Saturday, March 26, 2011

End of Season/Era

At the end of the day, the D chased the man too much, left York open to the ND snipers and the O could not sustain the pressure leading to a 6-0 ND win over the Cherry and White.

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.

(image from RPI Athletics . Com, all rights reserved to them).

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.


So Who Wins?

Here we are, a few hours from puck drop. I am going out of my mind wondering what RPI is going to do? I think this games goes 1 of 2 ways.

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

RPI Hockey Hits The Bigtime

Ahhh, ahhhh, ahhh, RPI in the NCAA's! Unreal! 15 years! And they lost in the first round of the ECAC Tourney! They didn't even make it into the Final Four!?!?!

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


I can't believe it. First RPI loses to freakin Colgate in 3 games. No summary post from me because I am just disgusted by how the series went, heck how the last 1/4 of the season went. Fuming over here.

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

Do Or Die Time

3 game series? 3 game series. Tied, bottom of the ninth, 3 men on, two men out.

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

Playoff Fever

Can you smell it? Can you taste it? Does it cuddle up to you on a cold winter's night?

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!