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Engineers Again Left Green with Envy

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, February 3, 2007

HANOVER, N.H. - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's frustration in western New Hampshire continued on Friday night.

The Engineers suffered a 5-2 defeat at Dartmouth College, losing on the Big Green's home ice for the seventh consecutive season.

It was not for a lack of effort or quality of performance because the Engineers outplayed the Big Green for much of the game. RPI trailed 3-2 and was on a power play with two minutes remaining.

Dartmouth junior goalie made some spectacular saves among his 31 stops and Nick Johnson scored two late goals, one on a 2-on-1 break with 1:24 remaining while the Engineers were gambling. His other goal was an empty-netter with 15 seconds remaining.

Defenseman Reed Kipp scored his first goal of the season for the Engineers and Jonathan Ornelas pulled RPI within 3-2 with his sixth, just as a power play ended, at 13:41 of the third period.

The defeat was a damaging one for the Engineers, dropping them into ninth place. Harvard moved past them into eighth with its 5-2 victory over Union. And it pressures them to beat the Crimson tonight when the teams collide at Harvard.

The Crimson are 6-9-1 for 13 points in the 12-team ECAC Hockey League, while RPI (4-7-4) and Union (6-9-0) each have 12 points.

The eighth-place finisher will be at home for the preliminary round of the ECACHL playoffs, those in 9-12 must play on the road. Princeton, idle this weekend, remains in seventh place with 14 points (6-7-2).

J.T. Wyman scored the game's first goal and added an assist for the Big Green, who improved to 6-6-3, 10-9-3 and share fifth place with Colgate.

"We played a good game," said Rensselaer coach Seth Appert, "but not as good as needed to beat a quality, high-skilled team like Dartmouth on the road. We created a lot of high-quality scoring chances but we didn't finish as well as we could. Their goal-scorers did a better job than ours."

Soon after Kipp tied the score with a rising blast at 2:15 of the second period, both RPI defensemen Jake Luthi and Erik Burgdoerfer were caught in the offensive zone.

John Gibson sent Wyman and T.J. Galiardi out on a 2-on-1. Wyman fed Galiardi, whose shot RPI goalie Jordan Alford handled easily but when Wyman fanned on the rebound, the puck was sitting there for Kevin Swallow trailing the play. He beat Alford high.

Trailing 3-1, Ornelas took tic-tac-toe passes from Matt Angers-Goulet and Kurt Colling and put his sixth goal but the Engineers couldn't capitalize on several good chances soon afterward.

"You have to be very careful with odd-man rushes," Appert said, "and you have to take better advantage of your chances to beat a skilled team such as Dartmouth on the road."

The Engineers outshot the Big Green, 33-29.

Late in the second period, RPI left winger Andrei Uryadov hit the post from the lower left slot, grabbed his own rebound but saw Devine raise his leg to stop it while lying in the crease.

Devine stopped a tough backhander by Kirk MacDonald shortly before Wyman's goal and the Rensselaer captain had a chance on the rebound but couldn't get his stick on it.