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Big Green Leaves RPI Seeing Red

Engineers Squander Late 2-1 Lead in Home Loss

By Matt Graves

Albany Times Union, January 27, 2002

TROY - What looked like a breakthrough weekend for the RPI hockey team was lost in a little more than three minutes of Saturday night's ECAC game with Dartmouth.

Leading 2-1 with less than four minutes remaining in the game, RPI's defense allowed three goals in a span of 3:10 in a 4-2 setback.

RPI (9-10-3 overall, 3-7-2 ECAC, tied for 10th place) had taken its second lead in the defensive struggle at 9:42 of the final period on a seeing-eye, 40-foot backhander from defenseman Steve Munn, and it appeared the Engineers were on their way to a weekend sweep after beating Vermont on Friday.

But Kent Gillings put a shot between goalie Nathan Marsters' legs at 16:34 to tie it before teammate Jamie Herrington scored at 17:36 and 19:44 when the Engineers were unable to get Marsters off the ice for an extra skater.

"It wasn't a 4-2 game by any stretch of the imagination," said RPI coach Dan Fridgen. "It's a bitter pill to swallow. They got a couple of bounces, a couple of breaks. I thought we played an excellent game down to the last four or five minutes. I thought we earned a better outcome than that."

Herrington came in on left wing and his shot went over Marsters' pad for a 3-2 lead, then Herrington stole the puck in the RPI end and iced the game with a backhander with only 16 seconds left in the game.

"It's damaging to us that we didn't hold on and win the game," said Cohoes native Marc Cavosie, who scored his 14th goal at 3:22 of the first period for a 1-0 RPI lead. "I think we gained a lot of respect this weekend. All credit to them; they played well defensively. We had to battle to get the two goals we got."

Spurred by a great two-on-one save from Marsters during an opening-minute Dartmouth power play, Cavosie scored on a backhander at 3:22 of the first. Taking a pass from Matt Murley in the slot, Cavosie fell to the ice but stuck out his stick and knocked the puck into the left corner.

The Engineers missed a golden opportunity to pounce on the Big Green less than three minutes later on a power play, and short-handed Dartmouth (9-8-3, 6-4-3) turned the tables. Herrington stole the puck and skated in with Chris Baldwin on a two-on-one, then Baldwin knocked Herrington's rebound out of the air and into the RPI goal.

The second period was scoreless and uneventful until Cavosie, the ECAC's top scorer, was injured on a retaliation hit a little more than eight minutes into the session. He went to the dressing room with an apparent knee injury and didn't return to the ice until 17:02, but soon made his presence felt.

He got an assist on Munn's go-ahead goal before Dartmouth took over the game.

"I don't know what happened exactly," Munn said. "It seemed like we were a little tentative. We have to aggressively defend our lead, not passively defend it. Guys were gripping the sticks pretty tight. I think everybody knew how important these two points were."