Friday, December 09, 2011
Then of course there was the Governor's Cup. There wasn't anything spectacular about the Cup other than it allowed RPI to play Union at the Knick (I refuse to call it anything else). That was always a fun with two large fan bases intermingling. I have good memories of the Cup.
Alas the Cup went the way of the Holiday Tournament and now the ECAC is trying something new, Lake Placid. Having held several Halloween tilts over the last few years, LP is now hosting the Festivus Tourney which will feature, of course, RPI vs. Union.
How are the "young" upstarts fairing this year? Well Union is middle of the pack of the ECAC with a 7-3-5 record overall. Their power play is just a shade under 25% in efficiency and they are outshooting their opponents by over a 100 shots which translates into their goals for to be 3 and their GAA to be 1.93. In other words, they are having a pretty good season.
RPI on the other hand, as we know, is struggling to put it together this year. Can we get a Festivus miracle and pull off a win in the North Country? RPI broke out of its goal slump and seems poised to be able to hang in a track meet with teams, which is exactly what Union is offering. If Diebold is in net, RPI might just have the chance to hang around with Union but ultimately I think Capital District B will be the stoopidhead winner.
In any event, hope you get up to Lake Placid for the festivities and GO RPI!
As always, here is USCHO's take on the game:
RPI vs Union
It's the opening game of the Festivus Faceoff, and RPI has plenty of grievances to air in the season's early going. While Union has suffered little hangover from its early NCAA exit, the same can't be said for the Engineers. RPI finally started scoring some goals, but simply made too mistakes and turned the puck over too much against Quinnipiac last weekend. Look for the Dutchmen to take this one in Lake Placid
Union 4, RPI 2
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
RPI scored 5 goals over 2 games. This is sadly the same amount of goals they scored in the previous SIX games so this offense was a welcomed site. In some ways I don't even care if they won because of the goal/shot totals. Also, Diebold played well in the loss to the Q and as the season becomes more of a "learning experience" than a quest for the ECAC crown, I think having the younger guns play and gain experience for the next season should probably be the way to go.
We will see what happens over the Christmas break. RPI has several games beforehand of course and we will cover them all here at RPIHockey. Go Red!
Friday, December 02, 2011
Not just for selfish reasons but I also enjoyed the swing because RPI traditionally has played well against Princeton and has taken their fair share of games from the Q during the SA era. This year will be a bit different as RPI has been "struggling" while P and Q have been bouncing along. Still, I think there is a gleam in RPI's eye after the last two weekends. Perhaps this team is finally rounding into form.
While the start of the season was certainly disastrous, most of those games were NC games and if RPI can put together a little run with in the ECAC, then be in decent position for the playoffs. I have nothing to base this on, no statistics, no W-L arcs but I think the lads in Cherry and White will split this weekend and get them back into all things ECAC.
As always, here is USCHO's take:
Rensselaer at Princeton
A last place finish entering December wasn't the way RPI was looking to start after making the NCAA tournament last year. Princeton hasn't been much better, but I'll take the home team here. The Tigers are led by a junior class that has accounted for 14 of their 22 goals.
Princeton 3, RPI 2
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Diebold played great and had a shutout and RPI scored twice on the powerplay. Also, RPI managed 28 shots on goal which is a big step up over the last few weeks. Its small steps with this team and I think that finally, this is a step in the right direction. That makes it 2 wins in the last 3 games and I think things are looking up for RPI.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Well time to WAKE UP out of those comas and support the lads in Cherry and White as they take on the RIT Tigers. It will be a tough test as the game is in Rochester and while RIT is currently 5-3, they are 5-1 at home. RPI conversely is 0-5 on the road.
Still, RPI has to take advantages and wins where they can and with RIT allowing exactly the same number of goals against as goals for (an amazing 2.60 GAA and 2.60 GFA) and they give up a similar number of shots that they take to shots that they make (sounds like a Beatles song).
What I am trying to say is that the games they play seem to be close and RPI isn't winning any game 5-1 at the moment so we need a team that allows other teams to shoot a lot (check) and keeps the scoring close so we have a chance (check).
Do I think RPI has a shot this weekend? Of course! This team might be in the statistical bottom of college hockey but they have talent, they have good goaltending, they just have to start putting together some offense and there is no time like the present to start. I think the lads will actually kick it up a notch and get their first road win of the year. GO RED!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Apparently SA pulled the goalie midway through the 3rd period as an attempted spark. This reminded me of the Toronto Maple Leafs a few years ago who were so terrible that they started pulling their goalie midway through the third and actually started to play BETTER! I think they only gave up a few goals 4 on 5.
Whether SA, look again at another 4-1 score decided it wasn't enough and let's lose 5-1 but at least get some energy out of the lads.
Regardless who is in net, regardless what is going on with the D, this year's RPI team starts and ends with the offense. Over the last 3 games, they are averaging less than a goal a game. In 12 games, they have 11 goals. I don't care if you had in-his-prime Dominick Hasek in net, less than a goal a game is not going to get it done.
I honestly don't know at this point what should be done. A few posts ago I suggested playing the young ones. At this point, with 1 win on the season and averaging the goals for and goals against, why not?
May as well shake it up somehow and someway. I will always cheer for the Cherry and White and hopefully the team gives us something to cheer about for the rest of the season. GO RED!
Friday, November 11, 2011
First up is Yale. Yale surprisingly hasn't had much of a N/C schedule and instead sits at just 2-1-1 at this date in November. Special teams seems to be their strong suite as they have a 23% power play and a 92% penalty kill. They are being slightly outscored by their opponents 2.25 to 2 goals a game. The fact that its low scoring works in RPI's favor. RPI has to try and stay out of the penalty box (they seem to put up snowmen in that category most games) and if so, maybe we can steal one at home.
Then Saturday night is the perpetually challenged Brown. Like Yale, Brown has foregone the N/C schedule and sits at 2-2 at this point. Their games seem to be wide open affairs as the goals for/against averages are above 3 and the shots are above 25 for them and their opponents. RPI has the wheels to compete in a wide open game and over the years SA has had them playing that style (whether they had the personnel to play that way or not) so perhaps RPI can really open it up against Brown.
If RPI keeps it tight with Yale, I think they take it. If Brown puts up a lot of shots, I think RPI is going to bite it. Still a 1-1 weekend would be an improvement and hopefully right this ship. I will be cheering on the lads today and tomorrow no matter what, go RPI!
Monday, November 07, 2011
RPI is averaging 1 goal a game. RPI's opponents are averaging 3.00 goals a game. RPI is averaging 24 shots a game and their opponents are averaging 27 shots a game. RPI seems really to be beaten up in second periods as they have been outshot 88 to 62 and outscored 7 to 4. Special teams are no source of consolation as the penalty kill is below 90% at 88% and the power play has yet to crack double digits and sits at 6%.
Still both goaltenders are over .900 in their save percentages and 2 or just a little over in their GAA's. I really think if the offense gets clicking and the D helps out by blocking a few more shots, RPI is back to a .500 team. It doesn't sounds like much but .500 can go a long way in the ECAC and if RPI can position itself there, it might win a berth into the NCAA's.
I still think this team is a year away from serious contention which doesn't do the seniors on this team like AG, Bergin or Burgdoerfer any good as they have sweated and bled for this program through some pretty rollercoaster times. But the horses are clearly the freshmen and its clear they are not ready yet to step up for this team.
I am not a doom and gloom guy and at the end of the day these guys are just college kids and no matter what, I cheer them on and thank them for play for the Cherry and White. Hopefully SA can get the offense loose here and get RPI back into some games.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Sadly Clarkson is hot at the moment despite having beat up on "powerhouses" like Bentley and RPI is decidedly not. I am a big believer in momentum in hockey. I have seen one goal spark huge comebacks and I have seen teams get on huge win streaks. It is a streaky sport.
In college, streaks are tempered somewhat due to the 5-6 day layovers between games so momentum is tough to build. Minnesota State hasn't won a game since playing RPI for example.
It remains to be seen if Clarkson's early season success translates into ECAC success but given the way RPI has been playing recently, I don't see either teams trends changing. I do see RPI taking it to St. Lawrence on Saturday night though and splitting the weekend 1-1.
As always, here is USCHO's take:
Rensselaer at Clarkson
The Engineers' travail has been well-documented: injuries lead to minimal offense, which leads to mounting losses. Clarkson, on the other hand, has quietly amassed a 5-1-2 record, albeit against the dregs of Division I hockey (home sweeps of Sacred Heart and American International, a road win/tie at Bentley). I've said my piece about scheduling, but in Clarkson's case, a) at least the Knights are winning these games, which makes them a bit more palatable, and b) though the schedule was likely completed in advance of Casey Jones' hiring, it's not a bad way to get new systems in place before encountering the meat of the season. Plus, since Clarkson is winning these games, CCT should be feeling pretty confident about its abilities and its odds. I'll take confidence any day. 4-2 'Tech (that's Clarkson, newbies.)
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
From the sounds of the game, RPI never really got sustained pressure except on the power play (or that great penalty kill goal).
While Meriman had a save percentage of .937 he gave up all of his goals in the early going while Diebold had a .884 percentage but let in goals throughout. Can this be blamed on D or goalies? Who knows but the GAA for both is way to high. WAY.
There isn't much to say about last weekend. RPI is clearly not in the class of NC teams right now. In a year with everyone maturing, this team will be a force to be reckoned with until then, give em Hell RPI (in the ECAC)!
Friday, October 28, 2011
RPI has a chance but has faired poorly against WCHA teams in the past. I retain some optimism though and think RPI can go 0-1-1 on the weekend. It is at home and Houston Field House can be a rocking place. Let's go Rippeee!
As always, here is USCHO's take:
Colorado College at Rensselaer (Friday-Saturday)
Josh: OK, here is the best chance the Engineers are going to have to break their 1–4 overall record. They went 1–1 to start the season at Houston Field House against Minnesota State before losing three straight on the road, including a role as the Washington Generals to Notre Dame’s Harlem Globetrotters when ND opened its shining, new Compton Family Arena on Friday.
The Tigers have all the power in this match-up. For starters, they scored more goals (nine) in two games against Bemidji State than Rensselaer has in its first five games (six).
The Engineers have strong defense on their side. They haven’t been blown out, giving up an average of 2.6 goals per game, and Bryce Merriam has taken care of an impressive 92.2 percent of the 134 shots RPI has given up. The Engineers should pull out a win at home. I say Friday.
Rensselaer 2–0, Colorado College 4–1
Monday, October 24, 2011
A few observations from watching the live ND stream (which looked great BTW! When will RPITV get into the live stream mix for us out of town fans?):
1) ND blocked a lot of shots, RPI, not so much. Of course, the way RPI was playing contributed to this. RPI in this game had the habit of firing a lot of shots from the point. ND defenders blocked a lot of these. There wasn't much movement from RPI forwards or their forward-thinking Dmen to cut and control play lower than the faceoff circles. As a consequence, fewer shots got through.
2) Once again RPI got outshot by an opponent. RPI mustered 19 shots on goal, 2 of which went for goals. Again, the way RPI played the game bore this out. They did not control the zone that much, the odd man rushes lead to a few shots but they did not build and sustain pressure. There were very few times when 5 on that the D passed the puck in order to keep everyone in the offensive zone. RPI has been outshot so many times this season, one is starting to see a pattern.
3) Is it time to start the frosh in net? I greatly appreciate SA sticking with one goalie over the last few weeks (especially after his horribly rotational policy when he first came into RPI) but is he sticking with the right one? Merriam has earned his dues playing under York but considering how well Diebold played in defeat to start the season, shouldn't SA at least split them until one really takes the reigns. Nothing against Merriam, I am rooting for whoever is in net for the Cherry and White but sometimes a gearshift can wake up the other lads.
4) This team has some SPEED. Watching Rogic rush down the wing and Schroeder create instills and RPI fan with a team with a 1-4 record with some hope and optimism. We need everyone on this team to be healthy but clearly the horses for this year and the next few will be these frosh and soph-o-mores.
Overall ND handed us our hat on Friday night but if the lads can start playing a sustaining free wheeling system that SA is trying to implement then I think success can be had. As always, let's go RPI!
Friday, October 21, 2011
What can only be the result of backroom negotiations when both sides were not getting enough sleep, RPI is traveling all the way to Notre Dame for one game this Friday night. It is ND's only game of the "weekend" as well.
Right now ND is outscoring their opponents 16-13 but have started slowly out of the gate at 2-2. Part of this reason seems to be on the penalty kill where they are only killing 79% of the penalties and that is a place where RPI can take advantage.
They are also only outshooting opponents by 1 shot so given RPI's recent lack of shots, this is good news as the game may be close.
I harbor no illusions, RPI has not played well the first 4 games and ND is a national power over the last few years despite the middling start. I expect RPI to lose this one but lose it "well" 2-1.
As always, here is USCHO's take on the game.
Rensselaer at Notre Dame (Friday)
Brian: The Irish split at champion Minnesota-Duluth to open the season, but split at home with Ohio State last weekend. RPI, of course, split with Minnesota State two weeks ago before dropping consecutive shutouts at Ferris State. Getting blanked in three of four games is bad, but having players like Brock Higgs, Marty O'Grady and Greg Burgdoerfer still on the shelf is worse. At least the Engineers are playing well defensively, and can reasonably hope for an improvement in fortunes when they return. Not feeling too optimistic in this matchup, though.
Josh: This is not the ideal situation for an Engineers team that's limping in off a two-loss weekend against Ferris State. They have to travel back to the heartland and be "the other team" when the Fighting Irish open up their new rink, the Compton Family Ice Arena. Rensselaer was taken to school on several fronts against the Bulldogs - it is imperative that the Engineers find some offense after being shut out twice consecutively. The energy surrounding the Papal Gold and Madonna Blue will probably be just too much to overcome on Friday night.
Notre Dame 3-1
Sunday, October 16, 2011
What more is there to say? RPI was close but throughout the 6 periods of weekend play, RPI could not muster even a goal and faded down the stretch. I always thought even the weaker teams in a conference like the CCHA are tough tests for RPI and this was no different. Ferris State, in the lower 1/3 of the CCHA this kicked the heck of St. Lawrence last weekend and RPI this weekend.
Suddenly RPI is 1-3 and going against arguably one of the best teams in college hockey, Notre Dame.
Not the best start to the season but certainly with the entirety of the ECAC season ahead, there is much that can be done to help RPI's chances. RPI has to muster more chances and that means more shots. In both games against Minnesota State, RPI was outshot. This needs to change.
Also, RPI has been shut out 3 times and is averaging a goal a game. This comes from a function of more shots and more opportunities but clearly the offense needs to kick it into gear.
It is also clear that Merriam is the favored goaltender by SA at the moment. If this is the case, there needs to be better D in front of him. Teams should not be averaging 30ish shots a game against RPI, there has to be better blocking of shots and better stopping of them by the goalie.
I think RPI has reloaded through recruiting but it may be some time before things gel together. Luckily RPI has time before the ECAC sched kicks in, they aren't doing themselves any favors for national rankings but hopefully things come together to do some damage in the ECAC.
As always, Go Red, Go White!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Sure you shellacked fellow ECAC member St. Lawrence but you have been down in dumps in the CCHA for years what could change?
Well as RPI's fortunes change, so too can Ferris' and last weekend should be a wakeup call for RPI. I remember way back in the day when Lake State came for the Holiday Tournament. They were years past the great NCAA championship teams, in the bottom third of the CCHA but they were still an CCHA team. They came in and kicked everyone's ass.
I have pontificated on here before that the ECAC, while a great league and a I league I invest a lot of time in, is a distant fourth to the WCHA, CCHA and Hockey East. That said, if RPI is going to start playing with the big dogs by making the NCAA tourney, they will have to start beating those dogs and it starts this weekend.
The road is never a good place to pick up 4 points against the CCHA but let's get it on anyway! My prediction, the team again goes 1-1. I think RPI has the horses to compete with Ferris but the road will take its toll (probably on Friday night).
Another question is who starts in net? SA can start the frosh or Merriam. Since I am not sure who is better at the moment, SA should probably keep the rotation on until one rises above the other. Hopefully they both keep their GAA's at 1.00 so we don't have to choose!
As usual, USCHO has some picks for ya!
Rensselaer at Ferris State (Friday-Saturday)
The Engineers will have to boost its power play production from an unimpressive 2-for-16 performance the first weekend of the season. St. Lawrence made Ferris State look like a world-beater last week, as the Bulldogs scored four power play goals and went 9-for-10 on the penalty kill.
Ferris State, 3-0; Ferris State, 2-1
Monday, October 10, 2011
What did we learn this weekend?
- We learned that RPI can lose despite outshooting their opponent by 17 shots and then win by only outshooting them by 6 the next night.
- We learned that between Merriam and Diebold, there really isn't a frontrunner for the goalie position. You would think Bryce would get the gig just from putting in his dues under York but I still can't figure out how SA handles his goalies 4+ years in and I am not sure how this season will shape up in net.
- The freshmen played big. Haggerty had 2 assists, Schroeder had 1 and Diebold stopped 18 of 19 shots. SA can recruit, no doubt.
- 1-1 ain't going to cut it in non-conference play. RPI needs to win as many NC games as possible before starting ECAC play in December. This helps with their national rankings for slotting purposes and also gives them a good streak going into ECAC play. Minn was a weak opponent and so is Ferris State coming up. RPI should be 3-0-1 after those 4 games but now I am hoping they don't fall into the .500 trap this team seems to get into season after season and really comes out and takes 2 from Ferris. This is just college and these kids are truly kids but I think RPI is finally coming into its own as a program after many down years and if so, they need to take the bull by the horns and win the games they are supposed to.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Last season Minn State finished second to last in the WCHA. Last season they tied St. Lawrence twice and won against Brown, which is sorta depressing that one of the worst WCHA teams was still 1-0-2 against the ECAC.
Still, the WCHA is a step above most of the dwindling number of hockey conferences and this team is not to be taken lightly. They have 12 forwards returning and a senior goaltender in Austin Lee so they will have experience whereas RPI will be a bit green with all their froshes.
That being said, I expect RPI to take the weekend. This is a series that they should take despite losing their two top scorers and best goaltender since Little. Still I am a bit worried that the lads won't be used to the test at the collegiate level so I am thinking they will walk away with a 1-0-1 record.
USCHO has a rather pessimistic season preview but here it is anyway:
Boy, oh boy, did the Engineers get whacked on graduation day — plus that York fella taking off for greener ($$) pastures. This year’s roster doesn’t feature a single player who has scored at least 10 goals in an NCAA campaign, nor a goalie who has played more than 420 minutes of college hockey in a season. All that said, there is ample potential in the ‘Tute locker room, and — as the buttons proclaim — I believe in Seth Appert. Avoiding a first-round road trip should be considered a small accomplishment at this point.
As always, GO RED, GO WHITE!
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Welcome to another exciting season of RPI Hockey and "our" coverage of the lads in Cherry and White.
The lads started off the preseason well with a 7-0 shellacking of Acadia University (whoever they are).
A shutout is a good way to answer questions about the goaltending that will inevitably be raised with the departure of York. Scott Diebold picked up the W which is a good start for the young freshman.
Zach Schroeder led the scoring which is also great FOR A FRESHMAN. Can SA recruit or what? With RPI picked between 4th and 5th in recent ECAC polls (18th in the country according to USCHO!), these youngsters will be expected to pick up the slack left by York, Helfrich and the others on that great team from last year.
RPI is starting off the season is somewhat tough fashion as they host Minnesota State and then travel to Ferris State and Notre Dame before hosting Colorado College in a Appert grudge match. Colorado College is ranked 7th in the country and Notre Dame is ranked first so we will see what the lads have after this Western Swing. If they are 4-3 leading into ECAC play, I will be a happy Blackcapricorn.
What do I foresee for this season? After October, RPI basically plays an ECAC schedule. I have always thought that RPI would have to dominate the ECAC before really ramping it up on a national level. They kinda did an end around last year by finishing 5th but somehow still making the NCAA's. Given the schedule this year, I would like to see them really take it to the ECAC and come out with home ice advantage and a 1 or 2 slot.
Whether that happens depends a lot on York's replacement. When the D falters (which it has over the last few seasons), can the goaltending bail out the team? Will the forwards be amped up and score at the same clip that Chase and Tyler could? The exhibition game gave some good indications of that but we truly won't know until the games start in earnest.
If this team has truly taken a step forward as last season seemed to suggest, then I would expect RPI to run through the ECAC and earn another berth in the NCAA's. However, I think they may take a slight step back as the youngs get their feet under them. Next year might be the year but I am awfully looking forward to this season.
As always, I will continue to put up my game previews/recaps on Fridays and Mondays and fill in RPI news throughout the week.
GO RED, GO WHITE!
Also, I would like to welcome RPIHockey.Net to the RPI blogging universe. Go check em out! http://rpihockey.net/blog/
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I though RPI would give them a tough test but that test was only in the first period. The second period was unreal with RPI going down on multiple penalty kills and then no gas in the tank to continue defending. ND was much quicker than RPI but not nearly as tough. RPI laid out some good hits over the periods but they could not skate the puck into the ND zone. It was dump and chase and they could not sustain the pressure.
STILL... it was great to see the lads in the NCAA's for the first time in 15 years. Growing up, RPI was always in the national discussion mix but after Fridgen's first year, there was a drought that has extended all my adult life. The last 2 years, the quality of the players have increased and their NC wins have been impressive. Yes, they backed into the NCAA tourney this year but THEY STILL GOT IN and that counts for something.
I will have thoughts about the entire season this week.
Now I want to take a moment and bid farewell to a player I have followed and cheer for over the last 4 years. Tyler Helfrich.
When I first saw Tyler on the ice after coming from Calgary 4 years ago, I thought there was something special about his hands and I was right. 72 assists in 136 games played is nothing to sneeze at. He really got clicking this last season with Chase on the line racking up 38 points in 37 games. Yes, he did run afoul with Appert last season only playing in 27 games (some time also missed due to injury) but overall Tyler was a very valuable member of this team. I always thought he should shoot more as he has a great wrist shot but as the setup man, he will truly be missed by RPI.
In the last 10 years, he has been my fav player with a close second going to Kevin Croxton and maybe one of these days, I will get myself a Helfirch jersey. In the meantime, I want to thank him and all the seniors for their great contributions to the Cherry and White. I hope they all have great careers and lives on and off the ice.
GO RED, GO WHITE!
First way, ND jumps out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and never looks back. Foot on the gas pedal, RPI is exposed and beaten by the #1 team in the nation.
Second way, RPI keeps it close, within 1 goal throughout much of the game. In this scenario I think RPI takes it. They have been in many tight games this year and Chase or Tyler have come up huge. Plus, if Allen is on his game, he will definitely keep it close like in the Yale win.
So my prediction, RPI 3, ND 2, GO RED!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Can I possibly put more exclamation points in this post? Maybe.
Now that the lads are in the big dance, what awaits them? Only the number 1 team in the nation sadly.
ND, The Fighting Sioux. These guys are always legit threats for the national title and this year is no different.
They boast the #1 goal scorer in the country in Matt Frattin. The #2 goalie in the nation in Aaron Dell with a .921 save percentage, a 1.87 GAA all resulting in a 28-6 record. North Dakota as a team is #2 in the country in offense with a 4.05 goals a game average and #5 in the country in defense only allowing 2.22 goals a game. They are also the #7 powerplay in the nation.
All of this adds up to a scary prospect for Rippee in the first round. The Cherry and White barely had a mention on the ESPN selection show and most people are (rightly) wondering if they will be rusty with the time off and the way they backed in to the tourney.
However, I think RPI has a few things going for it. 1, being a number one seed recently has been a scary proposition. Several 16 seeds have made their way past #1's over the last few years. Secondly, RPI is no slouch in the national rankings department. #7 powerplay? Meet the #9 PK in the country. RPI is also #7 in the country in team defense allowing only marginally more than ND with 2.27 GAA per game. Allen York is forth in save percentage and #7 overall in the country. Finally we come to offense where Chase is ranked 14th in the country in individual categories and my boy Tyler is 47th but no slouch with 38 points in 37 games.
So, I think RPI's D matches up well with ND's O and that and Allen York standing on his head, might just keep RPI in the game. If it is close, I count on Chase and Tyler to make the pass and shoot the clutch goal. Will they do it? Predictions tomorrow!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Then...teams started to lose and RPI wasn't losing any spots in the PairWise rankings. WHAT???? Now, on Selection Sunday, RPI is ACTUALLY IN THE TOURNAMENT!?!?!
I can't believe this day is here, I can't believe I am going to root on good ol Rippee in the tourney! Truly amazing.
I will have a big breakdown of the game coming up, RPIHockey.Blogspot.Com is getting geared up.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Want to get into the NCAA's? Want to actually win an ECAC playoff series? RPI, come out like you came out in first period Friday night. Take it TO THEM. Never let up, wake me up, before you go go!
Cherry and White, will get it done toNIGHT! Can't wait, is it 7 already?
Friday, March 04, 2011
Is it playoff hockey? It must be because its here! This RPI team has been the most exciting and frustrating to watch in years and the big question mark is, can they put together momentum to take them through the first few rounds of the ECAC playoffs to assure themselves a spot in the NCAA's?
And why o why o, did the first round series have to be against Colgate-o?
As any RPI fan knows, Colgate has been this weird team for RPI this year. Basically last in the ECAC and vying to be last in the country, Colgate plays RPI tough. In their first meeting, RPI barely squeaked by in overtime winning 2-1. RPI was outshot that game by 11, yes 11 shots. The next game was the mirror image as Colgate won 2-1 in overtime. RPI was only outshot by 9 shots in that contest.
So, clearly this is a trap series for Rippee. Colgate outhustles and outplays RPI and that results in more shots and tighter games. Despite the head to head matchup, RPI IS the stronger team and must demonstrate it right from the start against 'Gate.
Foot down on the pedal, no off shifts. York will be solid in net, the rest of the team must be solid. I predict RPI wins the series in 3 games. This might dampen their NCAA bid but I just want a playoff series win, damnit! In any event, I am always cheering Go Red, Go White!
Monday, February 28, 2011
"RPI went 1-0-1 last week, falling to Princeton (4-3) and tying Quinnipiac (2-2 in OT). Junior Allen York (Wetaskiwin, AB) stopped a combined 65 shots in goal, including 40 in the loss to the Tigers. The #14 Engineers (19-10-5; 11-9-2 ECAC Hockey) have earned a first round home series in the ECAC Hockey Tournament and will host Colgate this weekend in a best-of-three clash at the Houston Field House. Game times are TBA."
Does that really tell the story though? Does it tell the story about how RPI had a NCAA birth in its hands and a first round bye locked up in the ECAC and yet 1-2-1 over the last two weekends? This coming with York back in net and Polacek on the ice, both relatively healthy?
Now RPI is faced with having to sweep Colgate to shore up that #14 PairWise ranking and probably will have to make it to the final ECAC four to guarantee an at-large bid. I always thought that RPI had to take small steps back to national promenience. Given the general ECAC weakness comparatively to Hockey East or CCHA or WCHA, I though RPI should concentrate on kicking the door down of the ECAC and then be better prepared mentally for NCAA's.
Instead, what happened this year was RPI doing VERY well in the NC games and sort of muddling its way through the ECAC (mid-season streak excepted of course). Now who believes RPI will win the ECAC tourney and guarantee a NCAA bid? Not me but I still think RPI can get into the tourney despite not being the best in the ECAC by winning and winning often.
I have faith in the lads but why or why does it have to be Colgate? This could be similar to what RPI did last year against Brown. Still, playoff preview will be up and running later this week. As always Go Red Go White!
Friday, February 25, 2011
These are my addled thoughts as RPI hosts Princeton and Q (I can never spell that school's name correctly) for the final weekend of ECAC play. Where does RPI sit as it enters this last weekend?
RPI is tied for 11th in Moy's PairWise Rankings and in the tourney. More immediately, RPI sits 5th in the ECAC, one point out of a tie for third and only one point up on Princeton. Clearly, there is much to play for. Win and RPI possibly has home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Win and RPI solidifies its case for an UNbelievable NCAA bid.
The old adage is "win and your in" and RPI has to sweep to keep their momentum going. While I want a sweep, I think this weekend has "split" written all over it. We will see what the lads are made of in the ECAC playoffs. Go White!
ECAC picks, you know USCHO has em!
Princeton at Rensselaer — 7:00
Princeton rolled through a 14–3–1 run midway through the season, but has only won once since (1–4–1). RPI had a 14–3–2 stretch around the same time (in which a win against Princeton was the final W of the streak), but is 1–3–0 since. Odd... very odd. What’s even more gutting for the Engineers is that of those three recent losses, two were at home, after only sustaining a single home defeat in the previous 13 contests at the Houston Field House. The Tigers are 7–2–0 on the road this year, and while ‘Tute fans may disparage me for it, I’m picking this game as my big upset of the week: 3–2 Princeton.
Quinnipiac at Rensselaer — 7:00
Even if the Engineers should lose Friday, they’ll likely still be in the mix for the final bye come Saturday. QU is merely playing to maintain its position, not improve it. I’ll take the slightly more driven home team, 4–2.
Read more: http://www.uscho.com/ecac-blog/2011/02/25/ecac-hockey-picks-week-21/#ixzz1EzJNci4j
Friday, February 18, 2011
This year, the NC schools are tracking the C schools and are having a down year with Clarkson barely at .500 and St.L mired near the bottom of the basement. RPI, meanwhile is 1 point out of the coveted 4th slot, having traded spaces with Cornell last weekend.
While every weekend is "crucial" this weekend is really a make or break it type of weekend. RPI almost singlehandedly killed their national hopes with last weekend and NEED to get back on the ball with two strong showings against these teams. Since they are playing the weaker of the schools in St.L to start off the weekend, one hopes that they "fatten up" and then use that momentum (since they clearly are a momentum team) and beat up on Clarkson (who, I have been told one minute ago, still sucks).
So, I am picking that scenario to hold true and am going with the lads to sweep. However they do, Go Red!
As always, here are USCHO's picks:
Rensselaer at St. Lawrence — 7:00
RPI took the business end of a boot last weekend, and needs to bounce back tout suite if they hope to pull out a first-round bye. SLU has been inconsistent lately as far as the offensive and defensive results go, and they haven’t manufactured consecutive wins since the first week in January. It’s not a good time for the Capital District to come to town, in any case. 4–2 Engineers in this one.
Rensselaer at Clarkson — 7:00
This game falls under the immense “will the dangerous but inconsistent home team (in this case, ‘Tech) nip the visiting favorite” category. I hate this category, and (or perhaps because) it covers about 80 percent of the league’s schedule, somehow. You know what? To heck with it. I’m taking the favorite. I have a record to worry about. RPI, 4–2.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
In other words, things change quickly in the ECAC. Gee, doesn't this sound like a broken record over the last few years? RPI starts out eh, gets on a streak, destiny in their hands and then they go down over the last few weeks of the ECAC and stumble their way to an ECAC playoff loss.
This team is supposedly different. This team has won differently then the past. We need this team to play differently in the future. The season has had TOO much promise, TOO many advances. Never retreat, always Cherry and White! C'mon lads!
Friday, February 11, 2011
RPI fans are jazzed up. The team is high in the national rankings (but most importantly the Pairwise Rankings) and is up near the top of the table in the ECAC. This weekend, the Cherry and White host the dreaded C's schools. Dreaded in that RPI NEVER seems to play well against them, even in this "up" year, disaster loomed in the Central New York swing and I think the Colgate/Cornell buses coming into Houston could be bringing more trouble.
As has been detailed in this blog before, Colgate is one of the worst teams in the ECAC this year and RPI gets them first to kick off the weekend. Of course, it was 'Gate that took RPI almost all the way with RPI winning in overtime. Cornell was a different matter, smacking RPI all around Ithaca 5-1 in their last meeting.
I think that RPI can use this current win streak (6-0-1) to beat up on 'Gate and then get them ready to roll over Cornell. However, as many of you readers know, RPI Hockey. Blogspot. Com is a realist RPI blog and I think RPI walks away with a split this weekend. Respectable for sure and keeps them alive in all the important rankings and races.
As always, here are USCHO's picks.
Colgate at Rensselaer — 7:00
Colgate finally escaped The Brown Rule in downing Clarkson last weekend, but the Raiders will have their hands full in Troy. RPI has been a big cherry beast at the Field House, and I anticipate that they will continue to be so against ‘Gate. 4–2 Engineers.
Cornell at Rensselaer — 3:30
If Cornell-Union was Friday’s big game, this is Saturday’s. RPI is on a seven-game unbeaten streak entering the weekend (6–0–1), and — with Yale and cross-town Union — is one of the toughest road games in the league. Will the Big Red fall twice in a weekend? I can only say that RPI is one of the top three teams to beat in the league; Cornell is not quite there yet. 4–3 ‘Tute.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
The wins keep piling up for RPI coming away this weekend with a 1-0-1 record. Of course, Cherry And White nation is holding its breath regarding York who was injured and did not return during the Q game. Certainly, Merriman played well in relief and had an impressive save percentage on Saturday against Princeton.
Still this team rises and falls on three players. Chase, who is in the Hobey Baker hunt, Tyler who is a point machine (2 points this weekend) and Allen who has stood on his head, kept the team in games they had no business being in and keeping teams close in high scoring affairs.
Yes, there are other players on this team. There IS a defense (you wouldn't know it reading this blog). Still I dare say RPI would be nowhere close in the national rankings and/or the ECAC without these three.
Still, hockey is a team game and this team is playing great. Bring on the weekend!
Friday, February 04, 2011
Am I worried about RPI given what has happened the last few weekends (to recap, win streak, national rankings, overjoyed fan base)? Not really. Still, in the back of my mind, I look back at the C and C games, then look at all of this recent success coming at home and I still have question marks.
Those questions can easily be answered tonight and tomorrow as RPI visits the Q as well as Princeton. There is a lot to be said for momentum and RPI has that in spades. I see them rolling over both teams this weekend solidifying a bye in the ECAC's and more importantly (from a historical perspective) shoring up a spot in the NCAA's! Go White!
As always, here are USCHO's picks:
Rensselaer at Quinnipiac — 7:00
While RPI will surely be the popular pick — especially in light of yesterday’s column — QU isn’t exactly folding up shop: The Bobcats are 5–1–3 in their last nine and are looking to solidify a home-ice spot in the first round of the upcoming playoffs. That said, many of the Q-Cats’ wins are of the 3–2 variety, whereas the Engineers have pinned five goals on foes in three of their last seven games. RPI in a squeaker, 3–2.
Rensselaer at Princeton — 4:00
This is the difficulty of picking games: I’d be stunned if Princeton got swept at home, but individually, I think Union and RPI hold edges over the Garden Staters. I suppose all I can do is fall back on my old line — prove me wrong, Tigers. 4–3 RPI.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Unbelievable because RPI was outshot, outplayed and outhustled by Yale but ONLY because of one Mr. Allen York was the game still close and RPI made their shots count. Seemingly at the beginning of the third period, RPI's sparse shots each went in and RPI built an insurmountable lead. I can't wait to see the replay on RPITV!
So where does that leave us after this weekend? I didn't think I would be typing this "out loud" but it is entirely possible that RPI actually makes it into the NCAA tourney despite what happens in the ECAC playoffs. This state of affairs is almost wholly unknown to me. I was just a little guy during the Addesa/Powers era and since Fridgen only rode their coattails for the first season, it has been basically a downhill slide for the bulk of my RPI fandom. A turnaround of this magnitude is almost too crazy to contemplate. But contemplate I WILL and using Withoutapeer's fabulous artwork, I am drafting each and every one of you who come to this blog to GET PUMPED. We need you to support the Cherry And White!
Friday, January 28, 2011
RPI has been in positions similar to this in the past but not quite. Before, it was home ice advantage which the fans were clamoring over. Now, its possible berths in the NCAA tourney which, given how most of the ECAC season has played out, is a BIG turnaround and very welcomed to contemplate.
So where does that leave us with this weekend's games? Momentum is a fickle mistress. Tough to obtain but once you are on it, who boy watch out. So, was last weekend where RPI played a good but tight first game and then steamrolled in the second, translate into a sweep weekend now? I really hope the answer is yes. I think the answer is yes. Certainly, if RPI is going to beat Yale, it will be on a 3 game home win-streak on Freakout night. Give all those variables, I am predicting sweep and a great result for the lads. Go Red, Go White!
Of course, as always, below are USCHO's picks.
Brown at Rensselaer — 7:00
This could be a big trap game for RPI, in advance of Yale and the Big Red Freakout! Will Bruno be up for stealing a game? If goalie Mike Clemente stays hot (two goals against in each of his last three games, 85 saves combined), my money’s on the road team... even if the hosts are 10–1–0 at home this year. No, I’m kidding. Sure, Brown could certainly win, but 10–1–0? Seriously? Yeah, RPI in a squeaker, 3–2.
Yale at Rensselaer — 7:00
Freakout! or no Freakout!, RPI always plays Yale tough. Will it be tough enough to hand the Bulldogs their third loss of the year, and second in two weeks? Eeehhhhh... no. I think the Blue is a title contender, and true contenders learn from past mistakes: There will be no Brown sequel. 4–3 Yale.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Actually I really don't care if they deserve it or not, they won 2 games last weekend, Chase, Tyler and Allen and playing great and I will take anything that gets the Cherry and White back into national prominence.
This program has such a great history both with its championships and NHL players that it is a shame they aren't mentioned with the Michigans, Minnesotas, etc. of the NCAA. I blame most of that on Fridgen of course but now I think SA is recruiting to really turn this program around and any attention they get on the national level can only increase that. Plus, hearing about all these prospects coming in next season gives one hope that D'Amigo and Pirri were not one year recruiting wonders.
This weekend is HUGE with Brown and Yale coming into Houston FH for a little thing called THE BIG RED FREAKOUT. Of course, I will offer a full breakdown of the weekend in a few days but I think the thing to concentrate on for the lads right now is 4. 4 meaning the top 4 in the ECAC and an automatic bye in the first round and home ice advantage for the remainder of the playoffs. given the ECAC's playoff system, home ice is crucial and RPI has been hurt in recent years when they have not obtained that level within the ECAC standings.
Right now they sit 5th in the ECAC but only one point behind Princeton and Dartmouth. Another weekend sweep should get them past those 2 as Dartmouth welcomes the CC schools and might be looking at a split and Princeton only has one game this weekend.
I have been overjoyed and disappointed by RPI this year but now I am rounding the bend to OVERLY excited about the last few weeks of the season. I am sure the lads will come through fine but as always, I will cheer em on! Go Red, Go White!
Friday, January 21, 2011
That being said, they HAVE to get 4 points this weekend. RPI is at home, which has been kinder to them than the road this year and they are back on the Ivy beat with Harvard and the Big Green of Dartmouth. Harvard over the last few years has been very strong and Dartmouth very weak. This year, roles are reversed with the Big D being up near the top of the ECAC and Harvard near the bottom.
Regardless of rank, RPI needs wins over both. What I am hoping for is that RPI gets momentum and really beats up against Harvard and then uses that to carry over into a tight game against D which RPI eventually wins. So, despite my nature of predicting a split, I am going for RPI with the sweep!
Of course, here are USCHO's picks:
Harvard at Rensselaer — 7:00
Harvard hereby becomes the fourth team, if I’m not mistaken (Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, now Harvard), for whom I’ve had to invoke The Brown Rule. 3–1 RPI.
Dartmouth at Rensselaer — 4:00
I have a real hard time believing that Dartmouth would lose both games this weekend... but I have an equally difficult time seeing either of the Capital District teams losing at home (combined 17–1–1; 5–1–0 ECAC). Betting on the hosts here, 4–2 RPI.
BD: Dartmouth has a winning record in league play. RPI did beat Dartmouth this year but it was only Dartmouth’s 3rd game of the year. Big Green are going to Troy and leaving with a split on the weekend. Dartmouth beats up the Engineers 5–1 (sorry RPI: no disrespect; prove me wrong)
Sunday, January 16, 2011
This team needs the home ice advantage at this point in order to make a run to the ECAC Final Four so they better start picking up more than 2 points a weekend.
Friday, January 14, 2011
No matter how well RPI is playing at the time, they just seem to disappear into the black hole that is "gorges".
This year, even though I have been beating the drumbeat of .500 despite RPI's overall record and despite this seemingly historical ineptitude against the C's, I think RPI really has a shot this weekend to beat both schools. Having looked up the 2010 results for the C's, its clear that it is a down year for both programs. They are just not the same dynamos that we have come to expect.
Therefore, this weekend I am chilling out on RPI's ECAC prospects and thinking they will rise up and win the weekend. I think Cornell will be close, maybe 2-1 or so and then RPI will turn on the afterburners on Colgate and win 5-0.
Can't wait to hear all the action tonight on WRPI although when tuning in last weekend, there was a noticeable drop off in the color commentary. I realize students and people with passion have done the games over the years and I am glad there are people to do it and they are not professionals so much slack on my end (having done color for my college's D3 hockey team, I know it is tough). Still, RPI prides itself on being as damn close to a professional radio station as you can get (much like Emerson College radio in Boston) and RPI has always enjoyed quality hockey announcers as a subset of that quality so hopefully the announcing team gets solidified in the coming weeks for the playoff push.
No matter who is in the booth, I can't wait to hear the call and cheer on the lads!
Sunday, January 09, 2011
As goes Chase, so goes the team. The win, 1 goal, 2 assists. The loss, 0 points.
0-5 on the powerplay, that's a paddlin and a loss.
Outshot consistently in the third period. Questions still about the legs in the final frame.
Still and RPI fan? Check. Still believe the lads can blitz the ECAC in the remaining games, check? Think it will happen, probably not but the lads have no time to rest. A very important central NY weekend is coming up with the C schools. RPI needs to do well against these traditional powerhouses in order to re-establish their ECAC dominance.
Saturday, January 08, 2011
What is it about the NC teams that give RPI such fits? Every year, when RPI travels to the Northern reaches of New York or they come to the Houston Field House, RPI never seems to be able to do well, much less sweep the teams for needed points.
Last night was no exception. RPI, needing to charge through the ECAC to secure home ice and a sense of confidence going into the playoffs were stymied by Clarkson (who at 1 minute after 9:10am still sucks) last night and lost 3-2. There was basically no defense played as each team had over 30 shots. However, when it counted in overtime, Clarkson had 4, RPI 0.
The infuriating part about RPI hockey over the last couple of seasons is that their path to glory has been in their ECAC tinged hands. If they had been better than .500 in the ECAC over the last few seasons, home ice advantage, possible deeper playoff pushes and possibly better results. Instead, they muddle through at .500 in the ECAC, don't get home ice and then are bounced.
I am not saying this will happen this year but certainly after a great November and December, a loss is typical and a bit disheartening. Still, always cheer on the lads in cherry and white for tonight's game!
Saturday, January 01, 2011
And yes, I agreed with that sentiment. RPI did not need to convincingly win over Alabama, just win! And win they did with two identical 2-1 scores. York was solid in net and had (according to the ears on WRPI.org) some spectacular saves. One just has to wonder when RPI will separate themselves from lower competitors? RPI out-shot Alabama by 2 in the first game and by 17 in the second game and could not put perhaps the worst team in D1 away.
Still, better to have fought and won and to that, I salute RPI and their march up the all important Pairwise rankings. Still, they have to keep winning, especially now that NC sched is over. Next weekend is the always great North Country tussle which should be a good test to see where this team is at.
Least you think that I am not pumped, I am and can't wait for next weekend!