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RPI Gets Austrian Goalie

Lange, Playing This Year in Long Island, Commits

By Jon Paul Morosi

Albany Times Union, January 19, 2005

Goaltender Mathias Lange has become the second member of RPI's incoming freshman class.

Lange visited campus last weekend and attended Friday's loss to Colgate. It took him only two days to decide.

A native of Klagenfurt, Austria, he is playing for the Long Island-based New York Apple Core (Eastern Junior Hockey League).

"I'm definitely happy and relieved to commit somewhere where I feel I can have a great future," he said Tuesday night.

Lange also considered Harvard and Yale. He said a scholarship was critical in his decision. (Harvard and Yale do not offer athletic aid.) He said college costs $500 a semester in Austria. Not so here.

He is a close friend of Austrian star Thomas Vanek, who spent two seasons at Minnesota and offered him advice on his decision. Vanek will play with the Rochester Americans against the Albany River Rats tonight at Pepsi Arena.

Lange has the fourth-best goals-against average in the EJHL (2.56) and is tied for the fifth-best save percentage (.914). He is 15-11-3 in league play and has been in net for 37 games overall, roughly two-thirds of the team's schedule.

He will take the roster spot of graduating senior Andrew Martin.

Lange was intrigued by the chance to contend for playing time early in his career, since RPI has not had an established starter this season. Both goaltenders, Martin and freshman Jordan Alford, have save percentages below .890.

"It's a good situation, where I can come in next year and battle for the No. 1 spot," he said. "They've got a good goalie in Alford, but I think I can play at that level, too."

Head coach Dan Fridgen is left with two full scholarships for the remainder of the class. Forward Kurtis Colling is the team's other commitment to date.

The team graduates seven seniors. Fridgen has said he may bring in as few as five or as many as seven new players. Next year's roster is set at goaltender (Alford, Lange, and Will Neubert), but the Engineers have needs at center and defense.