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RPI Drops in Standings

Loss Snaps Win Streak, Drops Team to 7th Place

By Mike Scandura

Albany Times Union, February 24, 2002

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - How much pressure is on RPI in its bid for home ice in the ECAC playoffs following Saturday night's 2-1 loss to Brown University?

Not that much, believes senior wing Andrew McPherson.

"We were in 12th place three weeks ago and now we are higher (in the standings)," said McPherson. "We're up for it. Our last weekend's coming up, we'll be at home and we're going out to win both games."

Unfortunately for the Engineers (9-8-3 in the ECAC, 15-10-4 overall), whose six-game win streak evaporated Saturday, their final games are against first-place Cornell and playoff-bound Colgate.

Once Saturday's games were completed, RPI (21 points) had fallen from a fourth-place tie to sole possession of seventh place. The top five teams earn home ice. Brown (10-8-2 ECAC, 14-11-2) won its sixth straight and moved into a fourth-place tie with Colgate (22 points).

The issue for the Engineers is simple, said their coach Dan Fridgen: "We're still going to have to win our games."

That'll be tough if they face the likes of Brown sophomore goalie Yann Danis, who had 34 saves, and was key to Brown's victory.

"He played very, very well," Fridgen said. "But they did a real good job as a team of defending. ...(Still,) when they needed a save, he was there."

Danis, who began the night with a 1.33 GAA, was "there" often. One of his better moves came early in the second period when Brown was on a power play. RPI's Marc Cavosie unloaded from the top of the right circle and Danis made a superb skate save.

"We had chances, and you've got to bury those chances if you want to win the game," McPherson said. "That's the difference between tonight and every other night in our last seven or eight games."

Danis only had to stop four shots in the first period, as the Engineers came out flat while the Bears came out hitting everybody in a red uniform. Still, it wasn't until 6:49 of the second period that Brown was able to beat RPI goalie Nathan Marsters, when a wide open Brent Robinson went top shelf for his seventh goal.

RPI threw everything but the Zamboni at Danis in the final period. But if Danis didn't smother the puck, his defensemen cleared the rebound and denied second-chance shots. Then, Brown's Tye Korbel scored what proved to be the game winner at 10:39. Adam Saunders skated through the left circle and left a drop pass for Korbel who snapped off a wrister which sailed into the far right corner.

"We had a couple of breakdowns and they capitalized," said Frigden. "It was that simple."

RPI prevented the game from being a simple shutout for Danis when Matt Murley notched his 20th goal at 16:14, snapping off a shot from the right hash mark.