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Engineers Start Slow, Fall Short

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, November 9, 2002

TROY - In their last two meetings last season, Rensselaer trailed Clarkson heading into the third period, but the Engineers came back to win both times.

Friday at Houston Field House, RPI was behind Clarkson heading into the third. This time, however, there wasn't another big rally.

First-period goals by Adam Campana and Randy Jones helped the Golden Knights earn a gutsy 2-1 ECAC victory.

"I thought we put some pretty good pressure on them," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. "A bounce here and a bounce there . . . it just wasn't meant to be."

It was the Knights' first game without coach Mark Morris behind the bench. Morris was put on administrative leave Tuesday while the school investigates an alleged incident at practice last Saturday. Morris is accused of striking junior right wing Zach Schwan, who went to Shenendehowa High School.

"We talked a lot about not bringing emotion into a hockey game," said interim head coach Fred Parker, who is running the team, along with fellow assistant Jason Lammers. "You want to at a certain point, but if the emotion gets taken away from you, then you don't too well. They were very level headed, and they worked hard for 60 minutes."

First-year Clarkson athletic director Sean Frazier attended the game. He said he doesn't know when the investigation will be resolved.

"I can't comment about the particulars of the investigation," said Frazier. "We are conducting an investigation. That's all I can say about it."

Schwan, who didn't play, refused comment.

The Engineers (0-1 ECAC, 4-5 overall) were hoping to avoid another slow start against the Knights (1-1, 1-3).

But 10 minutes into the game, Campana skated down the right wing and fired a shot on goalie Kevin Kurk. He made the save, but Campana lifted the rebound over Kurk and into the net.

"One of our goals was to come out and get a quick start, and hopefully build off of that," Fridgen said. "But the opposite happened."

Jones ripped a power-play goal from the top of the slot past a screened Kurk 1:37 later.

"You don't want to use what happened as an excuse, so they came out and worked hard today," said Kurk, who made 27 saves. "They came off the bat and got a jump on us."

Mikael Hammarstrom scored RPI's goal with 4:16 left in the first period. His shot from the slot trickled slowly past goalie Mike Walsh, who had RPI forward Mark Yurkewecz crashing on top of him.

Notebook

RPI forward Ben Barr was ejected midway through the second period on a major penalty for hitting from behind. Barr was given a game misconduct, not a game disqualification, meaning he'll be eligible for tonight's game against St. Lawrence. . . .

Walsh stopped 24 shots. . . .

A season-high crowd of 4,446 watched the game.