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RPI Blanks Cornell, 2-0

By Bob Weiner

Schenectady Daily Gazette, February 25, 2006

TROY - White plastic noisemakers clapped together incessantly on the one night Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute celebrated the white side of its personality during the second annual "White-Out" Friday at Houston Field House.

The white theme was the perfect color to defuse the Big Red, as the inspired Engineers knocked seventh-ranked Cornell out of first place in the ECACHL with a 2-0 blanking before a crowd of 3,945.

Freshman goalie Mathias Lange stopped 34 shots to pick up his second shutout of the season, as RPI improved to 8-7-6 in the league and 14-14-6 overall. Cornell (12-6-3, 17-7-4) was replaced at the top of the standings by Colgate and Dartmouth, which each picked up victories Friday.

Lange was brilliant all night, especially in the final period, when he made 15 saves.

"I was focused tonight," said Lange. "I saw the puck very well, and it was easy to find. I thought our penalty-killing unit did a great job of keeping their sticks in the passing lanes. When a shot got through, I was able to stop it. Youíve got to give our PK guys a lot of credit, because Cornell has a very good power play. Our guys were just a little better tonight."

RPI head coach Dan Fridgen was thrilled with all facets of his teamís play, with the exception of a 48-24 advantage by the Big Red on face-offs.

"We knew we had to match their intensity," said Fridgen. "We also knew we had to play a good defensive game. We werenít going to get many opportunities against a team like that, but we made the most of the ones we got."

"This was a big win because it got us over .500 in the league and to .500 overall. It was a good team effort from Mathias to our defense and to our forwards. It was tough, because we played the entire third period in our own zone."

After both teams failed to get much going early in the game, RPI finally broke through late in the first period with a pair of goals that turned out to be the only scores of the game.

Oren Eizenmanís brilliant individual effort got the Engineers on the board at 16:41. He skated through a pair of Cornell defenders and connected on a backhander for his 14th goal of the season.

"It was kind of a weird play," said Eizenman. "I skated by their defensemen, waited for their goalie to make his move and then put the puck between his legs. I was fortunate to be in the right situation."

Two minutes later, Kevin Croxton knocked in his 14 th of the year on a deflection of a Kurt Colling shot that Cornell goalie Dave McKee couldnít handle.

Lange continued his fine play in goal with 13 saves in the second period. He stoned Daniel Pegoraro on a Big Red power play early in the period, and kept Cornell off the board the rest of the way with fine some glove work.