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Eaves Refreshed after Taking Break

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, February 1, 2008

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute senior forward Tyler Eaves spent the fall semester away from school. The Queensbury native decided that were things in his life he needed to straighten out, so he took a leave of absence.

Eaves, the son of former Adirondack Red Wings great Murray Eaves, is feeling happier and content now. He acknowledged this week that the time away from school was good for him.

"Some personal things came up that needed some attention," said Eaves, who would not divulge the nature of those problems. "It was definitely hard to be away from all my brothers here. I missed being at the rink every day and working with them. It's definitely great to be back, and I appreciate it a little bit more."

Eaves returned to the team after Christmas and made his season debut Jan. 19 against Union. Last Saturday against St. Lawrence, he had an assist in the Engineers' 6-3 win over St. Lawrence, which ended their team-record 10-game losing streak.

"I feel like I have a new attitude, and a new appreciation for things, being able to be back at school, and especially back with my family here and coming to the rink every day," said Eaves, who has a goal and three assists in 48 career games.

While he was straightening out the problems he was having, Eaves did his best to stay in shape.

"There's not much you can do to be in the kind of shape you'd be getting on the ice every day," Eaves said. "I did what I could in the few weeks I got back, but now I'm good to go."

RPI coach Seth Appert is pleased with Eaves' progress.

"It's great to have him back," Appert said. "It gives us a nice veteran presence on our bottom line. He might not be a guy that we rely on a lot to create offense for us, but he's a smart hockey player, he's a competitive hockey player, and he can penalty kill well and he wins a lot of faceoffs."

PRACTICE FIGHT

RPI defenseman Jeff Foss and forward Scott Halpern engaged in a fight toward the end of practice Wednesday.

The freshmen teammates and roommates battled for about 20 seconds as players and coaches watched. Neither player landed punches, and the fight ended when they fell to the ice.

Afterwards in the locker room, the two were smiling and getting needled by their teammates.

"It was a mutual deal," Foss said. "I got him buried in the corner, and then he slashed me after that. We just like to keep the practice upbeat and intense. We're all buddies after it."

Halpern had a small cut on his lip.

"We get intense out there," Halpern said. "But it was just fun, though."

While Appert doesn't condone fighting, he wasn't discouraging it either.

"When you have altercations in practice, usually it's a sign that the intensity and competitive level of practice is very high," Appert said. "They're trying to get better, so they're a little angry because maybe of a certain situation. We don't encourage those situations, but if they happen naturally, we just want to make sure if that is the case, that they do so properly where they're not, hopefully, injuring themselves, or injuring a teammate."

SCORING UPDATE

After a review of the tape,

Mario Valery-Trabucco of Union was given an assist on Adam Pres­izniuk's game-tying goal in the third period of last Saturday's 3-2 loss to Clarkson.

Valery-Trabucco, who scored a second-period power-play goal, passed the puck to Mike Harr at the right point. Harr's wrist shot was tipped by Presizniuk, who was in the slot, past goalie David Leggio with 5:08 left to make it 2-2.

LOCAL UPDATE

Here's a look at how college hockey players from the Capital Region did over the past week.

  • Boston University senior forward Pete MacArthur (Clifton Park) scored a goal in the Ter≠riers' 4-2 loss to New Hampshire last Friday.
  • Quinnipiac sophomore forward Mike Atkinson (Kinderhook) had an assist in the Bobcats' 5-3 loss to Niagara on Saturday.
  • St. Lawrence sophomore forward Tara Akstull (Clifton Park) had a goal and assist in the Saints' 7-1 win over Union last Saturday.
  • Vermont sophomore defenseman Melanie Greene (Queensbury) had an assist in the Catamounts' 3-2 loss to Providence last Friday.

SLAP SHOTS

Former Union defenseman Andrew Will is expected to be named the next head coach of the Salisbury School, according to U.S. Hockey Report. Will, who is the coach of Upper Canada College, will take over the program next season once the North York, Ontario, native gets his green card. He will replace interim head coach Matt Corkery. ...

Two former Dutchmen, Joel Beal and Glenn Sanders, guided the Schenectady Youth Hockey Assoc≠iation bantam travel team to the Bantam B championship of the 37th annual Kittredge Tournament last weekend in Pittsfield, Mass. Schen¬ectady beat Troy-Albany YHA in the final. ...

Goalie Mark Dekanich tied Colgate's career shutout record with eight when he made 18 saves in the Raiders' 5-0 win over Brown last Saturday. Dekanich moved into second place on the school's all-time saves list, passing Dan Brenzavich, with 2,608. It was also Dekanich's 100th career game.