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.


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