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RPI Battles to 2-2 Tie with Quinnipiac

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, November 5, 2006

TROY - 'Where was this intensity (by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in the third period' a veteran hockey writer asked during the overtime session of the Engineers' 2-2 tie with Quinnipiac on Saturday night.

Had it been there, the Engineers could easily be among three other teams atop the ECAC Hockey League standings at 2-0-0.

As it is, the Engineers finish their first league weekend with three points at 1-0-1 and can feel quite fortunate with that mark.

Kevin Broad scored his first goal of the season for RPI (1-0-1, 3-1-3) and Jake Morissette netted his team-leading fourth but though their play was much improved over Friday night's 4-3 overtime victory over Princeton, the Engineers hit the net just four times during the final 20 minutes of regulation Saturday night. They came out buzzing in the overtime but couldn't duplicate Friday night's sudden victory.

Coach Seth Appert didn't agree with those who asserted the Engineers lacked third-period intensity again.

"Oh no, I thought we played very good in the third period," he said. "We had some penalties (two) we had to kill, we missed some shots and our best shot was not a shot on goal. Our best play was not a shot on goal."

"A great line rush," Appert continued. "Seth Klerer makes an outstanding play to pull up and (defenseman) Peter Merth jumps into the play and rips one off the crossbar with a couple minutes (7:37) to go."

The Engineers did have 24 shot attempts in the period - seven were blocked, eight missed the net - but quality chances were not to be found on the shot chart.

Over the past two nights, the Engineers were outshot in 70 minutes of hockey, 69-31 by Princeton and Quinnipiac, neither of whom is among the ECACHL's top defensive teams.

"We're probably a little too picky with our shot selection right now," Appert said. "We're kind of a puck possession team. We don't really like to shoot the puck a lot (and) we need to change that to a certain extent and shoot the puck a little bit more."

The biggest problem for the Engineers is the power play, which went 0-of-9 and is now 5-of-59 for the season, an efficiency rating of a dismal 8.47 percent. The puck movement is just not nearly good enough to get the puck to the net, let alone create quality scoring chances.

"The power play needs work," Appert said. "And it's a work in progress. We've probably overcoached it ... paralysis by analysis (perhaps) that could be the situation and that's our fault as a staff."

Shorthanded, the Engineers gained a tie with an extra-attacker goal on a Q-pac delayed penalty at 12:38 of the second period, as Morissette grabbed a loose puck and rifled it by Q-pac goalie Bud Fisher.

"Just a good play by Seth (Klerer) to get it up to the point. They moved it across, I was in front. It bounced off him and the puck was just lying there and I batted it in."

"We're not pleased with the tie, you always want to get the two points," Morissette said, "but we're a lot more pleased with our effort than we were (Friday) night."

For the seventh straight game, RPI surrendered the game's first goal, when Bobcats penalty killers beat the Engineers up the ice on a 3-on-2 and freshman Jean-Marc Beaudoin slipped one past RPI goalie Mathias Lange at 14:22 of the second period.

Broad scored on a rebound early in the second but the Bobcats (1-0-1, 4-2-2) got a 5-on-3 goal a couple minutes later.

One of the linesmen whistled RPI's Reed Kipp for a boarding call well behind the play just 35 seconds into a Quinnipiac power play.

Was it flagrant, Kipp was asked.

"No, but he thought he should call it," Kipp said.

"That's a very good team we just played," Appert said. "They're new to this league and maybe they don't get the respect they deserve but you look at their lineup, they're 12, 13, 14 deep of really talented young men."

"So, I like the way we played tonight," he added. "I thought it was a good college hockey game."

The Engineers next see action on Nov. 12, hosting Merrimack at 5 p.m.