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Engineers Give Better Effort, Tie Bobcats, 2-2

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, November 5, 2006

TROY - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute played an awful game Friday against Princeton, but got away with it by winning in overtime.

The Engineers gave a better effort Saturday against Quinnipiac, a team that had scored 16 goals in its last two games. However, the best the Engineers could do was a 2-2 ECACHL draw before 4,624 fans at Houston Field House.

"We’re not pleased with the tie. You want to get the two points," said RPI forward Jake Morissette, who scored the game-tying goal and added an assist. "But we’re more pleased with our effort tonight than we were last night. I thought we had a lot more positives."

The Engineers (1-0-1 ECACHL, 3-1-3 overall), who are 2-0-2 in their last four games, had only 13 shots against Princeton, including just one in the third period.

Against the Bobcats (1-0-1, 4-2-2), the Engineers had 18 shots, but only four in the third. Still, RPI coach Seth Appert was pleased with his team’s effort. RPI could have snapped the 2-2 tie with 7:34 left in the third, but defenseman Peter Merth's slot shot hit the crossbar.

"I thought we played very good in the third period," Appert said. "We had some penalties we had to kill. We missed some shots. Our best play’s not a shot on goal. [It was] a great line rush. Seth Klerer makes an outstanding play to pull up. Peter Merth jumps in the play, and rips one off the crossbar."

But Appert would like to see the Engineers shoot more. They haven’t gotten more than 22 shots on goal in their last three games. They have been over 30 shots on goal only twice.

"We’re probably a little too picky with our shot selection right now," Appert said. "We’re a puck-possession team. We don't really like to shoot a lot. We need to change that to a certain extent."

"Even though we didn’t create a lot of shots tonight, I thought our scoring chances were very good scoring chances."

Down, 1-0, after the first period on a Jean-Marc Beaudoin shorthanded goal, RPI made the most of an opportunity early in the second period that tied the score at 1-1. Reed Kipp was at the right point when he sent a diagonal pass to Kevin Broad at the left of the Quinnipiac net. With his back to goalie Bud Fisher, Broad backhanded the puck into the net at 2:06.

After the Bobcats took a 2-1 lead nearly 2 1 /2 minutes later on Bryan Leitch’s power-play goal during a five-on-three, the Engineers took advantage of a delayed penalty against Quinnipiac while RPI’s Paul Kerins was serving a holding minor.

The Engineers kept control of the puck in the Bobcats’ zone as RPI goalie Mathias Lange went to the bench for an extra attacker, making it a five-on-five situation. As RPI killed time off Kerins’ penalty, Morissette took a pass from Jake Luthi and rifled a shot from the right circle past Fisher.

"We were trying to rag time," Luthi said. "But when [Quinnipiac ] was on the [power play], your mind-set is offense. We caught them running around a little bit."

Appert wanted his players to kill off as much time on Kerins’ penalty so that they would get some power play time.

"It’s a good thing they don’t listen to me," Appert said.

It was a good week for Quinnipiac in the Capital Region. The Bobcats were 2-0-2. They tied Colgate and beat Union in last weekend’s Governor’s Cup at Pepsi Arena, and beat Union on Friday at Messa Rink before getting the tie Saturday.

"I thought we had some chances to win it tonight," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. "We would have loved to get a win tonight."

NOTEBOOK

RPI goalie Mathias Lange stopped 25 shots. Fisher finished with 16 saves ...

Freshman forward Jordan Cyr made his RPI debut ...

Forwards Tommy Green and Andrew Lord, along with defenseman Christian Jensen, returned to the RPI lineup after being scratched against Princeton. Sitting out against Quinnipiac were forwards Matt Angers-Goulet, Tyler Eaves and Dan Peace, and defensemen Jason Fortino and Garett Vassel.