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RPI Starts Things with a Shutout

By Matt Graves

Albany Times Union, October 10, 2007

TROY - For openers, RPI hockey coach Seth Appert got pretty much everything he was looking for Tuesday night against Bentley College.

His upperclassmen showed leadership, his freshmen earned valuable experience, and his goaltender posted a shutout as a crowd of 3,429 braved foul weather to witness RPI's first season-opening win in five seasons, a 4-0 victory over the Atlantic Hockey representative.

The victory was an improvement over last year's opener, RPI tied Boston University, 4-4. RPI finished the season with a 10-18-8 record.

Junior Andrei Uryadov scored a pair of goals in the second period Tuesday and senior netminder Jordan Alford turned away all 16 shots he faced, including a third-period breakaway by Jeff Gumaer to get Appert's second season as coach off to an optimistic start.

"We're very pleased with the victory," said Appert, who had seven freshmen in the lineup in what can only be called a dominating performance. "I was pleased with how we played - how we played for 60 minutes. We're still learning right now to win as a program, so we were happy with the mature approach as the game went on."

Uryadov, who had only eight goals last season, scored back-to-back goals over a span of 6 minutes to give the Engineers a four-goal margin in the second period.

One came on a rebound of his own shot at the right post, the other right in front off a pretty spinning pass from freshman Tyler Helfrich, who had two assists in his college debut.

"It was a great look by him just to get it through to me," said Uryadov, who narrowly missed the hat trick twice in the game. "It was a good first game of the season. I thought we played hard. We played pretty quick, like we wanted to."

With the Engineers carrying a tenuous 1-0 lead into the second period, Matt Angers-Goulet knocked in a wrister from below the right circle at 4:27 after a great individual effort by senior Jon Ornelas, who had given RPI the first-period lead only 6:07 into the season. On the subsequent goal, Ornelas broke up a 3-on-1 Bentley break and outletted a pass to Angers-Goulet as RPI went on a 3-on-1 the other way.

"That was all Jonathan Ornelas," Appert said. "This game was a good testament to our leaders. Our puck decisions were the only things that got us in trouble. I thought they (the freshmen) all did a very good job, and Jordan Alford played a real nice game."

It was a two-point night for Angers-Goulet as well as Uryadov, Helfrich and Ornelas.

"It was great to get the first goal, especially after a little slump last year," said Ornelas, who went 5-hole against Jason Kearney after Andrew Lord drew two defenseman away from him. "We had a ton of fun today and it worked out."

It may not be as much fun this weekend when the Engineers travel to Minnesota for the Icebreaker Invitational against three nationally ranked opponents. Should they upset Minnesota Friday, the Engineers face the winner of Michigan/Boston College the next night.