Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Another Season To Get Underway

Hi everyone,

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.


Also, I would like to welcome RPIHockey.Net to the RPI blogging universe. Go check em out!

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