Sunday, February 6, 2011

York has concussion

TROY -- Concussions have run rampant through the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute locker room this hockey season.
Junior goaltender Allen York is the latest Engineer to suffer one, joining C.J. Lee, Joel Malchuck, Marty O'Grady and Bryan Brutlag.
Reports on Friday night listed York's injury as "lower-body" and a most conflicting (but a bit more accurate "upper-body."
York told me Sunday it's a concussion and he would see the doctor on Monday and "go from there."
He holds out hope that the concussion is mild enough that he can play this weekend against Colgate and Cornell.
When injuries occur on the road and no local media is present, it can be difficult to get accurate reports.
As each season goes on, coaches and school administrators become more and more uneasy with even acknowledging injuries, much less commenting on them, though when a starting goaltender leaves a game, that's pretty much an acknowledgment.
C.J. Lee got his arm caught in another player's armpit in practice and twisted his shoulder. He told me on Wednesday he would play. Seth seemed to think so, too.
He expects to play this weekend, too, as does defenseman Mike Bergin (calf laceration).
Merriam shines: When the Engineers arrived from Princeton about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Merriam, who stopped 38 of 40 shots at Princeton, was asked it felt to be a hero.
“I’m not a hero, that was my job,” said the sophomore from Bethel Park, Pa. said. “Yorkie (starting goalie Allen York) went down and I had to pick up the slack for him. It’s my job to come in a take over for him.”
Having played the final 23 minutes at Quinnipiac prepared Merriam for his first ECACH start of the season and he says he wasn’t nervous.
“Friday night helped,” he said. “I think (those 23 minutes) helped with Saturday, eased the nerves because it wasn’t the first game I played in a long time (Friday night was).”
When Princeton scored twice within the first 7:33 of the third period — Derrick Pallis pulling the Tigers within 3-2 – Merriam wasn’t overly stressed.
“A little bit,” he said, “but we took a timeout and calmed it down a little bit. Then the (RPI) team really took over. Everything went well after that.”
Rensselaer captain John Kennedy was asked if it's common for a mature, veteran team like RPI, to rally around its backup goalie.
"You could say that," Kennedy said, "but I give all the credit to Bryce. He's been working very hard. He's behind Allen (on the depth chart) but at the same time, he's put in a lot of effort. It was his time to step up to the plate and he hit a home run."
Tough Tigers: Appert said that one of the most satisfying aspects of Saturday's victory -- in a game that would extend third place to the winner -- was that Princeton played well, too.
"They were very good," Appert said. "They are so aggressive offensively and put so many shots on your net. So, you wind up having a lot of puck battles at your net front. Our guys did a real good job of tying up sticks and clearing pucks."
When RPI lost 5-1 at Cornell last month, the Big Red scored several goals in such situations in front of the net.
That will have to be alleviated when the Big Red come to Houston Field House for a most important rematch at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Another reminder: Older RPI fans, send us your best memories of Garry Kearns, who, after starring at Rensselaer in the mid-50s, coached the Engineers in the mid- and late-60s, saving the Division I status of the program, many believe.
Kearns will be added to Rensselaer's Ring of Honor during Saturday's game, which will be televised nationally by NHL Network, picking up Time Warner Cable's feed.
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