Saturday, February 16, 2013

Appert more demanding as RPI keeps winning?

   TROY -- Seth Appert isn't a perfectionist. Often after his team posts an impressive victory, he can sound like one. He did on Friday night after the Engineers ran their winning ECAC Hockey winning streak to seven with a 5-1 victory over Brown.
   Appert complained about the Engineers "sloppy play" and "poor" backchecking in general and net-front coverage in particular, during the third period. Well, what he said was basically true but the it occurred after the Engineers had increased their 3-0 lead to 5-0 less than five minutes into the period.
   The players felt like it was a satisfying win (Appert most likely didi, too).
   "Yeah, I think we played a pretty solid game, like we have been doing," said defenseman Nick Bailen, who scored his ninth goal of the season during the game. "Obviously, you can't ever play a truly perfect game, there's always going to be mistakes. I just think being up five goals, or four goals, you get relaxed, you kind of take it down a notch. We have to learn how to (prevent) that because we've done that two games in a row now. (Clarkson scored twice last week after RPI led 6-0, then won 6-0.
   "They're going to make plays, they're a team that's not going to quit," Bailen said of Brown. "It's pretty hard to shut out a team and they made a nice play (on Joe Prescott's goal) and we kind of let them get down there ahead of us."
    Big test tonight: Appert knew the Engineers won't be able to get away with sloppy backchecking against Yale tonight. The high-scoring Bulldogs, who are constantly looking to get odd-man breakouts for themselves, aren't likely to give RPI the repeated odd-man breakouts that they did during the Engineers' earlier 6-1 victory at Yale.
   A victory tonight would go a long way toward the Engineers' quest for a top-four finish in the ECACH standings. It would leave them alone in second place, with four games remaining, all against teams they beat in the first meetings.
   It will be a tough game, though, to be sure.
   Same lineup: Tonight's RPI lineup is the same as Friday night's. The forwards are (left-to-right):
   Freshman Jason Kasdorf is in goal and the defensemen pairings are Leonard-Bailen, Leboeuf-Bradley, Curadi-Dolan.


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