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RPI Rolls Over Princeton, 6-2

Dave Aiello wrote, "The biggest hockey game of the season, from the New Jersey alumni's perspective, is the RPI-Princeton game. This season, the Engineers honored us by coming into Princeton and delivering a dominant 6-2 victory. Read on for more information about the game and the events that surrounded it."

Dave Aiello continues:

The Pregame Dinner

The Big Table at the Pre-game Dinner
We decided to have a dinner at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room at the Nassau Inn, about 1/4 mile from Baker Rink. It turned out that more people showed up at The Yankee Doodle Tap Room than I expected, so they must have seen the notice on our Web Site or been contacted by Henry Scheuer on the telephone.

Update on February 12, 2001: Here's a shot of the big table at the pre-game dinner. Clockwise from the lower left:

John Zoeller, Mimi Zoeller, John Cloninger, Jeanine DeMicco, Julie's friend from Dow Jones, Julie Aiello (my sister), Dave Aiello (that's me), Ellie Finegan, "Dr. Bill" Ryan, Henry Scheuer, and Joe Pilaro.

I was trying to figure out where Kathleen Kuykendall, my fiancee, was in this picture. But, I bet she was the one who took the picture. (Nice job, Kathleen.)

The Game

Most of the RCNJ members had better seats for the game this year, thanks to Seymour Bogdonoff, a Rensselaer alumnus who is a Princeton professor emeritus.

Thirty-one seconds into the first period, RPI fell behind 1-0 on a goal by George Parros (the only current Princeton player from New Jersey). Anyone who follows the ECAC knows that a goal by the home team that comes this quickly after the beginning of a period is very depressing to the visitors.

But, RPI came back with 4 consecutive goals to put the game out of reach by the end of the first period. As Jayson Moy pointed out in his USCHO report on the game, it was as if Rensselaer continued its momentum from the Yale game the night before.

Princeton scored another goal, four and a half minutes into the second period. But that was their last goal of the game.

The team played very well overall. The line of Matt Murley, Nolan Graham, and Carson Butterwick played particularly well, as they had in the game against Yale on Friday night. Nathan Marsters, a freshman goalie from Grimsby, Ontario, played a solid game.

People I Met at the Game

I am always in sensory overload when I attend the RPI-Princeton game because I see so many people that I rarely see but know pretty well as a result of my involvement with the RCNJ, youth and high school hockey officiating, and my old job as the student manager of the RPI Hockey Team. Although there were hundreds of people associated with RPI at the game, I decided to try to list the people I got a chance to speak to, just to give RCNJ members who did not attend an idea of what they missed by not joining us.

I met two people who completely surprised me when I first saw them. Eric Schofield works for the Rensselaer Athletic Department, and I worked with him extensively back in the late '80s when I was the manager of the RPI Hockey Team. I didn't expect to see him because he is not one of the people who travels with the team whenever they are on the road. Another guy I met at the game was Frank Russo, a former teammate from the New Jersey Golden Blades Junior "B" team, circa 1984. (This was the travel team that I played with before I went to RPI.) What a shock it was to meet someone that I knew from hockey but had not seen in 15 years.

I also had a chance to say hello to Kevin Gertz, one of the assistant referees in the game. Kevin is a member of the Metropolitan New York Chapter of NIHOA (in addition to the ECAC staff), and I have worked many high school hockey games with him over the years.

John Cloninger and I had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Murley's mother at the game. Matt is one of the leading scorer's for RPI this season, and he is originally from Lansingburgh. I did not know this until Saturday night, but I officiated some of his youth hockey games when I worked as an official in the Albany area.

I had a chance to shake hands with Ivan Moore the newest assistant coach of RPI. Ivan was on the team when I was the manager. He is a great addition to Dan Fridgen's staff, in that he has played for RPI fairly recently, and knows what it takes to succeed on and off the ice better than anyone.

I made reservations for 10 people at the Tap Room, and we squeezed 11 people around it. For a list of who they were, see the photo caption above. Henry Rosenblatt was also at the Tap Room, having dinner with members of his family.

Steve Nudelman, John Capolongo, and Sandeep Nandy also made it for the game, despite some difficulties en route.

John Cloninger tells me that Eric Metzger, another former student manager, was also at the game. I did not see him myself.

Disclaimer: A lot more people attended the event, and I will try to list as many as possible here, in future updates to this story.


A lot of people participated in making this event a success. I want everyone to know that without them, the dinner and the game would not have been nearly as enjoyable:

  • Ticket Acquisition

    • Seymour Bogdonoff
    • Ken DeGhetto

  • Ticket Sales

    • Henry Scheuer
    • Phil Lurie

  • Communication

    • Henry Scheuer
    • Ken DeGhetto


Finally, a small request for your assistance. If you were at the game and your name is not listed here, attach a comment to this story and tell us who you are and how many friends you brought to the game. We want to document the number of people that came out to support Rensselaer. A lot of people in Troy don't believe how many people we turn out for the game.

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About the RCNJ

The Rensselaer Club of New Jersey (RCNJ) is a regional chapter of the Rensselaer Alumni Association that serves the State of New Jersey.

For More Information

For more information, contact Sandeep Nandy, RCNJ President, by email at sandeep.nandy [at] verizon.com.
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