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Eizenman Back in RPI Lineup

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, January 11, 2007

TROY - Senior forward Oren Eizenman watched in frustration while his Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute teammates have struggled to win.

Eizenman wanted to help. But there was nothing he could do from the stands while he recovered from an undisclosed injury.

After sitting out the last six games, Eizenman will return to the lineup Friday when the Engineers (1-4-3 ECACHL, 5-9-6 overall) host Capital Regionl rival Union (2-6, 9-9-2 ) at Houston Field House.

Eizenman, who is tied for third in team scoring with four goals and nine assists, was injured in the Dec. 8 game at Quinnipiac. RPI was 1-5 during his absence. including four straight losses. Eizenman is ready to get back on the ice and play to help the Engineers snap out of a 1-8-3 skid.

"That's been frustrating, knowing that you can't do anything and help the guys out," said Eizenman, who was RPI's second-leading scorer last season with 16 goals and 22 assists. "When I see our guys struggle, I want to really take the pressure off and help them out whenever I can. Being in the stands, all I could do was offer moral support."

Eizenman could have probably come back last weekend. But RPI coach Seth Appert believed another week of rest would do Eizenman some good.

"If it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, or the NCAA championship game, last Friday or Saturday, could he potentially have played? He probably could have," Appert said. "But to risk re-injury when he probably was mentally 100 percent confident, and physically not 100 percent, it didn't make a lot of sense to us."

"The extra week has been very beneficial for his health, and has been very beneficial for his confidence in himself."

This isn't the first time Eizenman has missed significant playing time during his RPI career. Two seasons ago, Eizenman missed 11 games because of illness.

"To have an injury in your senior season is even more frustrating because you really want to be out there helping your team," Eizenman said. "It's something that I've had to work through."

EAVES STILL OUT

One injured player who won't be back this weekend, or possibly anytime soon, is junior forward Tyler Eaves. He is recovering from post-concussion syndrome. Eaves suffered a concussion Dec. 1 against Cornell, and missed the last eight games.

"First and foremost, we want to make sure we take care of Tyler, and get him back where he can start exercising, skating and enjoying the opportunity to be with his teammates," Appert said. "I know it's been very difficult for him, and difficult for his teammates to see him be out for this extended period of time."

FORTINO GONE

Freshman defenseman Jason Fortino's RPI career is over. He left the school and joined the Hamilton Red Wings of the Ontatio Provincial Junior Hockey League.

Fortino appeared in just one game for the Engineers, Nov. 24 against Niagara.