Tuesday, February 15, 2011

York practices, Bergin skates

Allen York proclaimed himself ready to play after Tuesday's practice. So have Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute doctors.
The junior goalie has missed the past three games with a mild concussion but hopes to be in the lineup on Friday night when the Engineers play at St. Lawrence.
Meanwhile, Mike Bergin skated prior to Tuesday's practice and says he'd like to play this coming weekend.
The junior defenseman suffered a gash over his right calf several games ago and while the wound has healed, his status remains day-to-day.
Bergin will practice with the team Wednesday morning.
The Engineers suffered a pair of overtime losses to Colgate and Cornell over the weekend and thus dropped from third place to fifth in the ECAC Hockey standings.
They're one point behind Cornell and one point ahead of Princeton in the battle for the fourth and final bye in next month's league playoffs.
"It felt good to be back," York said. "It was a Tuesday practice, so it wasn't a overly (loaded with) shooting."
He also said he wasn't rusty.
"No, because I skated twice (before)today," he said. "And I wasn't out that long."
Will he play on Friday night at St. Lawrence, York was asked.
"Coaches decision," he said, (but doctors say) I'm eligible."
Bergin is RPI's best two-way defenseman and the Engineers' attack is simply more potent when he's in the lineup taking regular shifts.
"I skated for about 25 minutes before practice," Bergin said on Tuesday. "It was the first time in a couple weeks, so I was pretty tight and pretty weak. So, I just gotta take it day-by-day and keep getting stronger."
Bergin said the wound, caused by an opponent's skate, is totally healed, said he'll likely follow the same schedule today as he did Tuesday.
"Just (skate) before and keep trying to strengthen it and go from there."
The chances he'll play on Friday night?
"Game-time decision I'd say," he replied.
Good practice, no problem: One might think that after a pair of home-ice, overtime losses -- one of which RPI should have won, the other the Engineers could have won -- might make it difficult for the first practice of the week to be a good one (RPI players had Sunday off, as usual, and had only weightlifting sessions on Monday.
"No, it's pretty easy," head coach Seth Appert said. "I think it's tough sometimes to get one after great wins. It's not tough to have energy after big wins, it's tough sometimes to have focus and purpose. You can feel a little too good about yourself at times.
"As I said before, these games (OT losses to Colgate and Cornell) weren't dramatically different than the 28 we played prior to them. We just made some mistakes in some key areas and gave our opponents opportunities to beat us instead of taking advantage of the mistakes they made in order to beat them.
"Other than that," Appert said, "and the power play (failures), 90 percent of those games was pretty similar to a lot of what we've done. And actually, I'd say the Cornell game was one of our better games in the second half of the season -- a lot better than we played in some of the games we had big wins in.
"At the end of the day, it's about winning and losing," Appert said, "but it's also about having a process of what we need to look like to be a good hockey team and Saturday was what we need to be a good hockey team as we head into the toughest part of the year."
Four victories -- SLU, Clarkson, Princeton and Quinnipiac -- and a Cornell loss (the Big Red have Dartmouth at home, Brown and Yale on the road) and the Engineers will have fourth place and host the Big Red in the ECACH quarterfinals -- assuming Cornell gets by last-place Colgate or Harvard in the preliminary round.


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