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Clarkson Handles RPI

By Cap Carey

Albany Times Union, January 12, 2002

POTSDAM - This wasn't a meeting of a mutual admiration society.

Friday night's Clarkson-RPI hockey game was 60 minutes of physical play, stopped by several post-whistle skirmishes.

Things got so heated that even old teammates had trouble getting along after the Golden Knights defeated the Engineers 4-1 in an Eastern College Athletic Conference game before 2,857 fans at Cheel Arena.

RPI coach Dan Fridgen, a former Colgate teammate of Clarkson coach Mark Morris, refused to shake Morris' hand after the game. Clarkson's win dropped Fridgen's career record in games against his old teammate to 3-11-1.

"That's a personal situation," Fridgen said.

"He's still the best hockey player I ever played with," Morris said of Fridgen. "He's a competitor, as I am. He'll get over it."

Both teams had reasons to be upset after the game ended.

Clarkson (8-7-3 overall, 4-0-2 ECAC) lost sophomore left wing Rob McFeeters to a knee injury with 16 minutes, 36 seconds left in the third period. Last year's ECAC Rookie of the Year, McFeeters already missed five games earlier this season with a shoulder injury.

For RPI (7-7-2, 2-4-2), Friday's game was just another in a long list of frustrating games in Cheel Arena. The Engineers are 2-8-1 in Clarkson's home rink and have been held to one goal or fewer in five of its last seven games there.

"I thought we played pretty hard," Fridgen said. "I think we needed to play a little smarter, as far as getting into penalty trouble."

That was about the only area of agreement between Fridgen and Morris after the game.

RPI was hurt by penalties, especially a boarding call against Steve Munn at 8:18 of the first period which gave the Golden Knights a two-man advantage for 1:20. Clarkson responded 19 seconds later with a goal from Kerry Ellis-Toddington to take a 1-0 lead.

RPI tied the game at 8:39 of the second period with a goal from Vic Pereira, who took a pass from Marc Cavosie and one-timed a shot past Clarkson goalie Mike Walsh.

The Golden Knights answered with a goal from Adam Campana at 10:32 to take a 2-1 lead.

Cavosie missed a breakaway opportunity with 25 seconds remaining in the second period.

Clarkson scored its second power-play goal at 6:01 of the third on a slap shot from Kevin O'Flaherty and added a goal from Matt Syroczynski at 12:57.