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Tigers End Engineers' Freakout Streak

By Phil Janack

Schenectady Daily Gazette, February 3, 2008

TROY - Eighteen years later, the Freakout streak is over.

Princeton spoiled RPI's 31st annual Big Red Freakout with three second-period goals en route to a 4-0 victory Saturday night before 5,146 fans at Houston Field House.

It was the 12th loss in 13 games for the Engineers (4-9-2, 9-17-3), and ended a 17-game unbeaten streak in the Freakout (12-0-5) dating back to a 5-4 loss to St. Lawrence on Jan. 27, 1990.

Nineteenth-ranked Princeton (9-5, 12-9), which lost at Union on Friday, shut out RPI for the first time since Jan. 3, 1997.

"Full credit to Princeton. They were outstanding. They gave us a lesson in how hard you need to play to have success," Engineers coach Seth Appert said. "They're faster than us, they're stronger than us and they played with more desire and more tenacity.

"They do that consistently to their opponents, and I take full responsibility for that. I obviously did not have our players mentally wrapped around how hard Princeton plays, how tenacious they are on the puck. Our young men were taken to school by a team that simply wanted it more."

There was no scoring in the first period, though the Tigers outshot RPI, 13-5. Goaltender Zane Kalemba stopped Jon Ornelas point-blank at 13:44, Andrei Uryadov hit the crossbar with a shot at 15:40, and set up Tyler Eaves for a great chance with 0.8 seconds left.

"I don't know how he saw it, but Zane made a great save or I promise, this would have been a completely different game," Princeton coach Guy Gadowski said. "It's the Freakout, and I know that crowd can get it wound up pretty good.

"Because of the Freakout, we knew it was definitely important to come out strong. Pucks didn't go in the net, but I thought we came out prepared to play. We're fortunate Zane came up with some huge saves."

Princeton took a 1-0 lead 63 seconds into the second period when sophomore Dan Bartlett put a wrist shot past Jordan Alford under the crossbar for his fifth goal of the season.

Just over four minutes later, the Tigers made it a 2-0 game. Senior Lee Stankievech swooped in and buried a loose puck into the open left side of the net after an initial Tigers shot was blocked in front. It was Stankievech's fourth goal in 15 games.

Sophomore Mark Magnowski was alone in front to deflect a point shot from defenseman Cam Ritchie past Alford at 11:11.RPI didn't reach double digits in shots for the game until 5:47 remained in the second period. Alford faced 40 shots, stopping 37.

"The key factor was how much they were all over us," RPI senior forward Tyler Eaves said. "They read the play really well, and we just seemed to be a step behind them. This is my first Freakout, personally, playing. I definitely felt ramped up by the crowd, but we just couldn't seem to get things going."

NOTEBOOK

RPI is now 18-8-5 in Freakout games since its inception in 1978. ... As part of alumni weekend, several former Engineers were honored on the ice during the first intermission, including Frank Chiarelli, inducted Friday into the school's Ring of Honor, and Mike Sadeghpour, captain of RPI's 1985 NCAA title team.