Three Point Weekend Propels Engineers Into Tie For Third Place
The Engineers battled the Vermont Catamounts and Dartmouth Big Green at Houston Field House this weekend, emerging with a win and a tie. I attended both games.
Friday's game against Vermont was promoted as "Black Friday", a new promotion where admission to students was free, the crowd was strongly encouraged to wear black clothing, and the team wore black jerseys that were auctioned off during the game. The jerseys were quite reminiscent of the jerseys worn throughout the eighties, and featured the letters "RPI" diagonally from top left to bottom right in red text on a black background.
Friday's game was never a contest. Undisciplined play resulted in a large number of penalties for the Catamounts, who went on to lose to the Engineers, 7-1. The game featured ninety minutes in penalties, resulting in three power-play goals for the Engineers. Sophomore Kevin Croxton led scoring with two goals and an assist, followed by junior Nick Economakos with a goal and two assists.
Saturday's game against Dartmouth was an entirely different matter. After two scoreless periods, junior Matt McNeely beat Dartmouth netminder Dan Yacey at 6:12 in the third. Dartmouth won the resulting faceoff and scored eight seconds later, with Eric Przepiorka beating RPI goaltender Nathan Marsters on his glove side. After the overtime period, each team took home one point, with the game ending in a 1-1 tie.
Attendance for both contests hovered just above 3,000. While one of Friday's aims was to boost student attendance, Friday's attendance was only about a hundred more than that of Saturday. I applaud the Department of Athletics for making an attempt to draw more students to games; Friday's crowd was a bit more fervent than Saturday's, perhaps due to the number of penalties and the ability of the Engineers to capitalize on power-play opportunities.
After four ECAC games, Rensselaer has five points on the season and is in a four-way tie for third place in the conference.