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!

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