Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friendly contact ahead

TROY -- Jerry D'Amigo, as you all know, will return to Houston Field House this weekend with the USA National Junior team for a 4 p.m. exhibition game against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at 4 p.m. Sunday.
During his one season as an Engineer, the Binghamton native was one of the more popular players -- as well as one of the more productive ones.
I asked RPI head coach Seth Appert -- and I prefaced it by saying, "dumb question, but did you issue a no-check edict on Jerry?"
"No, why would I do that," Appert said, to which I replied, 'am I the only one who asked you that?'''
"No, you're not," he replied.
He offered up no others who asked that question and I sought none.
"Our guys love and respect Jerry, and Brandon (Pirri, who also turned pro after one outstanding season at Rensselaer)," Appert said. "But they'll treat Jerry as they would any other opponent. They won't just lay off him because he's a former teammate."
"How about a 'do not run Jerry into the boards" proclamation I asked, still joking.
"Why would we not hit him," Appert said. "Hockey's not a nice game but of course we'll hit him. Why not? There are no friends on the ice."
Indeed. Should be interesting, though, and maybe Jerry will feel a bit awkward; not to suggest for an instant that he won't play hard -- and well.
Time change: I'm sure that most of you who are planning to attend the Engineers' two non-league games at Alabama-Huntsville Dec. 30-31 realize that the Friday game, New Year's Eve, has been changed to from a night game to a 3:30 (central time, 4:30 eastern) start.
It makes for quite a quadrupleheader for RPI fans who'll make the trip.
First, at 11 a.m. Huntsville time, basketball rivals No. 16 Kentucky and No. 21 Louisville square off on TV, followed by the Sun Bowl between Notre Dame at Miami at 1 (CST).
Then the Engineers square off with the Chargers of UAH in Game 2 at 3:3o.
At 6:30, the Chick-fil-A Bowl between No. 19 South Carolina and No. 23 Florida State.
That leaves plenty of time for a festive New Year's Eve celebration at the team's hotel, the downtown Huntsville Holiday Inn, with the Engineers players and coaches.
Sounds like a good time.


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