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Boston Breaks RPI in Minnesota Tourney

By Jess Myers

Troy Record, October 14, 2007

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Only three games into the 2007-08 college hockey season, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is seeing a familiar and bothersome pattern emerging.

For the second consecutive night, special-teams play spelled doom for the Engineers. They let a lead slip away by surrendering a short-handed goal and a trio of third-period power play goals for the second straight game, dropping a 4-1 decision to second-ranked Boston College in the third-place game of the Ice Breaker Invitational Tournament on Saturday.

With the game tied 1-1 in the third, the Engineers (1-2-0) saw another opportunity for an upset victory slip away, as repeated penalty trouble doomed their effort.

Asked if his team wore down physically in the game's late stages, RPI coach Seth Appert said his main concern was with mental, not physical miscues.

"We were fatigued in the third period, but that still doesn't excuse some mental mistakes in terms of the penalties," said Appert, after his team was whistled for five penalties in the final 20 minutes. "As tired as we were at times ... we had a chance to pull out a victory."

Rookie right winger Ben Contini gave the Engineers a 1-0 lead with his first collegiate goal.

Camped in front of Boston College goalie John Muse, Contini slipped behind the Eagles defenders, took a pass from defenseman Christian Jensen, and scored on a spin move, tucking the puck under Muse's outstretched arms.

Muse finished with 22 saves.

Before the first period ended, the Engineers' special-teams trouble resurfaced when Boston College evened the score at 1-1 on Mike Brennan's short-handed marker.

Despite out-shooting RPI by a wide margin throughout most of the game, the Eagles (1-1-0) praised the Engineers' effort.

"RPI did a nice job," said Eagles coach Jerry York. "I thought we might have had a little bit of an edge in the game, but at 1-1 it was anybody's hockey game."

Boston College got a chance to take over late, when the Engineers' penalty trouble started. Ben Smith scored the eventual game-winner on a broken play, when he fanned on a shot in front of the RPI net, only to have the puck trickle past Engineers goalie Jordan Alford.

Alford finished with 44 saves in his second start of the season.

The Engineers play next at Army on Friday night.