Monday, October 28, 2013

Men's Hockey - New Hampshire (26 Oct)

RPI has fought its way through the first part of a mostly difficult non-conference schedule, and come out mostly looking pretty good following a 4-2 victory over UNH, upping their early record to 4-1-0 and their record against nationally-ranked opponents (all from Hockey East) to 2-1-0. As the ECAC schedule gets underway on Tuesday against Harvard, that's a pretty good spot to be in moving forward.

New Hampshire



Zach Schroeder suited up for the first time since last December, while Scott Diebold made his third straight start in net as RPI's top goaltender following the shoulder injury sustained by sophomore Jason Kasdorf.

The Engineers started things off with a bang, scoring on the very first shift with a goal on the first shot of the game by Johnny Rogic just 38 seconds into the contest to make it 1-0 RPI in short order. The Wildcats definitely got off to a slow start on the road and the Engineers took full advantage, outshooting UNH 14-5 in the opening period of the game.

RPI made it 2-0 on an outstanding goal in transition as Luke Curadi cleared the puck out to Jake Wood, who dished to Schroeder on his way out of the RPI end. With a burst of speed, Wood drove through the neutral zone as Schroeder pushed the puck back towards him between three defenders, leaving the freshman alone coming in to the net from the goaltender's right, snapping the puck over his glove for his first collegiate goal.

Early in the second period, the Engineers continued to pour it on as Matt Neal picked up his first goal of the season 2:16 in to make it 3-0, and on the power play just a minute and a half later, Ryan Haggerty scored his 8th goal in just five games to make the score 4-0, ending the night of UNH goaltender Jeff Wyer.

From there, RPI seemed to lose some of the urgency that they had played with during the first period, as UNH slowly began working their way back into the game, beginning to gain the edge in possession and forcing the Engineer defense to be sharp. The Wildcats got on the board with a goal just past the halfway point to make it 4-1, then on the power play a minute and a half after their first goal, UNH effectively halved the RPI lead on a bizarre goal that UNH at first didn't seem to realize that they'd scored - the puck went in to Diebold's right, but ended up in the corner of the ice surface because the goal was lifted up just as it was moving through. The referee, right on top of the net, called it a goal, and reviewed it to be sure.

The Engineers appeared to regain their 3-goal edge late in the period on a blast from the slot by Haggerty, but it was waved off immediately, with the ruling that Jacob Laliberte had obstructed the UNH goaltender while in the crease.

The third period was mostly a battle of attrition by the RPI defense, as a well-conditioned UNH team began to take full control of the game. Building on their minor edge in shots in the 2nd, the Wildcats dominated the 3rd with 11 shots against just 1 for the Engineers, but Diebold and his blueliners did just enough to keep UNH from finding the back of the net again, holding on for the 4-2 win.

Other junk - With the victory, the Engineers move up two spots in the USCHO poll, from #12 to #10 with 529 votes. Other ranked ECAC teams this week are #7 Quinnipiac (beat Bentley and Holy Cross twice, up two), #11 Yale (lost to Brown and beat Princeton, down four), #14 Cornell (swept Nebraska-Omaha, up five), and #17 Clarkson (swept Colorado College, previously unranked). Brown (54 votes), St. Lawrence (32), and Harvard (13) also received votes. Ranked teams on RPI's schedule include #1 Minnesota (unchanged, received all 50 first place votes), #8 Boston College (down three), and #18 Boston University (down five). Also receiving votes were New Hampshire (106, ex-14th), Denver (47, ex-17th), and Ferris State (15).

Ryan Haggerty's eight goals is tied for the national lead with Miami sophomore Riley Barber. His next point will be the 50th of his collegiate career. His 27 career goals is tops for the Engineers among active players, the next highest total belongs to Jacob Laliberte with 16.

Tuesday's game against Harvard will technically have the two leading goal scorers in the nation by goals per game, given that the Crimson's Kyle Criscuolo scored two of Harvard's three goals in their only game thus far, Saturday night against Bentley.

Scott Diebold's 1.52 GAA is fifth best in the nation among goaltenders who have appeared in more than one game, as is his .944 save percentage. He has started in three games since Jason Kasdorf's shoulder injury, and appeared for mop-up duty in the loss to Boston College.

Phil Hampton, Travis Fulton, Bo Dolan, Riley Bourbonnais, Craig Bokenfohr, and Mark McGowan are the only skaters that have yet to record a point. Bourbonnais and Bokenfohr have yet to make their season debuts.

The Engineers have led for 211:39 of their 300 minutes of game action so far this year.

It's a quick turnaround for the Engineers, who face off with Harvard in the first ECAC game of the season on Tuesday. It will mark the first time RPI has ever played a league game in the month of October. The game is moved from its natural place in January, in order to allow for the RPI-Union non-conference game in Albany. Harvard's season only just started on Saturday, a 3-0 win over 1-5-0 Bentley in which the Falcons managed to unleash 43 shots on Crimson netminder Raphael Girard.

#14 New Hampshire at #12 RPI
Non-Conference Game - Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
10/26/12 - 7:00pm

RESULT: RPI 4, New Hampshire 2

College Hockey Stats
RECORD: 4-1-0 (0-0-0 ECAC)

Upcoming games
29 Oct - Harvard
01 Nov - at Harvard
02 Nov - at Dartmouth
08 Nov - #14 Cornell
09 Nov - Colgate

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