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Rensselaer at Brown

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, March 4, 2005

SCOUTING RPI

Goaltenders (W-L-T, goals against avg., saves %): Sr. Andrew Martin (9-15-1, 2.99, 89.1%), or Fr. Jordan Alford (5-5-1, 2.84, 88.8%).

Slumps over: Not only did Kevin Croxton, the Engineers' loading goal scorer in 2003 and 2004, end a 22-game goal-scoring slump over the weekend, his roommate Kevin Broad, who had gone 17 games without a lamp lighter until he scored the game-tying goal in last week's 3-2 victory over Yale. Broad isn't the goal-scorer Croxton is but having the monkey removed from the back of each heading into the playoffs is important. "Great to have that over with," said Croxton, who has 100 career points (41-59-100). "Hopefully I can keep it going."

Luthi's first: Sophomore defenseman Jake Luthi has fond memories of the 3-3 game at Brown on Dec. 3. His blast from the circle late in the first period gave the Engineers a 1-0 lead and it was his first collegiate point. "Yeah, it was special," he said. "It'll be a fun place to go back to."

Who's hot: Junior right wing-center and leading scorer Kirk MacDonald had one goal and four assists over his past five games. Over the last seven games, Croxton is 2-4-6, Sr. LW Nick Economakos is 4-0-4, Eizenman and Ornelas are 2-2-4 and defensemen Jake Luthi and Brad Farynuk are 1-3-4. The vast majority of those points, however, came in the 8-4 shootout victory over Holy Cross.

Injuries: None.

Notes: This marks the second time Brown and RPI have met in the playoffs. The second-seeded Engineers swept the visiting, 8th-seeded Bears in 1990, 5-3, 6-4. ... Rensselaer was 0-10-0 against the top five teams in the ECACHL this season but Brown didn't have much more success at 1-8-1. ... MacDonald's four game-winning goals ties him for fourth nationally in that category. ... Some 48.4 percent of RPI's goals (46 of 95) have come on the power play. It's the highest such percentage in the ECACHL. Add in three shorthanded goals and over half (51.5 percent) of RPI's goals have come from special teams.

SCOUTING BROWN

Goaltenders (W-L-T, goals against avg., saves %): Fr. Adam D'Alba (12-8-2, 2.05, 93.2%).

Slow start, sputtering finish: Not much was expected from the Bears after they began the season 1-4-1 and were outscored 25-14. Then D'Alba settled in, won the job and exhibited some solid goaltending. He allowed 10 goals over a seven-game span - Brown went 6-0-1 - and the Bears' season was turned around. Over the final month, though, the Bears went 1-5-0 and were outscored 19-10.

High-scoring favors Bears: The Bears are unbeaten this season when they score three or more goals at 13-0-1, including a 3-3 tie with RPI. Rensselaer is 11-3-2 when scoring three times or more. In 10 of the Bears' 14 victories, they scored four or more goals. When the opposition scores exactly two goals, Brown has a 6-1-1 record, while RPI is 3-2-0.

Who's hot: The Bears' attack has slumbered of late. Leading scorer Les Haggett (11-14-25) has two goals, two assists over his past four games. No other Bear has been close to a point-per-game lately. Over a longer haul, Haggett is s4-7-11 over his past 12 games. Fr. C Jeff Prough is 4-3-7 over his past 10 games and senior center Mike Meech has seven goals over his past 12 outings.

Injuries: None.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Records (ECACHL, overall): RPI - 6-15-1m 14-20-2. Brown - 9-11-2, 14-12-3.

Previous outing: Rensselaer beat Yale, 3-2 in OT; Brown lost at Dartmouth, 6-2.

Past 5 outings: Rensselaer is 2-3-0. Brown is 1-4-0.

Past 10 outings: Rensselaer is 4-6-0. Brown is 4-6-0.

Record vs. common opponents: Rensselaer is 7-17-0. Brown is 12-10-2.

Previous meeting: Teams played 3-3 ties at Brown; Rensselaer won at Houston Field House, 3-2.

Last season: Brown won at Houston Field House, 1-0; RPI won at Brown, 4-0.

All-time series: Rensselaer leads series, 42-17-5.

Power play: RPI - 180-of-214, 84.1 percent. Brown - 128-of-157, 81.5 percent.