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RPI Continues Army Dominance

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, October 20, 2007

WEST POINT - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute extended its winning streak against Army to 11 games on Friday night.

It would be difficult to overstate that the previous 10 were much easier.

Juniors Andrei Uryadov and Matt Angers-Goulet each scored his third goal for the Engineers, and sophomore Paul Kerins had one goal and one assist in his first start of the season as RPI defeated Army, 3-1 in non-conference play.

Kerins sent a sigh of relief through the southwest seating section of Army's Tate Rink, where RPI fans were seated, with a little chip shot past Black Knights goaltender Josh Kassel for the final count with 2:39 remaining in the game.

That goal was the result of some relentless forechecking work by center Joel Malchuk and junior left winger Kurt Colling.

And it belied the rest of the game - especially the first two minutes - when the winless Black Knights (0-3-0) thoroughly outhustled and outplayed the Engineers.

Army used a spirited forecheck to thwart the RPI attack and control play. Unfortunately for the Black Knights, Mathias Lange stood tall in the RPI net, stopping 39 shots, often denying Grade A scoring chances.

"They played great," RPI coach Seth Appert said of the Cadets. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for their program, for their staff and those young men over there. Not only because of how they play, but also how they represent our country."

Rensselaer assistant coach Shawn Kurulak held a similar position for the Black Knights for several years and guaranteed that the Engineers would see a 60-minute effort from them.

But Appert pointed out, "over 65 percent of our lineup hadn't played these guys before, being freshmen and sophomores, and as much as we told them what to expect, I don't think some of our guys were as mentally for how hard they were going to come."

And they did, often holding the Engineers in their own end for one-half minute at a time.

Finally late in the game, with the Black Knights working hard to tie the game, Colling twice dug the puck out of the corner and a few seconds later, Malchuk won a puck battle from two Knights and slid the puck to Kerins for a chip shot from about eight feet.

"Kurt Colling worked so hard down in the corner there," Kerins said. "He battled for it seemed like 15, 20 seconds. Then Malchuk made a great move creating a chance for me jut to tap it in."

"I had a guy draped on me and I just did my best to get as much wood as I could on the shot," Kerins added, "and it ended up fooling the goalie a little bit. I think he thought it was coming a little harder at him than it was, a little bit of a change-up."

What it changed was any chance for an upset for the Black Knights, who outshot the Engineers, 40-22.

One early Army mistake led to Uryadov's goal, as he took a Christian Jensen pass, skated down the left side, cut to the middle and beat Kassel with a pretty backhander just 2:41 into the game.

"The D-man stepped on me real quick," Uryadov said, "and I just pushed it right by him. I saw some traffic in front. I saw Seth (Klerer) driving to the net, he took both (Army) guys with him and I pretty much had a half-empty net coming around those guys."

Army's Luke Flicek, standing alongside the left crease, tied the score at 10:44 by gently deflecting Robb Ross's one-timer from the left point over Lange's stick, and over his shoulder.

With 1:15 remaining in the period, Bryce Hollweg's centering pass allowed Owen Meyer to walk down the slot alone but, with Lange at his mercy, he fired the puck wide right.

Early in the second, Lange slid over to the left side of his crease to get a stick on Ken Rowe's short, rising chip shot, then stopped Rowe's punching rebound bid.

"We played just well enough, I guess," Appert said, "but Mathias Lange stole it from (the Knights)."

With 5:23 remaining in the second period, the left-handed Angers-Goulet, skating with a Black Knight alongside him, sent one toward the net from the left circle, and it slipped between Kassel and the far goalpost.

"I was going wide and Paul Kerins was driving toward the net," Angers-Goulet said. "I just decided just to put one on the net, maybe off his pads for a rebound but it went in."

"I was really impressed not only with their tenacity but also with their speed," Appert said. "They got to a lot of pucks and we came to play a hard game. They just didn't give us much."