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Third Line Has Become a Lot More Klerer for RPI

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, November 10, 2005

TROY - Seth Klerer was the last recruit in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey program's freshman class.

He was hardly an afterthought, though.

The Thornhill, Ont., native has nailed down the No. 3 line's centerman slot and last week, was moved to the top power-play unit with leading scorers Kevin Croxton and Oren Eizenman.

Rensselaer head coach Dan Fridgen says it was a "two- or three-year process" to secure Klerer.

Though Klerer doesn't have blinding speed or upper-echelon scoring skills, Fridgen was confident he could contribute right away. And among a group of four freshmen who are lineup regulars for the Engineers, Klerer leads in scoring with two goals and two assists.

"He's the type of young man who learns very quickly," Fridgen said. "You say that to him once and he makes that adjustment. He's real smart, clever and has some good abilities as far as vision and puck-handling skills are concerned."

Klerer also has impressed RPI players and fans with his outstanding faceoff work.

After a 3-2 victory at Boston University, the media rushed freshman goalie Mathias Lange for his 29-save performance - and rightly so. Rensselaer defenseman and captain Brad Farynuk, though, lauded Klerer for "winning faceoff after faceoff. We may not have won without that."

Klerer smiles almost embarrassingly.

"I've always been all right at it, actually," he said. "I haven't been a center most of my life. I was playing center and (left) wing. Most of my junior career I was playing the wing. But faceoffs, I've always been pretty good at. Happy it's working out here."

His other main skills?

"I think my speed and vision are the top skills, and my defensive play."

Fridgen says that Klerer will be a bigger scorer in later years and loves his versatility.

"Seth has the ability to play several roles at this level," Fridgen said. "He can provide offense, play solid defense and help on both the power play and penalty kill."

"He's a natural leader on and off the ice."

Speaking of the power play, it was mentioned last week that Klerer was about to get more PP time on the second unit with wingers Kevin Broad and Chris Hussey.

Wrong - this writer was.

In actuality, the left-handed Klerer was placed on the top unit on the off-right wing with Eizenman between Croxton and him.

He was credited with an assist, but he did start the play on Eizenman's first of two goals against Clarkson.

Klerer saw a familiar face when he visited RPI - Eizenman.

"We played bantam and midgets together (in the Toronto area)," he said. "Then we kind of split up for juniors; I went to the North York Rangers for three years (Eizenman played for the Wexford Raiders). I was captain there last year."

Klerer loved RPI right away.

"It was between RPI and Princeton looking at me," he said of his college choice. "I had a good feeling about (RPI), I thought I fit in well here. I liked the academics, like the hockey program. Here I am."

It's been since All-Americans Matt Murley (17) and Marc Cavosie (12) in the late 90s since an RPI freshman scored double-figures in goals.

Could Klerer accomplish that?

"I'd like to ... it's still early," he said. "I don't think about that, I just come to work every day and hopefully, good things will happen."