Sunday, January 30, 2011


And we have liftoff to the RPI season! After an impressive non-conference record and a middling at best run through the ECAC, RPI has hit its stride at home in a big way with an impressive win against Brown and then an unbelievable win over Yale.

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

Biiiiiiiig Weekend

So, are we PUMPED in RPI-land or what? RPI has destiny laid out before it quite clearly. 10th in the country, #5 in the ECAC with the possibility of moving up to #3 after this weekend. BIG RED FREAKOUT this weekend, the weekend most alumns and students and us third party partisan supporters look forward to more than any other on the calendar.

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

Well, That Happened!

Amazing, RPI goes out and kicks butt for 2 straight games last weekend earning 4 points! They also earn a top 10 spot in USCHO. Now, having followed this team as long as I have, do I think they deserve such a high ranking, probably not but if it helps get them into the NCAA's as an at large, I am all for it.

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

Back In The Saddle

Ok, shaking off the last 2 weekends. Got to dust yourself off. RPI is still 15th in Without A Peer's pairwise rankings. They still are very much in control of home ice advantage and if they can actually get it in gear, they might have a first round bye.

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


Well, is there much more to say than that? Cornell, weak this year, .500 team at best, ripe for the plucking. Colgate, worst team in the ECAC and probably bottom 5 in the country. What does RPI do? Get blown out in the 3 period/barn against Cornell and barely beats 'Gate in overtime due to Chase.

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

C Is For Chill

While typically over the last few years in the ECAC, Ivy teams have been the ones to advance to the NCAA tourney (specifically Yale and Harvard). However, the teams I have always felt have given RPI much problems have been the C schools, Cornell and Colgate. Especially when RPI travels to central New York to play them.

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

So, What Did We Learn?

RPI can outshoot a team and lose, get outshot and win.

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

North Country Conundrum

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

Well, A Win Is A Win

As Without A Peer stated: "Does RPI need to pound the Chargers this week? No, they just need a couple of wins"

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 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!