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Goal-starved Engineers Suffer 1-0 Loss at UNH

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, October 18, 2008

DURHAM, N.H. - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute shored up its defensive-zone play and the penalty-killing was solid again on Friday night. Victory eluded the Engineers again, however, as 5th-ranked New Hampshire dealt them a 1-0 defeat.

The loss gave the 0-2-0 Engineers a 3-20-1 record in their past 24 games dating back to last season.

New Hampshire's Peter LeBlanc picked up a loose puck in the RPI zone late in the second period and beat Engineers goalie Mathias Lange with a low shot for the game's only goal.

Lange registered 40 saves for the 0-2-0 Engineers, who were outshot, 41-17.

The Engineers had repeated discipline problems last weekend but were much sharper on Friday night, although the offense still has yet to get going.

The Engineers, who host Bentley tonight (7) in their home opener, have scored just one goal in their two games.

They had many chances in the first two periods Friday night, though, said coach Seth Appert.

"I was surprised with the shots on goal total," Appert said. "I thought we had more. We had the majority of the better scoring chances in the first and second periods. We had some really good chances on which either we didn't finish or (UNH goalie) Brian Foster made a nice save."

Appert mentioned a few of those chances.

"Ben Contini had the goalie beaten 5-hole on the backside but the puck went wide," he said. "Scotty Halpern beat the goalie 5-hole but the puck trickled through the crease and Kurt Colling had a shot roll through the crease."

"In the third period, their skill level took over and we were in the box too much," Appert said.

Colling came out of the penalty box with just under 13:56 remaining in the game and was sent in on a semibreakaway by Seth Klerer.

Before the senior left winger could get off a shot, however, he was tripped by UNH's Kevin Kapstad.

Rensselaer had one scoring chance on the ensuing power play, then an errant pass forced Chase Polacek to take a hooking penalty to prevent a Wildcats breakaway.

Most of the rest of the third period was all UNH, as the Engineers took two more penalties and were outshot in the period, 20-6.

A bench minor to the Wildcats at 17:39 gave the Engineers an opportunity to tie the game.

Tyler Helfrich had a couple shots but once was blocked in front and UNH goalie Brian Foster turned aside the other. Paul Kerins had a good shot from the left side but the New Hampshire defense deflected that one too.

"Mathias was superb," Appert said of Lange. "We played fairly well. We had a couple of 2-on-1s and some power play chances that we need to do a better job on," Appert said. "We need to improve that."

"And at the end of the day," Appert said, "we need to score some goals. We have guys we depend on offensively and they need to produce."