Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An ugly victory

DETROIT -- Winning ugly.
Rensselaer put only 13 shots on the Michigan net Tuesday night but put four of them past the Wolverines' two shaky goalies and skated into the Great LakesInvitational Tournament championship with a 4-3 victory over Michigan.
The Engineers had better play at a much higher level tonight against 13th-ranked Michigan State (a 10-1 blowout winner over Michigan Tech), or they'll likely get whipped.
"This was not our best effort tonight; I wasn't particularly thrilled with the way we played," said RPI coach Seth Appert after the "we'll take it" triumph.
Chase Polacek scored two power-play goals to extend his scoring streak to 14 games for the Engineers, who may have to play without frontliner Tyler Helfrich tonight.
Helfrich, who had a five-game scoring streak stopped, blocked a shot in the ankle late in the first period and limped off the ice. He played two shifts in the second period but none after.
He's questionable for tonight.
NOTES: Allen York stopped 43 shots to earn the win, his first since Nov. 13, stopping a six-game losing streak. ... Brandon Pirri has just one goal in the past 10 games but has 10 assists during that time ... RPI's berth in the GLI final is the school's second but just the third among current ECAC Hockey teams. Harvard won the title in 1972. ... Paul Kerins had one goal and two assists and with 16 points (6-10-16), he's third on the team in scoring behind Polacek (14-14-28) and Pirri (7-14-21). ... RPI's past two victories are against two of college hockey's most storied programs, Boston U. and Michigan. ... Engineers hadn't won consecutive games since Nov. 13. ... Appert played little-used, often-injured Jordan Watts over Josh Rabbani and Justin Smith Tuesday night because of Watts' penalty-killing skills and Watts came through with a solid effort in shorthanded situations. Engineers killed all seven of their 4-on-5 situations, allowing only one goal when two men down for a full two minutes. ... Appert will likely keep to his plan of using freshman Bryce Merriam in goal tonight. ... Engineers are on the road when ECACH action resumes next weekend, traveling to Quinnipiac and Princeton.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RPI wins, 4-3

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bergin's back

DETROIT -- "...and at defense, a sophomore from Ottawa, No. 8 Mike Bergin."
After missing eight games with what was thought to be a minor concussion, Rensselaer's prized two-way standout defenseman will return to tonight, says head coach Seth Appert, against Michigan in the first round of the Great Lakes Invitational.
"Darn near 100 percent," Appert said of Bergin's playing chances tonight. "Unless he falls down walking out of the Joe Louis Arena and breaks something, he'll play."
Likewise for freshman forward C.J. Lee (ankle, Appert said.
"Unless he falls down walking out of the Joe or slips on a patch of ice walks on the way back to the hotel, he'll play.
"The (Christmas) break was good for both those guys," Appert said. "Obviously, we won against BU (Boston), so we have a some momentum but the couple days of practice is the first time in two months we've had a full lineup, other than Jerry (D'Amigo) being gone (World Junior Tournament) or we haven't had three, four, five guys in orange jerseys for non contact.
"We're a better team when we have our full complement of players," Appert added.
Which defenseman will sit for Bergin?
Likely senior Christian Jensen, but not definitely.
Jensen, an NHL draft pick (San Jose), didn't play until Bergin got hurt but he's played well. Several other 'D' men have had a lackluster game or two in the meantime.
"Actually, I haven't decided that yet," Appert said, "and it's not automatically Christian Jensen because I think Christian's played pretty good."
Appert said the decision will be a tough one.
Who's in goal: The fourth-year coach faces a decision there, too, since starter Allen York had struggled of late and freshman backup Bryce Merriam played so well in the victory at BU.
Appert pointed out that York had "stubbed his toe in three of the past four games and said, "I think Bryce has gotten better and better and better and he's put himself in position to contend for a (starting) position on a daily basis."
Appert said he's "strongly leaning toward Allen playing (tonight) and playing Bryce on Wednesday."
Kennedy flub: Junior defenseman and team captain John Kennedy shouted to a teammate during a drill on Monday, "make it look real, don't just go through the motions."
Seconds later, Kennedy flubbed a pass at the point, as the puck bounced off his stick and out of the offensive zone.
Kennedy seemed to have to force the smile on his face.
"He gets on somebody, then he ruins the drill," fellow D-man Erik Burgdoerfer joked with a deadpan delivery.
Cullen first: Sophomore winger Patrick Cullen was first out of the RPI locker room prior to Monday's practice, impatiently waiting on the bench while the Joe Louis Arena ice was still being resurfaced.
"I'm psyched to play here," Cullen said.

D'Amigo honored

Jerry D'Amigo had an outstanding beginning to the World Junior Tournament in Saskatoon, scoring two goals and assisting on another goal in the USA's 7-3 victory over Slovakia on Saturday.
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute freshman and Binghamton native was named the Player of the Game for his efforts.
"Pretty good start for him," said a proud RPI coach Seth Appert.
The U.S. also won on Sunday, 3-0 over Switzerland and will play Latvia on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Engineers lodged in London, Ont. on Sunday night and will arrive in Detroit for the Great Lakes Invitational today at about 12:15 p.m.
They will practice at Joe Louis Arena two hours later.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Curadi will be an Engineer

It was made official on Friday. Luke Curadi will play his college hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
At 6-foot-5, 247 pounds, the East Hartford native is the biggest RPI player in recent years.
Several websites referred to Curadi's verbal commitment to RPI on Friday, including that of Curadi's team, the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League. Curadi will most likely join RPI in September but it's possible he could play one more year in juniors.
He currently has three goals, six assists for nine points and 58 penalty minutes at Penticton. The bruising, physical Curadi has a tendancy to draw some unnecessary penalties; he had 167 minutes in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League last year.
Having already added highly-touted Nick Quinn and Bowling Green transfer Nick Bailen, RPI coach Seth Appert now has a replacement -- assuming Curadi plays at RPI next season -- for each of the three senior defensemen on this year's roster.
Ironically, Curadi was born at West Point, where current RPI athletic director Jim Knowlton played and served as AD.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Curadi to RPI?

A rumor circulated on Thursday night that H-U-G-E defenseman Luke Curadi has given a verbal committment to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The 6-foot-5, 247-pound Hartford-area native currently plays for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Curadi is a big, tough, physical, in-your-face defenseman with better than average skating ability.
The 18-year old Curadi nicknamed "Sasquatch", could join the Engineers next September, or he could he held for the 2011-12 season.