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Engineers Get Swamped by Crimson Tide

Leading 1-0, RPI Allows Three Third-period Goals

By Matt Kalman

Albany Times Union, January 28, 2006

BOSTON - The third period had been as much fun as a third-grader's recess for RPI this season before it visited Harvard Friday night.

With a well-rested Crimson team on the attack, the last stanza became like detention for the Engineers in their only scheduled visit to the Bright Center.

With a well-rested Crimson team on the attack, the last stanza became like detention for the Engineers in their only scheduled visit to the Bright Center.

Dan Murphy's snap shot from the right circle broke a 1-1 tie at the 7:25 mark of the final session and sent Harvard on its way to a 3-1 ECACHL triumph.

The Engineers, who led 1-0 at the second intermission, had been 9-1-1 when leading after three periods this season.

"They came out with more energy (in the third), and we didn't do what we needed to do in order to hold a lead," said RPI coach Dan Fridgen, whose team is 11-12-3 overall and 5-5-3 in the ECACHL. "You have to play smart. You've got 20 minutes, the pressure's on them and we didn't handle it very well. We took bad penalties and - questionable (penalties) - however, penalties. I thought that that got us behind. ... All things we talked about, doing the little things, they did better in the third period."

Defenseman Jake Luthi scored RPI's lone goal on a power play late in the first period. But he also took a cross-checking penalty that led to a Harvard 5-on-3 in the third - a man-advantage Harvard used to register its third goal on a one-timer by Charlie Johnson.

"I think we got away from our systems a little bit in the third," said Luthi, a junior blueliner. "On the offensive side of the puck, on scrums, (it) kind of caught up with us. We gave up odd-man rushes, took penalties and it cost us a game."

The Crimson (11-7-2, 8-6-1) players didn't need much time to get their legs under them after a 19-day exam break. In action for the first time since their Jan. 7 loss to the Engineers, the Crimson managed almost twice as many scoring chances in the first 20 minutes.

But behind eight saves by goaltender Mathias Lange and four blocked shots, the Engineers got to the locker room with a 1-0 lead on Luthi's goal from the right point with 1:23 left in the first period.

"It was one of those things where I had a clear lane and (Kurt) Colling was in front of the goal and it went over (Harvard goalie John Daigneau's) pad," said Luthi of his first goal since last year's ECACHL playoffs.

RPI dressed only five defensemen and 17 players total.

Just 2:48 into the third period, Dylan Reese's shot from the point deflected off Harvard winger Dave Watters' side and then off Steve Mandes' skate into the mesh for a 1-1 tie.

RPI - playing without five regulars, including league-leading scorer Kevin Croxton and defensemen Brad Farynuk and Alexander Valentin - will be short-handed again tonight at Dartmouth.