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Engineers Score Big ECAC Win

Marsters' Strong Play, Timely Scoring Pace RPI

By Bill Arsenault

Albany Times Union, January 26, 2002

TROY - This is crunch time for the RPI hockey team. So, it's a good thing for the Engineers that sophomore goalie Nathan Marsters is on top of his game and the one-two scoring punch of Matt Murley and Marc Cavosie is getting some help.

Marsters collected 27 saves - including 17 in a big first period - as RPI blanked the University of Vermont 6-0 in an Eastern College Athletic Conference game before a crowd of 4,131 Friday night in Houston Field House.

The victory lifted RPI to a 9-9-3 overall record and more importantly, gave the Engineers a 3-6-2 record in the wide open ECAC.

"The team came out and played hard right from the start," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. "It was a total team effort and it was good to see some other lines get into the act."

Fridgen thought that Marsters' solid start in goal was big for his team.

"A hot goalie can be the difference in this league down the road," the coach said.

Fridgen wouldn't say if the 6-foot-4, 205-pound sophomore would start vs. Dartmouth tonight at 7, but the youngster is ready.

"Sure, I'm ready," Marsters said. "That's what it's all about."

Marsters had to make just three saves in the final period, but earned his stripes in the first two periods.

"It was a huge victory to beat the team right above us," Marsters said. "But we can't rest on that. We have to look ahead."

Marsters has had some tough outings this season, but has stopped 90 of 92 shots against him over the past eight periods. He played the second two periods in a 3-0 victory over Bowling Green and had 40 saves in a 2-2 tie with Bowling Green.

"Nate came up huge tonight," Murley said of his teammate. "He had a great stop on a breakaway early and we just built off that."

RPI took a 1-0 lead after one period with Cavosie scoring at the 5:37 mark. Murley picked up a loose puck behind the Vermont net and put his pass on Cavosie's stick. The latter slammed it home.

Murley made it 2-0 when his slap shot from just inside the blue line flew past Vermont goalie Shawn Conschafter's shoulder with 11:28 left in the second period.

"That shot had some eyes," Murley said. "I don't think the goalie ever saw it."

The way Marsters was playing in goal, the Engineers didn't need any more scoring. But Fridgen was glad to see his team tack on four goals in the third period - another one by Murley and one each from Jim Henkel, Andrew McPherson and Ben Barr.

"It's nice to see some of the other guys get into the act," Murley said.

Murley leads the team with 15 goals. Cavosie, the leader in points in the ECAC, now has 13 goals and 18 assists. Murley and Cavosie are threats whenever they're on the ice.

"We have some pretty good chemistry," Murley said of RPI's one-two punch.

Vermont, fresh off a win, fell to 3-7-1 in the ECAC and 3-15-2 overall.