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Alford States Case for More Ice Time

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, October 8, 2006

TROY - With the dominating play of goalie Mathias Lange last season, Jordan Alford became a forgotten man. He spent most of the games watching Lange from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute bench.

On Saturday against York University, Alford made a push to get more playing time this season.

The junior goalie stopped all 13 shots he faced in the 31:59 he played during the Engineers' 5-1 exhibition victory over the Lions at Houston Field House.

"It's nice go in," said Alford, who replaced Lange at the start of the second period. "You just build on one save at a time."

After going 5-5-1 with a 2.84 goals-against average and a.888 save percentage his freshman year, Alford played in just five games last season, posting a 1-2 record with a 5.01 goals-against average and an .841 save percentage. Meanwhile, Lange was on his way to being a unanimous ECACHL All-Rookie team selection.

New RPI coach Seth Appert liked what he saw of Alford, especially in the second period, when he made nine saves. Alford's best save came four minutes into the second during a York power play. A Vitaly Lanochkin shot from the top of the slot was deflected high. Alford stayed with the shot and got his glove on it.

"Jordan was outstanding," Appert said. "The thing we liked about Jordan tonight is that he was in control. He wasn't sliding through the crease and getting caught out of position, and being helter-skelter and having to scramble. He was in control. He was very poised and confident."

It gives the Engineers a boost knowing that Alford can do the job.

"I think he played really well," captain Kirk MacDonald said. "The shots were kind of infrequent, but they tested him a couple of times. He handled the shots really well, and looked good. You've got to have more than one goalie that can go. Having him and Langer will just help us even more down the stretch."

In a game where there were 19 power plays combined, the only special-teams goal came shorthanded. Jake Morissette backhanded a shot over the right shoulder of York goalie Kevin Druce with 1:15 left in the first period.