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Engineers Deliver Fridgen His 200th Career Victory, 4-0

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, October 24, 2005

TROY - Dan Fridgen received balloons, flowers and a kiss from his wife, Kary. Mathias Lange got to keep the puck.

Fridgen earned his 200th win as coach of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the freshman goalie Lange recorded his first career shutout Sunday as the Engineers cruised to a 4-0 non-league hockey victory over Army in their Houston Field House opener.

It is the third straight win for RPI (3-2).

Fridgen, who is in his 12th season as RPIís coach, has a 200-178-32 record. He is the schoolís all-time leader in wins.

What does it mean to him? "Take a look at the gray hair, thatís how it feels," Fridgen said with a laugh.

But in all seriousness, Fridgen said winning 200 games has more to do with the people who have come through the program than just him.

"I feel very, very fortunate to have had a lot of good players, a lot of good teams and some excellent assistant coaches, as well," said Fridgen, who won the 1995 ECACHL tournament title in his first season as coach. "Itís just not one person. Itís a team victory, No. 200."

Lange, making his third straight start, stopped 14 shots for the shutout. He understands how special the puck will be.

"I was going to give it back to him, but he says he has another one," said Lange, who lowered his goals-against average to 2.51. "Itís always nice to have somebody get to a milestone. It was one for him, and one for me as well."

Fridgen didnít mind giving Lange the puck.

"As I told him, as a coach, you look back and it was good," Fridgen said. "But you certainly remember your playing days, and that means a lot. Iím sure heís going to look back on it and realize it was a dual meaning as far as that puck is concerned."

RPI opened the scoring with its third short-handed goal of the season, equalling last yearís output, midway through the first period. Kevin Broad stole an Army pass and gave it to Matt Angers-Goulet. Angers-Goulet took a couple of strides in the high slot, then fired a wrist shot past goalie Brad Roberts.

The Engineersí power play, which came into the game with just two goals in 15 attempts, got going in the second.

Just under a minute into the period, Oren Eizenman put in the rebound a Brad Farynuk blast past Roberts. At 7:48, Broad tipped in a Keith MCWilliamsí rightpoint shot with a second left on Seth Beamerís obstruction-hooking call. With 1:56 left in the period, Seth Klerer scored the third power-play goal.

RPI finished 3-for-9 on the power play.

"[Army] played it real well," said Kevin Croxton, who assisted on Eizenmanís goal. "They packed it in well, and were blocking shots. It was tough to get anything going the first couple [of attempts]. We made some adjustments, and got some pucks to the net."

NOTEBOOK

The Engineers continue their homestand Friday against Northeastern, and Saturday against Merrimack. . . .

RPI goalie Jordan Alford and forward Tommy Green had their heads shaved after the game as part of RPIís season-long charity drive to help raise funds for cancer research and hair donation to make wigs for cancer patients. . . .

Delmar native Ken Porter made his season debut for Army. Porter, a sophomore forward who played for the Capital District Selects, appeared in four games last season for the Black Knights without scoring a point.