Thursday, February 28, 2013

Engineers should feel snubbed; Live chat later

TROY -- For the first couple weeks that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's hockey team garnered some votes in the, it was understandable, I guess, that the Engineers fell short of the Top 20.
 This past week, however, the fact that RPI again was denied a national ranking, was not understandable.
When Yale’s losing streak reached five last week, the Bulldogs should have joined Union in dropping out of the Top 20 and RPI voted in.
That didn’t happen and the Engineers should feel snubbed.
They don’t.
 “We don’t even think about that,” Bailen said. “We don’t worry about what other people think about us.”
“Nah, we don’t worry about that stuff,” added sophomore left winger Matt Neal.
 Since its sweep of second-year program Penn State back in November, Union has won just seven of 21 games (7-10-4 ) and just five (5-7-3) of 15 ECAC Hockey games.
  More recently, the Dutchmen have dropped four of six league games.
  Obviously, the USCHO pollsters are away of that fact.
   When it comes, to Yale, I'm not sure there aren't a number of voters west of, say, South Bend, Ind. who are aware of the fact that Yale lost five straight games -- the streak ended in the Bulldogs' last game, to be fair -- or that RPI has beaten Yale in both meetings this season and outscored the Bulldogs, 10-2.
   Yale is 2-6-0 in its past eight league games while RPI was winning nine of 10.
   The Bulldogs' early-season victories at Denver and Colorado College and tie at Boston College can certainly be matched by RPI's victory over Ferris State, tie and overtime defeat at Minnesota state, victory at St. Cloud State and OT loss at Boston U. -- all ranked teams.
   Then there's the Yale-RPI matchups, which as mentioned, the Engineers have dominated.
   Also as mentioned, the Engineers say they're not at all offended.
   I asked coach Seth Appert if he was relieved that his team fell just short again, so that there's no added distraction entering the final weekend of the regular season and I half expected him to answer, 'yes.'
  My gut feeling was more accurate, though, when he bellowed, in all sincerity, "I don't care. I really don't. It (being ranked or not) has no affect on me or the (players)."
  Rankings, ratings, standings will start to become important after this weekend.
  The Engineers are focused only on rival Clarkson, which invades Houston Field House on Friday night.
  A victory, or two ties against the Golden Knights and St. Lawrence on Saturday night, gives the Engineers a bye past the preliminary round of the ECACH playoffs. It would RPI's first since the ECACH went to the 12-team, all-in format in 2003.
  Live-chat: We'll hold a live chat to discuss RPI hockey at 5 p.m. today and Friday. Log on


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