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At Yale, RPI Gets Back on Track

Five Engineers Score to End 3-game Losing Streak

By Jon Paul Morosi

Albany Times Union, November 20, 2004

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - There are losses, and then there are those that bring about identity crises, a distinction that shocked and dismayed the RPI Engineers last weekend. Forever the kid brother in Capital Region college hockey, Union College swept the Engineers for the first time ever.

Worse, RPI was stuck with a three-game losing streak, making the two points at stake here on Friday night a rare November must-have.

So the Engineers pulled out the "How to Win a Hockey Game" manual and checked it twice. They scored first. They led after the second. They kept a man back in the third. And they left with a convincing 5-2 victory over winless Yale before 3,166 at Ingalls Rink.

"That's what we needed," said senior goaltender Andrew Martin, who had 17 saves. "We're right back to our old selves. We kind of took a week off last weekend, but now we're back into it."

Five players - Chris Hussey, Tommy Green, Kevin Croxton, Jake Morissette and Cody Wojdyla - scored for the Engineers (6-5-1, 2-3-0 ECAC Hockey League), who play at Princeton tonight.

Their only transgressions Friday came when Jeff Hristovski scored twice, both times on shifts immediately following RPI goals. The Bulldogs (0-7-0, 0-5-0) never climbed closer than a two-goal deficit in the second or third as their defense - worst in Division I - allowed at least five goals for the sixth time.

The porous Yale blue line proved the perfect tonic for the Engineers, whose power play scored twice during a three-goal first. Hussey had the first. Amid a goal-mouth mass of sticks and legs, he whacked in Kirk MacDonald's shot seven minutes into the first for his first power play goal in two seasons. Hristovski answered in 23 seconds.

No matter. A minute later, Matt Modelski (30 saves) - starting for the first time this season - tried to clear the zone by passing through the RPI forecheck.

Bad idea. Green, who was barreling toward the net, flipped his first goal of the season into a vacant net for a 2-1 lead.

"(Green) had a real good angle on the guy, and he just happened to shoot it into him," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. "He had the poise and patience to put it in."

RPI never trailed again. Croxton scored on the power play for a 3-1 lead after one period.

In the second, freshman center Jake Morissette scored his first goal at 12:08. Hristovski's reply came 27 seconds later on one of three Yale shots in the period.

Morissette's goal was a rebound of Blake Pickett's point shot. His teammates retrieved the puck to mark the occasion.

"It feels really good to get the first one," Morissette said.

The Engineers had the better scoring chances in the third. Notable was a blocked shot/breakaway combo by burly defenseman Brad Farynuk, which he later announced as "my first breakaway in about eight years."

Wojdyla's empty-netter finished the scoring.

"This win was much needed," Martin said, "and we deserved it."