Wednesday, October 26, 2011

RPI injury update

Both junior center Brock Higgs and freshman center Jacob Laliberte will remain out of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute lineup this weekend against No. 3-ranked Colorado College at Houston Field House.
Junior forward Marty O'Grady, sidelined for two weeks with a concussion, has resumed light exercises but has yet to be cleared for contact. It's not impossible he could play this weekend but highly doubtful.
"We hope to have Brock and Jacob back for the Clarkson-St. Lawrence weekend (next week)," RPI head coach Seth Appert. "That's looking pretty good but it's not definite at this point."
"That's what we're looking for. Higgs and me will see the (orthopedic) doctor on Halloweeen (Monday)," Laliberte said today.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

York to back up for Blue Jackets

Allen York has been in Joe Louis Arena before.
When he walks into the storied building in lower downtown Detroit tonight, it’ll be quite a bit different for the former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute goaltender.
He’ll be wearing a National Hockey League uniform.
The Columbus Blue Jackets recalled York on an emergency callup from their American Hockey League farm team in Springfield on Thursday. He’ll back up No. 1 goalie Steve Mason in the Blue Jackets game against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.
Though he almost certainly won’t play, unless Mason gets hurt, York is looking forward to donning the Blue Jackets road shirt.
“It’ll be neat, even though I’ll be backing-up,” York said Thursday night from his Detroit hotel room. “I’m looking forward to it.”
York posted a big 4-3 victory over Michigan in the first round of the 2009 Great Lakes Invitational Tournament before he and the Engineers were beaten by Michigan State in the championship game the next night.
“That was a fun night,” York said of the victory over the Wolverines.
York, 21, has gone 1-0-0 with a 2.97 goals-against average and .907 save percentage in two games with Springfield this season.
He sat out two games.
“I hurt my shoulder last Friday,” he said. “But it’s fine now. I just want to get into some games somewhere.”
Mason, a 5-year NHL veteran, hasn’t been spectacular this season with a 3.34 goals against average and .883 saves percentage, but the Blue Jackets, the NHL’s only winless team (0-5-1), are scoring just 2.0 goals per game. Mason would likely get a stretch on the bench but the other goaltenders, Curtis Sanford and former Colgate star Mark Dekanich, are injured.
Blue Jackets Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson said the team is “hoping to get (York) some work. Ideally, it would be at Springfield but we’ll see what happens.”
York signed his entry level contract on March 29, 2011 after he and the Engineers had completed the season, his junior year. He was season 18-11-4 with a 2.17 GAA, .924 saves percentage and two shutouts in 34 games with the Engineers.
He was named Third Team All-ECAC after he finished the season ranked third in the league in wins and GAA and fifth in saves percentage. He also appeared in four games with the Falcons at the end of the 2010-11 season, going 3-1-0 with a 2.04 GAA, .926 SV% and one shutout.
A native of Wetaskiwin, Alb., York was the Blue Jackets’ sixth pick, 158th overall, in the 2007 Entry Draft.
He finished his RPI career with a record of 37-33-8, 2.47 GAA, .915 saves percentage and four shutouts in 83 career games. He ranks first all-time at Rensselaer in GAA and is fourth in saves percentage.

York recalled by Blue Jackets

Former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute goaltender Allen York has been recalled by the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets. He'll be the backup goalie for Friday night's game against Detroit.
More later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Burgdoefer back (perhaps); Others still out

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey players Brock Higgs and Jacob Laliberte walked around Houston Field House before the team left for the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday, each with his fractured finger in a splint.
Each was asked for his return timetable.
"Hoping for the first week of November," said Higgs, RPI's scoring leader.
Laliberte, a highly-touted freshman, echoed those words.
So did head coach Seth Appert.
"We're hopeful, that for Brock and Jacob," Appert said, "we're hopeful that they'll be available for that first league weekend."
The Engineers open ECAC Hockey league action Nov. 4-5 at Clarkson and St. Lawrence. If RPI is at or near full strength, the Engineers should have a good chance to win both those games.
"That's not a definite timetable," Appert added. "They could be back next weekend but I don't think so. I think the earliest we'll see them is that (Nov. 4-5) weekend. So, we're hoping the healing process continues to go well as it has so far and that we'd be able to have them back for the league games."
Junior center Marty O'Grady is suffering from a concussion, so he has no due date.
"You just don't know (with concussions)," Appert said. "He could be back tomorrow. Well, not tomorrow, because there's protocol about how long you have to sit out after you're sympton-free.
"You just don't know with those things," Appert continued. "He could wake up tomorrow and feel like a million bucks. But at the same point and time, (Pittsburgh Penguins star) Sydney Crosby's had this for 10 months.
"So, you can't predict that, so you don't even try to," Appert said.
With RPI struggling to score -- no goal in 132 minutes, 31 seconds -- in addition to the injuries at forward, the return of junior winger Greg Burgdoefer from a shoulder injury would be quite welcome to Appert and the Engineers.
"He looks like he's getting close to being able to go," Appert said of Burgdoefer. "He's had the injury, he's had an illness, he's been pretty beat up in the past three weeks. But my gut (feeling)is, he's going to be healthy enough to play, which will be great. We could have used his presence last weekend in a tough building (two shutout losses at Ferris State) and I think certainly we can use his presence (at Notre Dame)."

Monday, October 17, 2011

From bad to worse for Engineers; Laliberte injured

They haven't scored a goal in 132 and one-half minutes. Now, add Jacob Laliberte to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers' list of injuries.
The highly-touted freshman forward suffered a fractured hand in Saturday night's 2-0 loss to Ferris State. He's out indefinitely.
Rensselaer coach Seth Appert had planned to use the talented left winger-center at left wing this season but with centers Brock Higgs and Marty O'Grady already out, Laliberte played center in both of the shutout losses at Ferris over the weekend.
So, it can be said that RPI will play at No. 6-ranked Notre Dame on Friday night without its top three centers.
Appert has to keep the Engineers from panicking over the lack of offense and falling into despair over the repeated injuries.
"We'll have to find a way to get by," said Appert, whose team has a pair of home games against No. 4 Colorado College Oct. 28-29 before opening the ECAC Hockey season at Clarkson and St. Lawrence Nov. 4-5.
"Obviously, we have to win with the players we have," Appert said. "We need our older guys - Patty Cullen, Alex (Angers-)Goulet, C.J. Lee, Joel Malchuk, Josh Rabbani, Justin Smith, Marty when he gets back healthy, have to lead."
Junior Greg Burgdoefer has been out with a shoulder injury. His status for Friday has yet to be determined.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Higgs out this weekend

The finger injury to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute sophomore center Brock Higgs turned out to be more severe than originally though, coach Seth Appert said Thursday night, and thus, the Engineers will be without the centermen on their two top forward lines for this weekend's games at Ferris State.
Junior Marty O'Grady, a junior right winger who's played center thus far this season, is out with what's still an undisclosed injury.
Senior captain Joel Malchuk will center one line, likely with Josh Rabbani on his right and Matt Tinordi at left wing.
Freshman Matt Neal will center another line and senior Alex Angers-Goulet will likely headman a third. He's played left wing for most of his RPI carerr.
The fourth line could be centered by sophomore Johnny Rogic or by freshman Jacob Laliberte, who's played both left wing and center during his junior hockey career.
The highly celebrated recruit is still seeking his first collegiate point.
Appert said Thursday night from Big Rapids, Mich. that junior Bryce Merriam will start in net for the Engineers on Friday night.
Appert, a Ferris State alumnus, may go with Merriam for Saturday's game as well, or may use freshman Scott Diebold, who was sharp in a 1-0 loss to Minnesota State in his college debut last week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RPI injury list grows

Two games, a half-dozen injuries.
Add junior winger-center Marty O'Grady and sophomore center Brock Higgs to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's injury list, although it's hopeful that Higgs will play this weekend at Ferris State.
Higgs blocked a shot during today's practice and has a spint on the index finger of his right hand. He shoots lefthanded.
"I don't think it will affect him as much as it would some other skilled players," RPI coach Seth Appert said.
O'Grady is out for this weekend with an undisclosed injury.
Junior right winger Greg Burgdoerfer is skating in practice without contact, remains out for this week and doubtful for next week's game at Notre Dame.
Freshman winger Mark McGowan has yet to play because of a back injury. He could play this weekend.
Junior goalie Bryce Merriam had a sore knee in preseason and freshman right winger Ryan Haggerty also nursed a tender knee but missed no action.
The 1-1-0 Engineers fly out Thursday morning to meet a Ferris State team that beat St. Lawrence twice last week.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The 2011-12 hockey season is here. Freshman goaltender Scott Diebold gets the start tonight against Minnesota State. Junior Bryce Merriam, nursing a tender knee, is in uniform. He could start Saturday night's game.
The Engineers won 20 games last season for the first time in seven years. They'd like to reach that goal during the regular season this year. Doing well this weekend could go a long way toward reaching that goal.
We'll be tweeting highlights of tonight's game at and we'll have more herein later.
Go Engineers!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Injury update

Here's the update on RPI's injured hockey players and their status for Friday night's season opener against Minnesota State.
Jr. RW Greg Burgdoerfer, shoulder, out;
Fr. LW Mark McGowan, back, out;
Jr. G Bryce Merriam, knee, questionable;
Fr. RW Ryan Haggerty, leg, probable;
As mentioned on Tuesday, the University of Notre Dame has joined the Hockey East conference and that league is informally looking to add RPI as its 12th team within the next two years.
Little is known about RPI's plans to joining HE, regarded as college hockey's best loop these days, or remaining in ECAC Hockey. Coach Seth Appert, Athletic Director Jim Knowlton and everyone else at the school declines to comment.
One thing is known. The Institute, according to sources, will extensively explore the possibility -- and the pros and cons -- of moving to the New England-based league, dominated in recent years by Boston College, Boston University and New Hampshire.
How long will RPI's internal exploration take?
It'll be sooner, rather than later, sources believe.
What are the chances Rensselaer makes the big move?
From here, in the area of 60-40, 62-38.
Yes, though the contingencies are many, it could happen!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ND to Hockey East; Loop wants RPI next

The University of Notre Dame will officially join the Hockey East conference on Wednesday and begin play in the New England-based league next season.
The addition of the Fighting Irish, currently ranked No. 1 in USCHO poll, brings Hockey East's total entries to 11. Since the loop has never used a travel-partner scheduling format, it doesn't necessarily need an even number of teams. However, HE coaches and ADs complained for several years about having nine teams before Vermont was added as the 10th member six years ago.
Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, Massachusetts, UMass-Lowell, Merrimack, Maine, New Hampshire and Providence are the other Hockey East members.
Notre Dame was a member of the Central Collegiate Athletic Conference, which was disolved by the formation of the Big Ten Hockey league and other college hockey relalighment. The Irish were turned down by the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which already had committed to eight schools -- Miami, Western Michigan, Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, Denver and Colorado College -- and wanted to begin play with an even number of teams
Talk has been rampant that Hockey East will seek to add RPI to bring the conference back. That call for a major committment to upgrade from both the administration of Rensselaer President Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson and the school's Board of Trustees.
The board firmly opposed RPI's proposed move to Hockey East on two occasions decades ago. Those in RPI's academic community loved being aligned with the six Ivy League schools that field hockey teams.
Could their minds be changed?
That's the major question -- as well as, would the administration be willing to further renovate Houston Field House and increase the hockey budget significantly.
Until recently, the answers to those questions were a resounding 'no.'
Now there appears to be gray area.
Of course -- especially at this time of year -- both RPI head coach Seth Appert and Athletic Director Jim Knowlton -- declined to comment on the matter. They're focused on beginning the 2011-12 season and competing for the ECAC Hockey championship.
Stayed tuned.