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RPI Squanders Chances in 3-2 Loss

By Phil Janack

Schenectady Daily Gazette, November 7, 2004

TROY - It took only 24 hours for the law of averages to catch up with the RPI menís hockey team.

After scoring five power-play goals to beat Clarkson on Friday, the Engineers managed only one on 14 opportunities in a 3-2 loss to St. Lawrence Saturday at Houston Field House.

The Saints, who entered the game clicking at less than 10 percent with the man advantage, scored their first two goals on the power play, and got a seeing-eye shot from Chase Trull for the winner with 1:50 left in the second period.

"Live by the sword, die by the sword, I guess," RPI junior Kevin Croxton said. The Engineers (1-1, 5-3-1), who had won two straight and five of six, went into the game ranked sixth in the nation in power play percentage (25.4).

"We were on yesterday, and tonight they did a really good job. They packed it in tight and blocked a lot of shots. Itís frustrating anytime you get that many power plays. . . but we just couldnít get it done."

RPI was awarded one final power play when Saints defenseman Matt MacDonald was called for interference with 2:06 left in the third, but failed to capitalize, even after pulling goalie Andrew Martin for an extra attacker.

"Any time youíre in a onegoal game when you believe you have a chance to win, itís frustrating," senior center Nick Economakos said. "We had chances in tight, but the puck was hitting guysí skates or they were getting sticks on it. It was a frustrating game to play, and a frustrating game to lose."

Kirk MacDonald scored his team-high 10th goal to put RPI up, 1-0, 4:07 into the game, but Drew Bagnall answered for St. Lawrence (1-1, 5-4-1) 1:42 later on the Saintsí first power play.

Matt McNeely gave the Engineers a 2-1 lead on his powerplay goal 7:10 into the second, but John Zeiler tied it at 14:46, banking a sharp-angle shot off Martinís pads.

On the winner, Trull kept in an RPI clearing attempt at the blueline and fired a shot that sailed over a screened Martin, who was still on his knees after a scramble in front of the net.

"I donít think itís a setback," coach Dan Fridgen said. "Itís definitely a loss and a game that we could have won. We had our opportunities, and we just didnít capitalize on them."

"Last night, weíre 5-for-11, and Iíve said it all along, those things are cyclical. But youíre not going to score if youíre not hitting the net, and we missed the net way too many times."

Notebook

The winning bid on Adam Oatesí black No. 12 sweater from Friday night was $850. . . .

Saturday was senior defenseman Blake Pickettís 100th college game. . . .

Senior center Nick Economakos extended his streak to seven games with at least one point (2-11-13). . . .

Sophomore right wing Kevin Broad (2-1-3) and junior defenseman Alexander Valentin (2-5-7) had their point streaks snapped at three. . . .

MacDonald entered the game ranked fifth nationally in goals per game (1.12), Croxton sixth (1.25) and Economakos 15th (1.12) in assists per game. . . .

RPI wraps up its five-game homestand on Friday vs. Union.