Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Laliberte is on the way

TROY -- Never say never without some sort of qualifier.
It had pretty much been accepted that the talented center and prized recruit Jacob Laliberte may never play for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Well, head coach Seth Appert and the Engineers, in big need of some good news of late, got some on Wednesday. The Record has learned Laliberté will be a part of the freshman class one year from now.
“I’ll be there in September, 2011 and I’m looking forward to it,” Laliberté told The Record on Wednesday. “I hope it’s a quick year.”
That’s good news for RPI fans, who say stars Brandon Pirri and Jerry D’Amigo, the Engineers Nos. 2-4 scorers last season, leave for pro hockey after one college season, and 2010-11 recruit, defenseman Nick Quinn, de-commit last week.
Laliberté, a 5-7, 170-pound left-handed centerman has originally been recruited for the Class of 2013 – this year’s sophomore class – but Appert felt Laliberté needed another year of maturity and suggested that Laliberté play in the Central Junior Hockey League.
He did so and starred there for the Cornwall Colts for a second straight year.
Why’s he not here this year?
Appert, under NCAA regulations, is prohibited from commenting and couldn’t even confirm on Wednesday, that Laliberté will be here next September.
Sources close to the RPI hockey program, however, say that the Rockland, Ont. native has matured emotionally, has improved his play outside of the offensive zone, and his work ethic, and looks forward to becoming an Engineer. That maturity, however, has manifested itself, those sources say, since Appert and his staff finalized the 2010-11 freshman class, which includes several impressive forwards, such as Johnny Rogic, Brock Higgs, Matt Tinordi and sophomore transfer (Air Force) Greg Burgdoerfer.
“Yeah, me, my family and the RPI coaching staff felt I still wasn’t ready for RPI,” Laliberté said. “I had to mature both off the ice and on the ice. I had some personal problems.
“I’m putting that all behind me now,” he added.


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