Friday, January 28, 2011

Long-range recruit

Seth Appert is planning ahead.
He and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have received a verbal commitment from left-handed centerman Drew Melanson for the 2013-14 season.
Not much is known about Melanson, except that he's young, small and speedy. He just turned 16 and only hits the 140 mark on a scale when he's wearing all his hockey equipment.
He has five points (2-3-5) in five games for the North Jersey Avalanche.
He'll get bigger and stronger and be a freshman when current RPI centers Brock Higgs and Johnny Rogic are seniors.
Don't know if JFK is playing tonight; let you know in about 30 minutes.
Don't forget, you can follow the game herein by going to, link to this blog and to RPI Hockey vs. Brown.

RPI Hockey vs. Brown

Thursday, January 27, 2011

RPI Hockey Chat with Ed Weaver Jan. 27

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Freakout! memories

Folks, send us your most memorable RPI Big Red Freakout! Night memories to this site at
Don't forget our RPI fans chat tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Not so fast, JFK

TROY -- John Kennedy said during today's practice that there's a "99 percent" chance he'll play on Friday night against Brown.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute head coach Seth Appert, meanwhile, said it's more like "50-50" Kennedy will play.
Appert also explained that Kennedy's injury is a severe foot bruise and is not ankle-related.
Kennedy, who missed the Engineers most recent game, a 5-1 victory over Dartmouth on Saturday, said Tuesday he thought there was a "95" percent chance he'd play Friday.
"Make that 99 percent," Kennedy said today.
Rensselaer's captain also skated briefly after practice on today, moving that timeline up from Thursday.
"John would play if he was (physically) 30 percent," Appert would save. "But that other one percent (from his stated 99), he has no control over."
"If this were the playoffs, he'd play," Appert said of Kennedy. "But I want to be careful. I don't want to play him -- knowing that we still have one month left in the regular season, then the playoffs -- if it means having (him) 100 percent for the rest of the season and the playoffs."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kennedy hopes to play Friday.

Rensselaer senior defenseman and team captain John Kennedy is quite hopeful that he'll be able to play in this weekend's important games against Brown and Yale despite a sore ankle. The Engineers were able to beat Dartmouth without Kennedy on Saturday and have won five other games.
Putting a number on his chances, he said, "95 (percent)," even though he hasn't skated since he banged the ankle late in Friday night's victory over Harvard.

"Shooting for Thursday (to skate)," Kennedy said prior to Tuesday's practice. "Conditioning really isn't a problem this time of year. We're taking care of it and it's getting better. As long as the swelling's gone down ... there was no real damage."

The Engineers have won six of seven games without Kennedy this season, including a 4-1 victory at Brown. Kennedy was humored a bit by that stat earlier when he missed six games with a wrist injury but he hates missing games.
And having to win without their captain isn't something the Engineers want t continue with.
Kennedy and the other RPI seniors want to end their three-game, Freakout! Night losing streak -- their last chance for a Freakout! victory -- against Yale, the nation's No. 1 team.
Appert not worried about big heads: Their weekend sweep -- especially the 5-1 trouncing of Dartmouth -- shot the Engineers back into the No. 10 slot in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll.
The last time they Engineers crashed the Top 10 -- you all remember -- they played one of their weakest games of the season, falling to Clarkson, 3-2 in overtime. Despite the tight score, the Engineers were thoroughly outplayed. The loss dropped them to No. 14 in the poll.
When RPI hit the 10 spot again on Monday, head coach Seth Appert didn't mention the Top 10, didn't mention the Clarkson game.
"No, did not," he said. "Not worried about it. "We have a mature team and we've shown all year that we respond to adversity and that we respond to learning lessons ... and not having to apply the same lessons over and over and over and over and over. The teams or individuals who have to learn the same lessons (again and again) end up being losing teams or non-successful (players). And I think that's been a strength of ours this year, that we've learned a lesson, we've applied it and we've moved forward. I don't worry about that at all.
"I think we're going to have a very good week of practice," Appert said. "I don't guarantee success on Friday night, because we don't look at it in those terms but I do feel very strongly that we're going to come out and play the game the right way, play a physical, hard brand of hockey which has given us success and be prepared for a physically tough game that's going to be thrown at us by a tough Brown team.
Honors for Polacek, York: Chase Polacek was named Player of the Week by ECAC Hockey on Monday, Allen York was tabbed as Goaltender of the Week.
Polacek scored two goals in RPI's 3-2 victory over Harvard and with his 14th goal, and an assist in the 5-1 triumph over Dartmouth.
He's the top scorer in ECACH with 34 points (14-20-34).
York gave away the puck behind the net for an open-net goal against Harvard and the Crimson's other goal came on an extended 5-on-3 power play.
He allowed just one goal against Dartmouth and combined for 54 saves in the two games.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Follow the Engineers

Hey, folks, you can follow all the exciting action of today's important Dartmouth-RPI game at, link, RPI vs. Dartmouth.
Here are RPI's forward lines for today's game (left-to-right):
Defensive pairings are:
John Kennedy is out with sore ankle

RPI vs. Dartmouth

Friday, January 21, 2011

RPI vs. Harvard21

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Kasdorf commits

TROY -- Things had been getting a little dicey for RPI coach Seth Appert in his plans to secure a goaltender to take over when Allen York leaves. Turns out, he's gotten the guy he's been seeking for some time -- Winnipeg's Jason Kasdord, The Record has learned.
The 18-year old (he'll be 19 in mid-May) will enter RPI for the 2012-13 season.
Like York, he's tall and lanky -- 6-3 1/2, 178 pounds and is talented.
He was recently a rating (C--but bound to improve) by the National Hockey League's Central Scouting.
More later, and don't forget we'll have an RPI fans chat herein tonight at 6.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All due back -- but no C.J.

TROY – The bad news is, yes, C.J. Lee’s major penalty early in overtime at Colgate on Saturday night did include a game disqualification penalty, so the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sophomore forward will miss Friday night’s game against Harvard.
A rumor had been circulated that the penalty was misreported and should have been a game misconduct, which meant Lee would not be ineligible for the Harvard game.
The good news is, RPI head coach Seth Appert says he expects “all the injured players to play on Friday night.”
That would mean second-line center Brock Higgs, who missed five games after a skate blade sliced open his neck on Dec. 30 at Alabama-Huntsville, would be back, and senior winger Bryan Brutlag would return after missing just one game due to the concussion he suffered on Friday night at Cornell.
“I expect all of them to play,” Appert said Tuesday afternoon.
Back to Lee.
The “rumor” that Lee’s 10-minute penalty was not a DQ didn’t seem to have much foundation since this writer knew Appert spoke at length with referee Chip McDonald, who made the call, but it needed to be checked out anyway.
“No truth to it,” Rensselaer assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director Kevin Beattie said. (Lee’s) not eligible.”
Beattie said he had not heard of the rumor, Appert had.
“I don’t know how these things get started,” Appert said. “Blogs, (internet) chats. “But I talked to McDonald about (the call). It was definitely a DQ (call).”
Appert had expressed after Chase Polacek’s penalty-shot goal with 1:35 remaining in overtime gave RPI a 2-1 victory that he was “disappointed” with the disqualification call.
Back to the good news.
Hard-nosed sophomore winger Marty O’Grady, who played Saturday night at way below 100 percent after missing the game at Cornell due to a chest injury, will play Friday against Harvard, as will senior Scott Halpern, who’s missed nine games with an ankle injury.
All of the injured players skated hard in Tuesday’s practice, but without contact for Higgs and Brutlag.
“That’s just precautionary,” Appert said. “They should all be ready to go on Friday night and I expect them all to play. And with C.J. out, we need them.”
Nice view: Scott Halpern was among several injured RPI players sitting behind the east goal and Colgate U.'s Starr Rink on Saturday night.
So, the senior winger had a good look at Chase Polacek's game-winning, penalty-shot goal in overtime that gave the Engineers a 2-1 victory,
"It was awesome," Halpern said. "We knew Chase would score, he's a great goal-scorer. He put it right over his (goaltender Eric Mihalik's right)pad. Fun to watch and a big win."
Victories needed: Obviously, the victory at Colgate was huge. The Engineers still have high hopes of getting one of the top four seeds for the ECAC Hockey Tournament, winning a best-of-three series from a lower-seeded team and going to Atlantic City for the tournament's semifinals and championship.
In that regard, their 5-5-0 league record is much better than 4-6-0, or even 4-5-1.
Eight of the final 12 regular-season games are at home.
This weekend's games are crucial. Harvard is struggling, winning just once since its 1-0 victory over RPI. The Crimson have lost eight straight ECACH games and are 1-11-0 in their past 12 games overall.
The Engineers nearly lost to a reeling Colgate team (winless in league play) on the road. They need to bury the Crimson at home.
Saturday's game is a must if the Engineers are to finish ahead of Dartmouth, which is 6-3-1 in league play.
Assuming Yale and Union finish 1-2 in the ECACH for a second straight season -- a fairly safe assumption at this point -- if the Engineers lose to Dartmouth, they would virtually be playing for the fourth and final preliminary-round bye, having to beat out Princeton (7-4-1), Clarkson (5-3-1) and Cornell (5-5-0) for that spot.
Let's assume the Engineers come up big with a sweep this weekend, beat Brown but lose to Yale next week. That would make them 8-6-0. Among the eight remaining games after that, if they could (in no specific order) complete the sweep of Colgate, beat Cornell, get three points in two games against Quinnipiac, split with Princeton and get at least two points from the north country trip -- let's say a split, with the win coming at Clarkson -- they'd be 13-8-1.
Let's assume the split with Union, too, and lose again to Yale. That would mean they Tigers would have to get at least nine points from their other five games to beat out RPI.
That would be a major chore for Princeton.
We've made many assumptions into the 'W' column for RPI. Are they good enough to make those assumptions realities?
We'll see, starting Friday night.
Fans chat: At 6 p.m. Thursday, we'll have a RPI fans chat herein. Go to

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Hi fokls. You can follow highlights of tonight's RPI-Colgate game with me on Twitter. Engineers lead 1-0 after one period.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fans Chat today at 5

Folks, due to major problems with our printing press, a full game story on RPI's game at Cornell tonight will appear on the internet only at, not in print.
We will have a RPI fans chat herein today at 5 p.m., however.

RPI Fans Chat Jan14

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fan Chat at 8 p.m.

Quick reminder, RPI fans; we'll have the fans chat herein, postponed from 6:30, at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

O'Grady questionable; York OK

Add Marty O'Grady to Rensselaer's injury list.
The sophomore right winger (3 goals-5 assists-8 points) may be sidelined with a chest injury when the Engineers take on Cornell and Colgate on the road this weekend.
Previously (and still) sidelined are freshman center Brock Higgs (3-7-10) and senior winger Scott Halpern.
Late in Saturday's 5-3 victory over St. Lawrence, O'Grady took a hard hit -- while giving one -- and strained some chest muscles and RPI coach Seth Appert lists him as "questionable" for the weekend games.
"I'm not worried about it," Appert said of the possible loss of O'Grady. "We've had Marty's out before and we played well and we've had some other guys out and played well.
"That the good thing about our team," Appert said. "We have good depth and we have guys who can step in and provide secondary roles for us. Marty's not easy to replace but I'm not worried about it."
York feeling good: Amidst much speculation among RPI fans, junior goaltender Allen York admits he's been less than 100 percent physically in recent weeks but says he "feels fine now."
Though York says "I'm not going to say" where the injury is located, it's believed to be in the chest/ribs area and his mobility in certain positions has appeared to been affected.
"I've had some nagging injuries the past few weeks but this week (in practice) I've felt healthier than I have in a long time. We've gone back work on some things with habits and goaltending techniques. I'm feeling really good this week.
"It was bugging me a little bit," York said of the injury, "but it pretty much 100 percent now, so no worries going into this weekend."
More later: More on the Engineers later and rememeber, we'll have an RPI fans chat room herein at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Friday, January 7, 2011

OT pending

Regulation play ends tied, 2-2.

score tied 1-1 after 2 Per.

Second period ends...tied 1-1...RPI will staft 3rd Per. on power play.

Big save

5:40: Clarkson goalie Karpovich makes big save on Bryan Brutlag after giveaway. RPI going on power play at 14:45 (5:15 remaining).

RPI ties it

10:26: Nick Bailen scores from top of the slot on 4-on-4 to tie game, 1-1.

Period 2

RPI Trails

Clarkson leads RPI 1-0 after one period. Engineers, despite being shorthanded for over five minutes, outshot the Knights, 11-8.

RPI Highlights

Hey, RPI fans. Technical difficulties with Cover-It-Live tonight. We'll bring you RPI vs. Clarkson highlights herein.
Engineers have killed two penalties and are 0-of-1 on the power play. Game is scoreless with 8 min remaining in first period.

Clarkson vs. RPI Hockey

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RPI Chat Room, 6:30 p.m. Thursday

'We won't be there long; why should we listen now?'

TROY -- Rensselaer hockey coach Seth Appert was asked Wednesday if he worries that the Engineers being ranked No. 10 in a national poll, coupled with returning home for the first time in four weeks, along with playing arch-rival Clarkson on Friday night, along with the unveiling of a new video scoreboard, may change the team's attitude.
"It better not," he answered sharply. "If it does, we won't be there long."
Appert said earlier, when the new poll was released, that he continues to believe the Engineers are "mature enough to handle" all the fanfare and distractions.
He also spoke of the pollsters, somewhat directly.
"It's amazing that ... when people tell you you're no good," he said, "you don't want to listen to them. But when they tell you that you're great, you're willing to let yourself to be flattered with the adoration of your fans or the media or whatever else it is.
"The same people who rated us (No. 1o) now are the same people who said we can't win without (Brandon) Pirri and (Jerry) D'Amigo, (the stars who turned pro after one year at RPI) four months ago. We didn't listen to them then, so we shouldn't listen to them now."
"Yeah, I'm worried": While he has faith in the Engineers' maturity, Appert does admit he worries a bit.
"I worry that all this attention and the ranking and all that (may) make us a little soft and allow us to feel too good about ourselves."
Not looking ahead: Appert takes focusing on now to a higher level.
When asked if he's happy with where the team is as he and the players prepare for the final 16 ECAC Hockey games, he said, "I'm just thinking about (practice) Thursday afternoon.
"We had a very good practice today; we were just OK (Tuesday)," he said. "We were a very good hockey team today. But our approach all year has been that we want to be great today (each day) in practice and our focus has been on (that)."
Union gets benefit of Clarkson's schedule, not RPI: Clarkson will come to Houston Field House on Friday night after having played Minnesota-Duluth (at Clarkson) on both Monday and Tuesday nights.
Appert doesn't think the Engineers will gain any advantage over the Golden Knights' heavy schedule.
"I think Union will benefit from that (on Saturday night), I don't think we will," Appert said. "They're (the Knights)coming off a long (20-day) break. Two games aren't going to tire them out. They had two very good games (two losses, 4-1, 4-2) against a very good team in Duluth and I think Union will get Union will get a benefit when they (Knights) play their fourth game in six days. I don't think we will."
Neckguards -- should they be mandatory?: That question was put to Appert on Wednesday.
"We have them," he said. "We have the undershirts that have the neckguards in them and we have the neckguards, as well. Dana (equipment manager Dana McGuane) makes that option available to any guy on the team who wants to wear it, so that option is available to our guys.
"Should they be mandatory," Appert repeated. "I don't know ... I'd probably be in favor of the option."
Kearns thrilled: Gary Kearns, a former RPI player and coach will be named to Rensselaer's Ring of Honor on Feb. 12 during the Engineers' day game against Cornell.
"It's quite an honor when you think of the people who've already been inducted," said Kearns, who joins his RPI coach, Ned Harkness and players Frank Chiarelli, RPI's all-time leading scorer, Adam Oates, one of the NHL's all-time leaders in assists, Joe Juneau and Bob Brinkworth the in the Ring of Honor, which is displayed in Houston Field House.
"It was quite a surprising phone call (from RPI Athletic Director Jim Knowlton)," Kearns said. "You get a call like that and you wonder what you did to deserve it. It's such a wonderful thing."
In addition to being an All-American forward for the Engineers, scoring 144 points (61-83-144) in just two seasons, Kearns took over the as RPI coach on just a couple months notice in 1964 after Rube Bjorkman left suddenly after just one year.
Kearns is credited with saving the Division I status of RPI's hockey program, though he gives the acclaim to the players in his first class, the Class of 1969.
A reminder; any RPI backers who'd like to share their memories of Kearns, as both a player and coach, please do so within this blogspace at
New scoreboard in use -- no video: Rensselaer's new scoreboard will be ready for this weekend's games but the video aspects won't be functional for a couple more weeks at least, hopefully for the Jan. 21 game against Harvard.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

High ranking for Engineers

TROY -- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will enter play in the 2011 portion of its hockey schedule as a Top 10 team. The Engineers, winners of four straight games and seven of their past eight, moved up four spots from last week and hold down the No. 10 slot with 496 points in the balloting of national coaches and media done on a 20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-etc. basis.
It's the first time an RPI team has cracked the Top 10 since the 1999-2000 season.
The Engineers, 11-4-3 overall, lead the nation in scoring defense, permitting just 36 goals, exactly 2.00 per contest.
Rensselaer, 3-3-0 in ECAC Hockey games, returns to league action this weekend, hosting rival Clarkson (4-2-1, 10-6-2) on Friday night and St. Lawrence (3-4-0, 6-8-3) on Saturday night.