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Butterwick Helps RPI Spread Wealth

Junior Forward Shines in Key Weekend Sweep

By Matt Graves

Albany Times Union, February 15, 2002

TROY - For the RPI hockey team, it's been pretty much the "Marc and Matt Show" for most of the season, but last weekend belonged to junior forward Carson Butterwick.

The 210-pound winger from Saskatchewan upstaged Marc Cavosie and Matt Murley by scoring both game-winning goals in a pivotal weekend for the Engineers against North Country foes St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

He scored twice against St. Lawrence in RPI's 3-2 victory on Friday, then connected on a power play in overtime to cap a remarkable comeback against Clarkson the following night.

"We've had a bit of a rocky season - up and down, wins and losses," said Butterwick, the fourth Engineer this season to be named ECAC Player of the Week. "That (Clarkson) game kind of was the whole season summed up. We came out a bit slow, strong finish - kind of what we're hoping to do in the end of our league with six games left."

It was a "Big Red Freakout" game for the Engineers, and the raucous crowd had a long wait before there was anything to get excited about. Clarkson led 3-0 into the third period, but when Cavosie scored his second goal of the game with 58 seconds left in regulation to tie it, the crowd of 5,117 was delirious. Butterwick scored at 1:28 of OT.

"It was an incredible emotional feeling through the building," said Butterwick, who has 10 goals and 10 assists in 25 games. "We needed that win."

Coach Dan Fridgen still uses Butterwick on a power-play line with Murley and Cavosie, but he has split the trio on regular shifts for more balance. It seems to have made RPI a better team.

"When you have that one dominant line and it's where most of your offense is coming from, I think you need to spread it out," Fridgen said. "By spreading it out, the other players take more ownership in it. I think that's happened. It's been different guys."

RPI (12-10-4, 6-7-3) avenged its earlier North Country sweep and has lost just once in its past eight games (5-1-2).

"That was one of the most exciting games I've been associated with as a coach here," Fridgen said of the win over Clarkson. "It was very exciting, a great atmosphere with regards to it being Freakout night and the anniversary of 100 years of hockey at RPI. Everything kind of just fell into place."

The concern now is a letdown at Princeton tonight, but Fridgen said the team has addressed the issue.

"Last weekend was huge," Fridgen said. "And each weekend continues to be the same way - huge." Union, RPI tied: The Dutchmen and Engineers are in a sixth-place tie in the ECAC. The top five teams serve as hosts for first-round playoff series.

Union, which is winless in its past three (0-1-2), has never had home ice in the ECAC playoffs. RPI was at home in 2000 and knocked off Dartmouth in the first round. The Engineers then beat Colgate before losing to St. Lawrence in the ECAC title game.