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Loss Leaves RPI Seeing Red

By Mark Singelais

Albany Times Union, January 6, 2002

TROY - Harvard's go-ahead goal in the second period practically summed up the whole evening in a 5-2 victory over RPI in an Eastern College Athletic Conference hockey game Saturday night.

The Engineers failed to score on a scramble in front of the Harvard net. That led to a Crimson rush the other way, which resulted in a Dennis Packard goal and a 3-2 lead with 1:55 left.

The Engineers grabbed a 2-0 lead after one period, however, the Crimson rallied by continually converting RPI's turnovers and missed scoring chances into goals of its own in front of a Houston Field House audience of 3,315.

"A couple of things we needed to do tonight were capitalizing on our opportunities and limiting our turnovers," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. "In the first period, I thought we capitalized on our opportunities. We only had three turnovers. But as the game progressed, we started turning the puck over and this (Harvard) is a team that will capitalize when you turn the puck over. That was the difference in the game."

Freshman Tom Cavanagh scored twice and Dov Grumet-Morris made 34 saves for the Crimson (8-5-3, 7-2-2 ECAC), which used an aggressive forecheck to remain in first place in the conference. Meanwhile, RPI concluded a rough weekend that started with a disappointing 2-2 tie to Brown on Friday.

Things don't get any easier for the Engineers (7-6-2, 2-3-2), who make the dreaded North Country trip to Clarkson and St. Lawrence next weekend. RPI hasn't swept that trip since its national championship season of 1984-85.

"We came out and played real well (Friday) night, but we didn't get the win," RPI's Marc Cavosie of Cohoes said. "Tonight, we came out fired up in the first period, it looked really good. It's frustrating having those letdowns. I think most of the night, we carried the play, and as long as we can limit turnovers and capitalize on our opportunities, which we didn't do too well tonight, I think we'll be all right."

Cavosie scored on the power play on a one-timer from teammate Matt Murley for a 2-0 lead in the first period. But it was Cavosie's third-period mistake that led to a Harvard short-handed goal that turned the lights out.

With Harvard leading 3-2, and RPI on the power play, Cavosie had the puck along the boards in the Engineers' zone. He tried to pass down the middle, but gave it right to Cavanagh, who beat RPI goaltender Kevin Kurk (30 saves) with a backhander for a 4-2 lead only 37 seconds into the third.

RPI's Murley had a goal and an assist in his second game back from mononucleosis. But Harvard's Cavanagh and Nowak scored in a span of 3:19 of the second period to tie the game. Then Nowak threaded a cross-ice pass to Packard on the left wing for the go-ahead goal.