Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RPI's Montgomery headed to USHL

TROY -- Popular Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute assistant hockey coach Jim Montgomery has been offered and is expected to accept the head coaching position of the United States Hockey League's expansion team in Dubuque, Iowa.
Montgomery, a former All-American at the University of Maine, and the MVP of the 1993 NCAA Tournament when the Black Bears won the national championship, played a big part in the upgrading of RPI's talent level, helping bring in such quality players as Chase Polacek, Mike Bergin, Brandon Pirri, Jerry D'Amigo and Allen York, among others.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

D'Amigo named top rookie

TROY -- Rensselaer freshman left winger Jerry D'Amigo will be named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year, The Record has learned.
D'Amgio had 34 points (10-24-34) in his freshman season and teamed with fellow freshman Brandon Pirri to improved RPI's power play dramatically.
"It's a great honor," D'Amigo said.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

RPI takes control

TROY -- The Engineers were guilty of a pair of glaring defensive-zone mistakes, on one of which Allen York had to make a big save but RPI was a much more desperate, focused and intense team in the second period.
They created a number of good scoring chances, hitting a couple goalposts, and Brown center Jack Maclellan saved a goal by reaching around Chase Polacek and deflecting away Polacek's tip-in try on a rebound.
Later, Patrick Cullen scored his first goal in seven weeks, skating around the net and banging one in from the lower right slot to break the 1-1 tie at 14:41 of the period.
One minute, 15 seconds later, Brandon Pirri stole the puck, skated into the Brown zone and blasted a roof job past Brown goalie Mike Clemente from the left circle, his 11th goal.
Engineers need to avoid a repeat of Friday night's third period to force a deciding Game 3 tomorrow night.

TROY -- Brown is outplaying RPI early in the game, outhustling the Engineers and the Bears score on a 2-on-1 breakout -- bad gamble in neutral zone by Peter Merth -- tying the game 1-1 at 15:05 and counteracting Paul Kerins' power-play goal two ninutes earlier.
Engineers are not playing with much desperation.
Tyler Helfrich is benched once again benched.

What do Engineers lack?

TROY -- Just what is it that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's hockey team lacks?
I can't put a finger on it but it's something?
We've said it was killer instinct and that applies in some situations but not all?
In their last two home games, the Engineers have lost to clearly ECAC Hockey's most struggling teams and have totaled just one goal.
Friday night's loss to Brown was as puzzling as it was aggravating.
Rensselaer coach Seth Appert points out that Brown is "the most physical team in our league," and indeed, the Bears may be, but they are also the worst team in ECACH. When last-place Clarkson is anywhere near healthy, it is a better team than Brown.
Yet the Engineers have a 1-2-0 record against the Bears. Quite simply, they should have put Brown away early Friday night but couldn't. The effort wasn't strong enough.
Did losing the game at Dartmouth during the final 2:50 -- a game they had TOTAL control of after two periods -- put some doubt in the Engineers' minds?
Are their other psychological and/or internal problems of which we're not aware?
Despite the outstanding talent among their first two forward lines and Allen York's prowess in net, are they not as good as we thought?
They have a 50-point scorer, a 40-point scorer and another forward who's as good an all-around forward, as a freshman, as there is in the league and still they're a .500 team.
Rensselaer is 4-4-1 against the eighth-, ninth-, 10th- and 11th-place teams in the league and barely punched out a 2-1, homeice victory over Clarkson, one night after Clarkson allowed 11 goals at Union.
Will the Engineers win tonight?
If I was forced to bet a paycheck one way or the other, I'd have to bet yes but I really don't know if they will or not. If they do, will they win again tomorrow night and advance to the playoff semifinals?
Who knows?
With all the resiliency the Engineers have displayed this season, they better still have a boatload in reserve.
If they lose this series, be it in two games or three, this will have to be viewed as a lost season.
Chase Polacek topped the 50-point mark, is having a Hobey Baker Award-type season, led the league in scoring and is among the leaders nationally.
Freshman Brandon Pirri led the league in assists and displayed some brilliant moves and Jerry D'Amigo was an instant two-way star.
The Engineers swept No. 5-ranked Yale and showed flashes of indications that they were about to become a week-by-week Top 20, even a Top 10 team.
All that will be awash if they lose this series.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

RPI makes big haul of ECACH awards

ALBANY -- Chase Polacek was named to the ECAC Hockey All-League's First Team on Tuesday and three other Rensselaer Polytechnic stars were honored.
Sophomore goalie was a Second Team All-ECACH selection and freshmen Jerry D'Amigo and Brandon Pirri both earned spots on the All-Rookie Team.
Not since 2000 has RPI had as many as four players honored.
More later.