Friday, November 30, 2012

Back At It

RPI gets back into the swing of things hosting Princeton and the Q. Princeton has been having around a .500 season so far and is the more beatable of the traveling pair. Of course, as you probably know by now, RPI will be severely understaffed as CJ Lee and others will be out for this weekend's contest.

The Q is playing lights out with a perfect ECAC record and a great overall record, not the type of team RPI will do well against as of late. Sadly, I am predicting an 0-2 weekend for our lads. This is due to RPI playing with one hand behind its back due to all the injuries but perhaps they grab a tie on Friday night. No matter what happens I will be rooting for the Cherry and White!

As always, here is USCHO's take:

Princeton at Rensselaer
The Tigers are in the midst of a seven-game road trip, but are facing an Engineers team that might be shorthanded this weekend.  Ed Weaver of The Troy Record reports that a number of players are questionable, including captain C.J. Lee.  It’s early, but a win would help RPI immensely – they’re the only team without a point in league play. RPI 4-3 (OT)

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Quinnipiac at Rensselaer
The Bobcats have been rolling along nicely lately. Not sure if a gritty, but shorthanded, Engineers’ squad will be up to the task. Quinnipiac 4-1

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Wowee Wow Wow

Well well well, just when I thought the season was going sideways for our boys in the Cherry and White they come up with a HUGE weekend against Mercyhurst. After getting outscored, outshot, just basically outworked in the previous few weekends, RPI put up 8 goals over the weekend and only letting up 3.

Goaltending was key as Merriam and rook Kasdorf both looked up to the challenge. The forwards kept up pressure and the D was good at (mostly) clearing the zone. I mean, there was so much goodness this weekend, it is tough to sum up in a blog post.

Needless to say, I am VERY high on the lads after this weekend. This was a NC game so whether this translates into ECAC play remains to be seen but that being said, if the guys put forth the effort they gave this last weekend, they should be a very tough team to contend with for the remainder of the regular season.


Friday, November 16, 2012


This weekend, RPI hosts Mercyhurst in back to back games at the HFH. I have a soft spot for Mercyhurst, they of the cool uniforms and surprising NCAA appearances, coming out of a little conference to play with the big boys.

Mercyhurst would be a tough opponent in any year and RPI is meeting them at a bad time because after starting this year slowly, they have won their last 3 games. Also, for some reason all of Mercyhurst's games so far have been on the road so RPI cannot really claim any home ice advantage for this weekend's contests.

RPI is getting back their leading scorer but it really comes down to whether the goaltending steps up or not. I thought RPI would be stacked deep at the position this year but it seems rather thin so far in ECAC play. If there is a turnaround in the crease, there will be one in the standings. Go Red!

As always, here is USCHO's take:

Mercyhurst at Rensselaer
The Engineers have seen a promising opening weekend dissolve into a mess. RPI has been outscored 19-5 in four league games and is on a five game losing streak overall.  The good news? Leading scorer Jacob Laliberte is set to return this weekend, per Ken Schott of the Schenectady Daily Gazette.  That should at least help the offense, although it might not matter if the Engineers continue to give up close to five goals a game, as they have since starting league play. Mercyhurst 4-1

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Mercyhurst at RPI
Four-point weekends are tough in college hockey. I think the Engineers prevent one here. RPI 2-1

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Well, That Happened

Ouch, what a roadtrip. RPI was outscored 8-0. They were consistently outshot by their opponent. I was worried about rotating goaltenders, especially if one was "hot" but over the last few weeks, neither has done the job. We have a frosh goalie in the wings but knowing nothing about him from the limited play he has seen this season, I am not advocating for a wholesale change...yet.

RPI fans on the message boards and the listserv are insisting there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. What is the fix, is it getting everyone back healthy, is it the D stepping up and playing better, is it the goaltenders stepping up and playing at all?

I am not offering any solutions but considering how feisty and competitive RPI was during non-conference play to start the season lo those 4 weeks ago, things have gone downhill in a hurry since Union. PLENTY of games left to be sure, it is a long season. At some point you just wish all the talk about the potential of this team and SA's recruiting will pay off. Considering the youth on this team, that payoff might be next year and I always remain hopeful!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Ivy Roadtrip!

RPI looks to get back on the winning horse after getting shellacked by Union last weekend. Some bad news going into this weekend is that Laliberte (RPI's top dog) is out this weekend with basically a concussion which means everyone else on the squad will have to step up. Perhaps Neal or Haggerty will continue their nice starts with some more offensive fireworks this weekend.

I think that it will come down to goaltending. Can the hydra of Diebold and Merriam work or should one get the start for both games? It is tough to tell, while Merriam's GAA is double Diebold's, their save percentages are both under .900 so its still kinda a toss up in my mind.

Dartmouth will be a tough test to start the weekend, they are off to a 3-0-1 start with an impressive 15 goals for in the first 4 contests. Harvard is slightly more "middle of the pack" scoring 9 but giving up 7. I think RPI won't be able to overcome the Big Green but will give the Crimson all they want and more and coming out of the weekend 1-1.

As always, here is USCHO's take:

Rensselaer at Dartmouth
Things unraveled a bit for RPI in last weekend’s sweep by rival Union. The Engineers will be without leading scorer Jacob Laliberte for both games thing weekend, and possibly longer, according to Ed Weaver of The Troy Record. RPI will also be without defenseman Luke Curadi, who sits out after receiving a game disqualification in Saturday’s game.  Dartmouth has ridden solid goaltending from freshman Charles Grant and junior Cab Morris, along with timely scoring from Eric Robinson (three game-winning goals) to a 3-0-1 overall mark and first-place tie with Union.  Dartmouth 5-2

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Rensselaer at Harvard
This marks the third straight road game for the Engineers, who as I mentioned before, will be shorthanded this weekend.   RPI let last weekend slip away thanks to some penalties that gave Union’s power play increased ice time. They can’t do the same here.  Harvard 4-1
St. Lawrence at Yale

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Monday, November 05, 2012

Blow Out City

Yeesh, that was an ugly weekend eh? Union outscored the lads 11-5 (9 to 2 alone in the second period). Union went 5 for 13 on the powerplay, RPI 1 for 10. You could say that was the difference between the 2 teams but unfortunately it just seems that Union got out ahead in the first, stepped on the gas in the second and just cruised to an easy weekend.

This team is young so will be the scoring and the defense. That being said, the goaltending is not "young" and despite the youth on this team, they should be playing better against the top rival.

I don't know what it is about SA's teams. They start off the season so....middling. This year I thought, well going up against top national teams a 1-1-2 record was awesome and bodes well for the ECAC. Well its clear that Union has stepped it up above the usual ECAC hockey and is playing like an elite national team. RPI, not so much.

Of course, I think the talent is there for RPI. SA is a great recruiter and it will take a bit for all of the pieces to gel together but to be blown out by Union just hurts for this Ripppeee fan.

The boys look to get healthy against the Ivys this weekend (preview coming on Friday) which I hope they do in a hurry. As always, go RED!

Friday, November 02, 2012

RPI Hockey Is BACK!

Whew, that was a long bye week wasn't it? Sure the lads went out to Minnesota but having a week without RPI hockey really left a big gaping hole in my hockey soul.

The Cherry and White are back in action and whoo dilly are they! 2 games against the dreaded Union and tonight is Black Friday nonetheless! My "dislike" of Union is well documented on this blog but for those new to the rivalry, well this is the big one. Say what you want to about Clarkson, Union is the rival we care about, which we measure ourselves against.

I personally can't wait for RPI to take it to em. While I think this might be another split weekend, I think RPI will come out guns a blazin tonight and get the W. So what if Union is ranked 10th in the country with a 3-1-1 record? That all goes out the window when playing your rival and I expect RPI and its young guns to step up to the challenge.

Saturday night is at Union and I expect the reverse outcome but still the lads to give Union all they have.

USCHO sees it a little differently but no matter what happens, Go Red, Go White!

USCHO's Take:

Union at RPI
Like Cornell and Colgate, these rivals and travel partners get started early, as this is the league opener for both. They’ll only meet once more in the regular season after this weekend, a non-conference matchup at the Times-Union Center in January. Neither can be too happy entering the series: Union settled for a 2-2 tie at Connecticut last Saturday, while RPI blew two third-period leads at Minnesota State two weeks ago. Union is looking for its ninth straight Capital Skates Trophy, awarded to the team that accumulates the most points in the season series. Union 3-2

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RPI at Union
This is the first home game for the Dutchmen since season-opening 4-1 loss to Merrimack on Oct. 6. I don’t see them starting 0-2 at Messa. Union 4-2

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