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Notching Win No. 1

Migliore Hits Two Quick Goals to Give Engineers Victory in Playoff Opener

By Matt Graves

Albany Times Union, March 9, 2002

TROY - Princeton did a great job of containing RPI's big guns Friday night, but the Engineers got plenty of help from the artillery in a 5-3 victory over the Tigers in their ECAC playoff opener at Houston Field House.

While the Princeton defense was concentrating on ECAC scoring leaders Marc Cavosie and Matt Murley, senior Chris Migliore scored two goals in a 13-second span of the third period to lead the Engineers to victory in the pivotal first game in their best-of-three first-round series.

Migliore, the hero of RPI's double-overtime victory in its Christmas Tournament, came into the game with only four goals in 29 games this season. But he scored at 1:05 and 1:18 of the third period to give RPI a two-goal lead, and the Engineers added a late score by Andrew McPherson.

RPI, which lost at Dartmouth in the first round last year, can earn a trip to Lake Placid for the ECAC Tournament by beating Princeton tonight or on Sunday if a third game is necessary.

In other ECAC playoff action Friday, Clarkson beat St. Lawrence, 3-1; Cornell downed Yale, 2-1; Harvard outskated Brown, 4-1; and Dartmouth beat Colgate, 5-4 in double overtime. The winners each took 1-0 leads in their series.

The Engineers' victory raised spirits in Troy.

"I guess when it rains it pours," said Migliore, who netted his third game-winning goal of the season. "It's never happened to me before. Ask Murls (Murley) about that. He's used to getting two or three goals in a couple of minutes."

Both Murley and Cavosie failed to score a goal in this victory, and Cavosie had his 17-game scoring streak ended despite an apparent goal at 6:31 of the second period that was disallowed when teammate Carson Butterwick was in the crease. Murley registered an assist on RPI's first goal.

"It's something we've been trying as a team to do all year," said Marc Cavosie's brother Eric, who had a pair of assists after scoring only three points all season. "We can't really rely on Marc and Matt like we have in the past. We'd like a couple of the other guys to step up. Chris (Migliore) did it tonight, and hopefully tomorrow night we'll get somebody else to step up."

The Engineers drew first blood when Nolan Graham found Jim Vickers coming down the middle to beat goalie Dave Stathos at 11:43 of the first period. Marc Cavosie sent a lead pass to Murley, who raced ahead of the Princeton defense but was turned away on a wraparound. Graham took the puck and put it on Vickers' stick for an easy score.

Princeton rallied to take the lead early in the second period as Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer stunned the Engineers with a long drive from the right circle only 20 seconds into the period, a shot that slipped through goalie Nathan Marsters' legs.

The Tigers took a 2-1 lead at 4:27 of the second when Steve Slaton got his first goal of the season in close as the ECAC's weakest power-play team produced for Princeton. RPI tied it when Butterwick skated in on goalie Stathos and scored off his left pad at 10:03.

It was that way at the end of two before Migliore's heroics early in the final stanza. Jim Henkel and Eric Cavosie provided the assists on both goals for RPI (17-12-4) as they got the second right off the faceoff following Migliore's first.

Henkel fed Migliore in the left slot for the first score, then Migliore skated across the goalmouth and tapped in an easy score from outside the right post. Princeton (11-17-2) answered 32 seconds later as the teams combined for three scores in the first 1:50, but McPherson got an insurance goal at 12:20.

"It was real important because I thought that we came out a little flat in the second period," said RPI coach Dan Fridgen.