Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Appert not worried about lines

   Just before he took a bite of his (quite tasty) pork sandwich at lunch at Lake Placid's Olympic Center on Monday, it was suggested to Seth Appert that he has some decisions to make.
   "No, I don't. What decisions do I have to make," he said, with a twinge of 'I have a veteran team' type confidence in his voice.
    "Well, with 12 returning forwards, with whom to play whom," he was told.
   Perhaps you'll put the NHL forward line back together. That NHL line is Matt Neal at left wing, Ryan Haggerty on right wing, centered by Jacob Laliberte. That's NHL.
   The trio played together briefly as freshmen two seasons ago but Neal was sidelined much of the season.
   Last year, the group was together again and enjoyed some fine success. Neal wound up second on the team in scoring with 30 points (8 goals-22 assists-30), Laliberte was third at 11-17-28 and Haggerty (12-14-26) led the team in goals.
   By midseason, the trio had been playing together rarely, mainly on power plays but many RPI fans would love to see them reunited.
   How about the all-freshmen (now sophomores) line of (left-to-right) Mike Zalewski-Mark Miller-Milos Bubela. They were dynamic at times when together last season. Zalewski finished with a scoring line of 12-9-21, Bubela had 19 points (8-11-19) and Miller was at 7-8-15 at is the best all around player among the three.
  By late in the season, though, when the Engineers were making their charge to second place, Brock Higgs was centering for Zalewski and Bubela and Miller was playing center with Johnny Rogic on the left and Greg Burgdoerfer or Travis Fulton at right wing.
   Perhaps Appert might want to put Zalewski, Miller and Bubela back together.
  The three freshman forwards contain one left winger (Jake Wood), one center (Riley Bourbonnais) and one right winger Jimmy DeVito and they all played for the same junior team last season, Lincoln of the United States Hockey League.
   Perhaps they might play as a unit for the Engineers?
   Will Mark McGowan and Zach Schroeder play together and if so, who'll be at LW with them?
   "I'm not worried about it; I don't worry about the lines," Appert said. "If we have the right mindset, we'll be fine. It won't matter what the lines are. And if we aren't of the right mindset, we won't succeed; it won't matter what the lines are.
   "They'll determine (what the lines are) by their play (in practice)," Appert said of the forwards.
   The Engineers averaged 2.86 goals per game last season and allowed 2.38. With their fine depth at forward and ECACH Rookie of the Year Jason Kasdorf back in goal, they have an excellent chance to improve both figures -- as well as better their overall record of 18-14-5.


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