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Engineers Sink in Sea of Green

RPI Suffers Most Lopsided Home Defeat in 30 Years

By Mark Singelais

Albany Times Union, January 8, 2005

TROY - The Dartmouth hockey team took its recent dominance over RPI to a shocking extreme on Friday night.

Junior Eric Przepiorka had his first collegiate hat trick in a 9-1 rout of the Engineers at Houston Field House, which was RPI's worst home loss in 30 years.

It was RPI's most lopsided defeat at Houston since a 12-3 setback to Boston University on Jan. 4, 1975.

"Guys aren't happy with the final score," RPI senior center Nick Economakos said. "We play for a very proud university with a lot of great players in history. We feel we didn't represent RPI to its fullest tonight. But it's more a feeling of disappointment than embarrassment."

RPI (9-11-2 overall, 2-6-1 ECAC) has beaten Dartmouth only twice in their past 13 meetings, including a three-game loss to the Big Green in last year's ECAC Tournament quarterfinals.

Dartmouth (6-6-2, 4-4-0) broke open a 4-1 game with five goals in the third period.

"Wow," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. "Wow. That's where I'd like to begin. I certainly wasn't anticipating a third period like that. What can you say?"

Fridgen hadn't suffered a loss this bad since an 11-0 rout against Clarkson in Potsdam on Nov. 22, 1997.

As in that game, Fridgen changed goaltenders twice on Friday.

Fridgen lifted freshman starter Jordan Alford in favor of senior Andrew Martin when Dartmouth jumped to a 3-0 lead with 17:10 remaining in the second period.

Then Fridgen went back to Alford when Dartmouth increased its lead to 7-1 with 15 minutes left in the game.

Alford allowed five goals on 14 shots, Martin four goals on 15 shots.

Fridgen said he felt RPI played with enough effort. He pointed to the fact the Engineers were outshot only 29-28.

"I thought we were frustrated at times, no question," Fridgen said. "But no, I didn't question their effort whatsoever. I didn't think we threw the towel in."

Matt McNeely scored on the power play for RPI's only goal to cut Dartmouth's lead to 4-1 with 3:38 left in the second period.

Dartmouth sophomore Sean Samuel made 27 saves.

"It was one of those nights," Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. "It's not reflective of Fridge's team. Sometimes things happen. We've been on that side of it, too, where the puck just has eyes."

RPI, tied with Clarkson for 10th in the ECAC, plays host to second-place Vermont tonight.

"Each loss is something you have to move on from the regular season," Economakos said. "It's definitely something that's always in the back of your mind, but at the end of the night, it's two points we didn't get."