut tells me that Dartmouth has got to start catching some breaks, but RPI has been on a mini-roll lately ... 4-2-0 in its last six. I believe that the Engineers can avoid the power outages that led to their only recent losses. 5-3 Rensselaer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Too Good Not To Repost

Reminds me of my days playing on the pond in Delmar...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

National TV Does Wonders

Wow, all I can say is wow. RPI knocks off the ranked ECAC team in Q and then destroys Princeton on national television (and don't let anyone fool you about ESPNU's reach- twas national).

The team looked good and poised. It has been awhile since I have seen the Cherry and Red in person and I can't help but marvel at York's technique. The kid has the squaring of the butterfly down much like an early Carey Price.

Also, how amazing is Polacek's wrist shot? The guy just can unload from the the faceoff dot.

Its not all great, the D looked suspect again. I think against better competition the problems over the last few years (starting with Kennedy) will show themselves but overall this RPI is different. It wins "better" then it has in the last few years and the lads are actually playing in the third period instead of what has happened before.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Looking Back/ Looking Forward

Well, look at that. I go on vacation in the Adirondacks with no Internet for a week and all hell breaks loose in the RPI universe. First they win over Michigan (some call it Maize, I call it corn) and then get blown out by State. Overall, a good showing against two perennial powers on their home turf. Secondly, the message boards are alive talking about the inspired play of Jerry D'Amigo on the now gold medal winning USA team.

Clearly, what these two items show is that Appert is capable of recruiting top flight talent. He did it at Denver and now he is doing it at RPI. Tip of the cap to him.

Coming up this weekend, RPI faces the Southern Tri-State swing against the Q and Princeton. The Princeton game was rescheduled to Sunday and will be shown on ESPNU. I think the lads are now up and ready for the second half of the season and will sweep both the teams. Either way, I am sure to be watching on Sunday!