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RPI Looks Forward to Forgetting Loss

Sloppy Play vs. Lowell Hopefully Not a Trend

By Matt Graves

Albany Times Union, October 20, 2002

TROY - RPI coach Dan Fridgen was only kidding, but it may take a bit of extra help to remove the stigma of Friday's first home-opening loss in six seasons.

"I was kind of prepared before the game," Fridgen said. "I went to the pharmacy and bought a jar of amnesia pills. We just distributed them to the players and they'll be popping those things real quick."

The 8-4 loss to UMass Lowell was a game the Engineers would like to forget. They'll get that opportunity in a hurry today against another non-league opponent from Lowell's league in the University of Massachusetts.

"I guess we'll just have to park it," said RPI forward Nolan Graham of the Lowell game. "We have another Hockey East team where we can get some of our frustrations out - not in a bad way. We need to work hard and play the body, just get back to simple hockey."

The Minutemen will be looking for their first win of the season against the Engineers (1-2), having dropped their Hockey East opener 6-0 to nationally ranked Boston College last weekend. UMass, which was 8-24-2 last season, had 17 underclassmen among the 21 players who dressed for the opener.

RPI also has its share of freshmen and sophomores, including four of the six defensemen who were in the lineup Friday night.

"It's something we've been working on, something we need to continue to work on," Fridgen said of his reworked defensive combinations. "We had a lot of turnovers and they're (Lowell) the type of team that will capitalize on them and they did that, especially in the neutral zone. These weren't turnovers that happen at the beginning of a shift and you have some energy to recover. These were turnovers that were happening at the end of shifts. Now they're going full steam the other way and we can't catch them."

The Engineers hope to have assistant captain Scott Basiuk back on the defensive end today after he suffered a cut hand that required stitches. Fridgen said Basiuk stepped on his own hand in the first period while attempting to pick up his stick.

UMass leads the all-time series 5-4-1.