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Colling Works Hard for His Minutes

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, October 17, 2005

TROY - Kurt Colling knew that the vast majority of Rensselaer Polytechnic's goals over the past several years have come from the right wing.

The left winger also knew that three senior regulars on last season's team - Nick Economakos, Vic Pereira and Cody Wojdyla - were left wingers.

Colling, a Ripley, Ont. native who was RPI's first recruit last year, knew there were some openings in the Engineers' lineup.

"I didn't really take that into account," he said, "but I did know they were losing a couple of key left wingers, so I knew if I worked hard, there could be some ice time for me."

"Hopefully, there's a chance there for me," Colling added. "I think the key thing is to work hard and whatever line I'm put on, we work hard together and hopefully the offensive production comes. I guess, ideally, you want guys from all three positions up front contributing. Hopefully I'll get a chance and make the most of it."

Colling isn't a big goal-scorer but creates chances with his hard work along the boards.

He had 20 goals, 29 assists in 59 games last season for the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League. He was fourth on the high-scoring team in goals, third in assists.

"I'm not a big goal-scorer," he said. "I like to create chances. I wouldn't say I'm going to score from the slot every time but I'm going to score from five feet in just working hard more than anything. My wrist shot (is my best), just snapping it off from in close."

Engineers head coach Dan Fridgen terms Colling's work ethic as "relentless."

"He has strong abilities in the corners and around the net," Fridgen said. "His strength and his relentless work ethic will be a welcome addition to our lineup."

Ineffective backchecking by RPI forwards led to a number of opposing goals last season, including some crucial goals in tight games.

Fridgen hopes Colling and fellow freshman Andrei Uryadov will help in that regard.

"I'm a hard-working guy who's going to go into the corners and win some battles," he said. "I'm going to play my defensive role well and contribute to the offense as much as I can ... whether I'm put in front of the net on the power play or whether I'm just around the net all the time. That's where I've got to be to put the puck in the net once in a while."