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Alford Blanks Falcons

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, October 10, 2007

TROY — It was a nice way for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to open the 2007-08 season.

The Engineers dominated Bentley from start to finish. Andrei Uryadov scored twice, Jordan Alford earned his first shutout in three years and the Engineers rolled to a 4-0 non-league hockey win over the Falcons at Houston Field House.

Matt Angers-Goulet and Jonathan Ornelas had a goal and an assist each, and freshman forward Tyler Helfrich got two nifty assists in his college debut.

"We're very pleased with the victory. It's always nice to get a victory, without question," RPI coach Seth Appert said. "But I was pleased with how we played for 60 minutes. We're still learning to win as a program. It's not an overnight process. That's something that's a learned process."

RPI outshot Bentley, 45-16, and there was very little RPI did wrong.

"More than anything, our puck decisions were the only things that got us in trouble at times, turnovers that resulted in scoring chances for them, or sometimes penalties for us that led to scoring chances for them," Appert said. "For the most part, it was a dominant performance. We were relentless in our pursuit of how hard we got off the puck, and the puck battles we won. We also saw that we are in better shape than a year ago, and we're faster than a year ago."

Ornelas got things going 6:07 into the game. Andrew Lord carried the puck into the Bentley zone, and drew the defensemen to him, leaving Ornelas open on the right side. Lord passed the puck to Ornelas, who skated a couple of feet before firing a wrist shot between goalie Jason Kearney's pads.

"[Lord] made a great play," Ornelas said. "They left me all by myself. It was an easy job for me."

The Engineers put the game away with a three-goal second period, starting with a botched rush by the Falcons.

Bentley had a three-on-one, with RPI freshman defenseman Bryan Brutlag back, just as Anders Olson came out of the penalty box. But the Falcons got passhappy, and Orn elas broke it up, starting a three-on-one the other way. Ornelas passed the puck to Angers-Goulet on his right, and he ripped it by Kearney.

"That was all Jon Ornelas," Appert said. "We were pressing on the power play late. They came out of the box, so they transitioned into a three-on-one. Bryan Brutlag did a good job buying time for the backcheckers, but, also, Jon Ornelas busted it back the whole way. He gets rewarded with making a nice offensive play to Angers-Goulet for a one-timer."

Uryadov scored the next two goals, with Helfrich assisting on both of them.

Alford made 16 saves to earn his second career shutout, the other coming Nov. 26, 2004, against Robert Morris. Alford's biggest stop came late in the third period, when he stopped Jeff Gumaer on a breakaway.

"Jordan Alford played a very nice game," Appert said. "He wasn't tested tremendously. The times he was early, he was strong. He allowed us to get a lead, and allowed us to build the lead. When we got it, he shut the door."