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Engineers to Open 2008-09 Season in Quebec City

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, December 8, 2007

TROY - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will likely open its 2008-09 hockey season on foreign soil.

Rensselaer and the University of Vermont are about to complete an agreement to meet in Quebec City's Le Coliseé Pepsi in October of next year, which will open the season for both teams.

The targeted date for the game is Saturday, Oct. 4.

The agreement is being arranged by UVM star J.F. Gosselin, a member of the Quebec Provincial Parliament, and former Rensselaer All-American Joé Juneau.

Both Gosselin and Juneau are Quebec natives.

"It looks like a strong possibility that will take place," said RPI coach Seth Appert. "J.F. Gosselin has been doing a lot of the leg work on it and it seems like it will happen."

Appert wants to increase RPI's recruiting in the province of Quebec and says the game "will give us further presence and exposure there."

It's quite possible that, under impending legislation, fans will need a passport to cross the Canadian border at any point in any province.

The current cost of a passport is about $200.

The game would a homecoming for RPI junior center Matt Angers-Goulet, and his brother Alex, who'll be a freshman next season. Well, sort of.

Their hometown of St. Augustin is about 180 miles north of Quebec City but the brothers will likely have a number of family and friends on hand.

Alex Angers-Goulet was in attendance at the Engineers' 4-2 victory over Harvard on Tuesday night.

"It was fun," Matt said, "Obviously, I hadn't seen him since the summer and it's always nice to see your family and I think he enjoyed it as well."

Of course, though Angers-Goulet didn't say so, but it would have been more fun for both brothers had the goal judge seen his Matt's first-period shot cross the goal line.

Coliseé Pepsi, which seats 15,400, housed the National Hockey League's Quebec Nordiques until the team moved to Denver (Colorado Avalanche) prior to the 1995-96 season.

Other 2008-09 schedule items: The two other teams for the 2008 Governor's Cup tournament, other than co-hosts RPI and Union, have not been finalized, according to ECAC Hockey Commissioner Steve Hagwell.

Rumors abound, however, that current league leader and RPI rival Clarkson will be one of those teams.

Rensselaer Sports Information Director Kevin Beattie says the three teams that will compete with the Engineers for the 2008 Rensselaer Holiday Tournament title, Nov. 28-29, are resurgent Northeastern, Princeton and Mercyhurst.

The Engineers, winners of the first two Governor's Cup championships, will be looking for their first Rensselaer Holiday Tournament title since 2001.

Still a two-goalie system: Some are speculating that junior goalie Mathias Lange has won RPI's No. 1 goaltender role over senior Jordan Alford.

Not true, Appert says.

Appert noted that while it was Lange's 'turn' to play against Harvard, since it was a two-game weekend situation, "I told both guys that whoever played that game would be picked by whichever one was doing better at that time.

"That was Mathias," Appert said. "He's been a little sharper lately. If it had been the first month of the season, Jordan probably would have played.

"But both goaltenders continue to play well and give us a chance to win each night."

When asked if it's likely the goaltenders for next weekend's two games with No. 1-ranked Miami will be Alford, Lange, in that order, Appert said, "you know, I haven't really thought about that yet."

Lange, with a 4-2-2 won-lost-tied record, has overtaken Alford a bit, statistically.

He's goals against average is 1.96 and he's stopped 93.7 percent of the shots he's faced, while Alford, 4-3-1 is at 2.11, 92.6.

Streaks: Junior winger Andrei Uryadov has charted a six-game scoring streak, totaling nine points (2-7-9).

"I don't know," the Russian native said of the streak. "Whatever works. My linemates are working pretty hard to help me out."

Maybe, but Uryadov himself has made some pretty sharp passes on goals by Jake Morissette (twice), Paul Kerins, Chase Polacek and Jon Ornelas.

Ornelas, meanwhile, has scored in four straight games (3-2-5).

"I didn't know that," Ornelas said. "I try to avoid paying attention to that kind of stuff because the more I let it stick in my head, affects me."

Ornelas, a 13-goal scorer as a freshman, was no doubt remembering his 28-game goal-less string from the end of his freshman year well into last season.

Uryadov and Ornelas share the RPI goal-scoring lead with six. Uryadov (6-9-15) leads the team in scoring, Ornelas (6-6-12) is tied for third.