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Name Rings a Bell

Lange Spitting Image of Laing

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, June 14, 2005

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey coach Dan Fridgen sees goalie Mathias Lange, and is reminded a lot of former Engineers netminder Joel Laing.

Lange heads the list of six recruits who will join the Engineers in the fall, the school announced Monday.

While their last names are spelled differently, they are pronounced the same. And the similarities don't end there.

"When I first saw this guy play, he reminded me of Joel Laing," Fridgen said. "Mathias wore the same equipment that Joel did when he played. There was a really, really scary resemblance there."

Laing posted a 52-31-6 career record from 1996-2000 at RPI. He had a 2.59 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and a schoolrecord 13 shutouts, was a firstteam All-America in 1999-00 and was a Hobey Baker finalist that season.

Lange, a native of Klagenfurt, Austria, played in 44 games last season for the New York Apple Core of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. He posted a 19-6-6 record with 2.69 GAA, fifth best in the EJHL, with one shutout and a .910 save percentage.

Fridgen is hoping Lange can turn into Laing, or even another former RPI goalie great, Neil Little, who played from 1990-94.

"Development is a funny thing," Fridgen said. "He's kind of a mixture. He reminded me of Joel, and he reminded me of Neil Little, and how fluid he is around his crease. Nothing seems to rattle him, no matter what point of the game he's in, or the situation he's in. He's really consistent with his play."

Lange will compete with Jordan Alford, who was 5-5-1 with a 2.84 GAA and a .888 save percentage in 13 games in his freshman year. But Alford didn't play much down the stretch as Andrew Martin, who graduated last month, got most of the starts.

Alford struggled in ECACHL play, going 0-3 with a 4.57 GAA and a .783 save percentage in five games.

"I know that Jordan is going to be back, and improve his numbers," Fridgen said. "Lange is going to get an opportunity."

Fridgen isn't concerned that he won't have an upperclassmen among his top two goalies. It's a situation that Fridgen has experienced before.

"I've been in situations where I've had two freshmen in one year," Fridgen said. "First, there was [Scott] Prekaski and Laing, and then it went to [Nathan] Marsters and Kevin Kurk."

Four forwards and one defenseman make up the rest of the recruits, who will help RPI try to improve its 14-22-2 record last season, including a 6-15-1 ECACHL mark, which placed the Engineers 11th in the 12-team league.

Andrei Uryadov, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, is from South Kent of the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward was ranked by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau as an "A" player in the U.S. High Schools East category among draft-eligible players.

Mathieu Angers-Goulet (St. Augustin, Quebec), a 5-11, 175-pound forward, had 19 goals and 23 assists in 53 games for the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Seth Klerer (Thornhill, Ontario), a 5-11, 170-pound forward, had 14 goals and 30 assists in 36 games for the North York Rangers of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League.

Kurtis Colling (Ripley, Ontario), a 6-1, 185-pound forward, collected 20 goals and 29 assists for the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League last season.

In 2003-04, Colling had 28 goals and 50 assists in 48 games.

The lone defenseman is Reed Kipp, also of the Vipers. The Victoria, British Columbia native is a playmaking defenseman. He had two goals and 34 assists in 60 games.

Despite his 6-foot, 195-pound frame, Kipp brings some toughness to the blue line. He collected 325 penalty minutes the last three seasons.