Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Whew, that was quite the catharsis wasn't it? RPI scored more than 1 goal, two in fact and beat RIT 2-0 on RIT's home rink!

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

Back In Action

Halo RPI Fans. Did you enjoy Turkey Day and the food related comas we are all in at the moment?

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

3 More Games In The Books

That Tuesday game threw me for a loop with regular posting as RPI played Union the other night. After splitting the weekend series 1-1 (as predicted here!) RPI faced dreaded rival Union and got blown out 5-1.

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

Home Cookin

Another weekend of college hockey is upon us and RPI hosts 2 games this weekend at the good ol HFH.

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

State Of The Team

Here are the bleak numbers this Monday morn:

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

1 Minute Left and

Any RPI knows how the rest of that goes. Well RPI travels to the North Country this weekend for another swing into the ECAC. Enough of that depressing NC schedule, let's get some ECAC hockey on with big rivals!

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.)

Rensselaer at St. Lawrence
*Deep sigh* This is not a game I want to pick, because these are two teams that don't need any speck of negative energy to fall atop the mounting pile of suck that is the first month of the 2011-12 season. I'm going to make an admittedly (and deliberately) arbitrary decision: home-ice advantage; SLU, 3-2.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Well That Hurt

Sure there were several empty net goals but being outscored 8-2 regardless how those goal came hurt.

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)!