Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Road trip to Schenectady

TROY -- What was joked about among Rensselaer hockey fans and the media on Sunday night is no longer a joke -- it's reality.
The Engineers will not commute to and from Union College this weekend, they'll lodge at a downtown Schenectady hotel, just a few blocks from Union's Messa Rink, where the two Rt. 7 rivals clash in the ECAC Hockey playoff quarterfinals best-of-3 series.
Messa Rink is about 16.5 miles from Houston Field House.
"It's not like a road trip, it is a road trip," RPI coach Seth Appert said Wednesday. "We're going to treat it exactly how we've been treating road trips this season, especially in the second half. That structure (involved in road trips), that we've talked about in the second half, that structure, our guys have played better with. So we're going to provide that structure to for our guys to give ourselves the best opportunity to play the right way."
It's been well-documented that Rensselaer's series-deciding, 4-1 Game 3 victory at Clarkson on Sunday night gave the Engineers a 7-1-1 record in their past nine road games, which included a 6-0-1 streak after Game 1.
To be sure, that recent success, after the Engineers had been 1-10-0 away from home, is part of the decision to stay in Schenectady.
"For some reason," Appert said, "our guys seem to (be more relaxed, play better on the road) ... and it's more about the togetherness and the structure than it is about being in another arena that has allowed us focus in and play better hockey."
The decision was Appert and was made "about 10 seconds after (Game 3 at Clarkson ended)."
Many others had the same idea, though, including a number of players, including defensemen Nick Bailen and Mike Bergin and goaltender Bryce Merriam.
"We were saying, 'wouldn't it be nice if we could stay in a hotel,''' Bailen reflected.
"Even my wife was on the same page," Appert said. "Even before I talked to her that night (after Game 3), I think she was talking to my mother and my mom said, 'it'll be nice that he'll be around this weekend a little bit more.'
"She said 'I'll put money on it that he puts them in a hotel,''' Jill Appert said of her husband.
"It doesn't guarantee of success," Appert said of the road-trip mantra, "and certainly isn't going to against a team as good Union but I think what it'll do, is allow us the focus to give ourselves the best chance to be in games with them. And that's what we need to do, to give ourselves a chance later in games with them because we haven't even been in it at the halfway point, basically, in the three games we've played against them."
The Engineers trailed 4-1 midway through the second period of Union's first 5-1 victory, at RPI on Nov. 15, and 3-0 at the halfway point of the 5-1 loss at Union on Jan. 14.
In its 5-2 loss to the Dutchmen at Lake Placid on Dec. 10, the games was tied 2-2 midway through the second but Union's Wayne Simpson and Shayne Gostisbehere scored later in the period and the Dutchmen took a 4-2 lead into the third.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home