Saturday, November 3, 2012

RPI upperclassmen must play better

   SCHENECTADY --Did Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey coach call out his handful of upperclassmen after Friday night's 4-2 loss to Union?
   Not really, but he did clearly express that he expects them to be more mature, to provide leadership.
   The young Engineers, who entered tonight's game at Union on a four-game winless streak after a season-opening victory -- they are 1-2-2 overall -- are a sophomore- and freshman-laden team.
   Appert has often said, however, that any team needs its seniors to perform well, to provide leadership, for the team to enjoy success.
   He was displeased with the team's "lack of maturity" during Friday's game and said, "it wasn't just the freshmen and sophomores, it was some of our older guys" as well.
   Appert didn't name captain C.J. Lee -- or anyone else for that matter -- but he was displeased with the 10-minute misconduct penalty Lee incurred, along with a slashing minor, at 8:24 of the second period.
   Junior defensemen Bo Dolan and Guy Leboeuf have to step up their play.
   Even star defenseman Nick Bailen has made mistakes in the defensive zone, as have veteran forwards such as Lee and Brock Higgs and the Engineers have had several communications breakdowns.
   "I know our juniors and seniors have more in them," Appert said. "And I know they believe in what we're about, but now they need to apply that in those key moments of the games."
   Mistakes happen, both mental and physical -- and the Engineers were hurt by both Friday night while allowing Union just 18 shots on goal -- but Appert expects players to not repeat the same mistakes.
   "I don't expect our guys to be perfect," he said, "but if you really care about something, you'll resolve yourself with your commitment and your discipline to not make those mistakes again."
   Merriam in net tonight: Appert continued to rotate his two veteran goaltenders, as senior Bryce Merriam starts tonight. Sophomore Scott Diebold was not stellar on Friday night, though he had been sharp in his previous two games.
   Appert says he hasn't "thought about" when he may give a start to freshman goalie Jason Kasdorf, a National Hockey League draft pick (Winnipeg).
   As for the lineup, freshman winger Mike Zalewski, still without a shot on goal in five games, was benched for tonight's game and senior Johnny Rogic, who sat on Friday, put back in.
   The high-scoring Jacob Laliberte line -- Matt Neal on the left, Ryan Haggerty on the right -- remains intact but Appert broke up the other lines.
   Lee went from left wing on Mark McGowan's line to right wing on Higgs' line, Matt Tinordi from RW to LW on that line.
  Freshman Milos Bubela is on right wing on McGowan's line, with soph Zach Schroeder moving to left wing.
   Freshman Mark Miller, a left winger in previous weeks, centers with Rogic at LW, Greg Burgoerfer on the  right. Miller centered for Bubela and Burgdoerfer on Friday.
   Log on to for the best highlights of tonight's action throughout the game.


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