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Engineers Going on the Defensive

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, October 1, 2002

TROY - It may seem strange for Rensselaer hockey fans to not see Marc Cavosie and Matt Murley on the ice this season.

The Engineers, though, are already getting used to life without their top two scorers from last season.

RPI opened practice Monday for the 2002-03 season at Houston Field House as it prepares for its Oct. 11 opener at Wisconsin in the Ice Breaker Tournament. But the players have been working out on their own for a couple of weeks, renting ice time at Knickerbacker Park.

That gave them an opportunity to get comfortable with the fact that Cavosie and Murley won't be around to carry the offensive load.

"It'll be a little different," said senior forward Carson Butterwick, who had 13 goals and 13 assists last season. "We've been skating for a while. I'm kind of used to the change now. I kind of have no choice but to accept it."

Cavosie and Murley helped the Engineers tie for third place in the ECAC with a 10-9-3 record, and a 20-13-4 overall mark. RPI reached the ECAC tournament final five, and finished third.

Cavosie was the ECAC Player of the Year, leading the team with 23 goals and 27 assists. The Cohoes native gave up his senior season to sign with the NHL's Minnesota Wild, the team that drafted him in 2000.

Murley had 24 goals and 22 assists. The Troy native finished his four-year career with 74 goals and 101 assists. His 175 points rank him 11th on RPI's all-time scoring list. Murley is now in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.

RPI coach Dan Fridgen appreciates what Cavosie and Murley did during their time at the school, but he's not dwelling on their departures.

"I'm excited to get on the ice with the group of guys that we presently have on the team," said Fridgen, who has a 149-114-25 record in his eight years as RPI's coach. "It's just a mindset where you don't live in the past. I turned that page the last practice we had at the end of last year here in our own building before going on to Lake Placid, knowing that this was the last time that we were going to be together as the 2001-02 RPI Engineers.

"When I get on the ice, I don't reflect as to what we had, I reflect on what we have."

What the Engineers have is one returnee, Butterwick, who scored over 10 goals last season. RPI has nine freshmen, including two players from the Capital Region - Greg Kemp of Loudonville and Mark Yurkewecz of Troy.

A key returnee is junior goalie Nathan Marsters. He was 15-9-3 last season with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.

As the Engineers try to find some scoring punch, Marsters will be called on to make some big saves to keep the team in games.

"We're probably going to have to play a little more defensive game this year because we don't have the guys who can score goals whenever they want to," Marsters said. "I'm sure we'll be able to do it. I'm pretty sure that's where we're headed."

Notebook

The annual Red-White scrimmage will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday at the field house. After the game, fans can skate with the men's and women's hockey teams. Both events are free of charge. . . .

Senior defenseman Danny Eberly will be the team captain.