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Engineers Buzzing After Big Victory

Cavosie line prospering early in season for RPI

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, October 22, 2001

TROY - A big-play offense, excellent special teams play, improved defense and some quality goaltending from Kevin Kurk.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute combined those ingredients Saturday night to defeat the No. 6 team in the nation - New Hampshire, 6-4 - while posting its first victory of the season.

Or, some might say simply having Marc Cavosie on their team was all the 1-1 Engineers needed.

The junior center scored a pair of goals, assisted on another and set the tone of the game with his stellar play.

The Cohoes native has made big plays repeatedly and now has five goals and one assist in two games, including a pair of shorthanded tallies.

Cavosie clearly has been the best player on the ice in both games, scoring a hat trick in a 6-5 loss at Boston University last week. He cautiously hoped for a quick start, but seems even surprised with his six-point (5-1-6) output in two games.

"I worked real hard this off-season and we're in real good condition this year," he said. "I feel good physically and the shots seem to be going my way and I'm getting some bounces, which helps.

"My linemates, (Ryan Shields, Andrew McPherson) they're terrific," Cavosie added. "They're really hustling for me. Mac and Shields really worked hard out there (Saturday night). I don't know if I'd get the opportunities I get if it weren't for them."

While Cavosie has scored some spectacular goals, sometimes it's little things that lead to a score.

"I know on the first one (Saturday night), McPherson made a nice pick which allowed me to get free. Without plays like that, little things that go unnoticed, people like me won't get (as many) chances."

Matt Murley, the other local star who led the Engineers in goals and scoring last season, has also turned in outstanding individual plays in both games.

He restored the Engineers' lead to two goals Saturday night with an outstanding play early in the second period after UNH had pulled within 2-1.

Murley stole the puck a few feet inside the blue line, took two steps and went around a Wildcats defenseman and skated in on goal.

New Hampshire goalie Michael Ayers stopped his shot, but after Butterwick gave the rebound a couple slaps, Murley slid it under Ayers for his second goal of the season.

"Carson just came in, he went for the rebound, he knocked it loose and it came right on my stick," Murley said. "That's a drill we work on in practice a lot, where you just crash the net, try to knock it loose and poke it in. It worked well."

Rensselaer has amassed just 35 shots on goal in its two games but Murley believes the Engineers can keep on scoring 5-6 goals per game.

"Hopefully, all season," he said. "With the shooting percentage we're getting now, you know. It's going to be hard to do but I think we have the talent to do it."

Eventually, the Engineers will put more shots on the net. Thus far, Cavosie has five goals on six shots, Murley two goals on six shots.

Without many chances - seven - the RPI power play has shown promise (two goals) and looked sharp on Carson Butterwick's power-play goal (from Murley) Saturday night.

And the penalty killing - 13 of 15 efficiency including two-man disadvantages of 4:38.

"Again, our special teams did the job tonight, giving us the opportunity to win," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said.

The Engineers played without two regular defensemen: Jim Vickers being out with a hand injury, Scott Basiuk sitting out after a game disqualification at BU.

Their defensive zone play still needs to be more consistent, but it was much better than last week.

"We had our up-and-downs here and there but we managed to keep our composure," captain Steve Munn said. "Once we get Basiuk and Vickers back in the lineup, it's only going to get better."

Freshman defenseman Matt McNeely played a solid game Saturday night, rebounding from some trying moments at BU.

"He's been my partner the last couple games and I've been impressed with his maturity," said Munn. "He's real eager to learn. He's asking questions, the right questions and I don't have to tell him what to do twice."

"And Blake had his first go (Saturday) and did all right. He's going to challenge for a place at the table all year, too," Munn added. "We've got so much depth at defense right now, then those guys (Basiuk and Vickers) come back."

NOTES: The Engineers' third-period play tapered off last season but is off to a smashing start this season, outscoring BU and UNH 7-3 in the final stanza. ...Vickers led RPI defensemen in scoring last season with 28 points (8-20-28). Junior Danny Eberly has filled the void during Vickers' absence with one goal and two assists Saturday night, including the tie-breaking goal. ...RPI is on the road two of the next three weekends and off Nov. 2-3. The Engineers don't return home until Nov. 17 against Mercyhurst.