Saturday, March 26, 2011

NCAA Tournament loss for Engineers

Rensselaer hockey players didn't want the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 years to end with an "at least they got there" situation.
After a nightmarish second period in which North Dakota scored four goals, that's the way it turned out.
The Engineers were held to 21 shots, made some defensive mistakes and the top-ranked Fighting Sioux roared to a 6-0 rout at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
"I'm certainly proud that we made here but I'm not happy the way it ended, not happy with the score," RPI coach Seth Appert said. "We didn't come here just to be here.
"We played exactly the way we needed to play to have success in the first period," Appert said. "Then they pushed us pretty good and ... we didn't have enough resolve to stay disciplined enough in the second period to continue to play the way we needed to to have a chance to win."
Brad Malone scored the first two North Dakota goals, putting in his own rebound from a sharp angle early in the second period for a 2-0 lead.
Matt Frattin had one goal, one assist for North Dakota (31-8-3), which will play Denver or Western Michigan for the Midwest Region championship today.
"It was good that we got here," said RPI senior and scoring leader Chase Polacek. "The helped the younger guys. They'll have a game under their belt when they get back here again."
"It's not the way we wanted it to end, obviously," said senior Tyler Helfrich, "but it was great to be here. It's something the guys can build on."
"Great experience to be (in the tournament)," said RPI captain John Kennedy.
"We wish we could have made a better showing."
The Engineers conclude the season with a 21-13-5 record.
Polacek, Helfrich, Foss, Kennedy, Bryan Brutlag all ended their RPI careers on Saturday. Seniors Scott Halpern and Kevin Beauregard did not play.


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