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RPI Skid Finally Over

Troy Record, January 27, 2008

CANTON - It's over. Oh, it got real dicey midway through the third period but Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ended its school-record 10-game losing streak on Saturday, building a three-goal lead and surviving St. Lawrence's three-goal rally en route to a 6-3 victory.

Freshman forward Chase Polacek assisted on three goals and clinched the victory with an empty-net goal with 1:55 remaining in the game to lead the Engineers, as he and freshman linemates Tyler Helfrich and Scott Halpern were the players of the game, charting four of the six Rensselaer goals.

Helfrich scored one goal and assisted on two others and Halpern scored the game's first goal.

Senior center Andrew Lord scored for the second straight night, giving the Engineers a huge 5-3 lead with 3:06 remaining after the Saints had pulled within 4-3 with 7:32 remaining.

Winger Matt Angers-Goulet and defenseman Peter Merth also tallied for the Engineers, who won for the first time since Dec. 4.

The victory improved the Engineers to 4-7-2 in ECAC Hockey and moved them ahead of the 4-8-2 Saints and into ninth place in the 12-team league.

Angers-Goulet's seventh goal of the season gave the Engineers a 3-0 lead at 11:29 of the second period and when RPI began the final period with a carry-over major penalty for 4:27, things looked good.

However, St. Lawrence's Aaron Bogosian began the rally with a shorthanded goal just 1:03 into the final frame - the 12th shorthanded goal allowed by the Engineers - and they had to ride the storm until Lord's goal.

"Not at all," RPI coach Seth Appert said when asked how worried he was when the lead was sliced to 4-3.

He did call timeout, though, after Jeremiah Cunningham pulled the 9-13-3 Saints within one goal at 12:28.

"Well, got a real bouncy second goal," Appert said. "We weren't even worried about the shorthanded goal. We've given up so many of them we don't even concern ourselves anymore."

"But their second goal (by Casey Parenteau)," Appert continued, "was a big bouncy one. They just threw it to the net from outside the blue line and it hopped over (RPI goalie) Jordan Alford and went in. That got the crowd going and we just called a timeout to remind the guys that we're going to play like veterans. We don't have any freshmen (anymore) ... we're all veterans."

Veterans Lord and Tyler Eaves made a big play to get the lead back to two goals, shortly after Lord had come out of the penalty box.

"That was a real good veteran play by Tyler Eaves," Appert said. "He had Bryan Brutlag wide open for a (high-speed) drop pass. But with a one-goal lead, three minutes to go, he was thinking (possible) turnover on a chancy drop pass. So, he threw it toward the net. Andrew went hard to the net and popped in the rebound."