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MAAC Opponent Just What Struggling RPI Offense Needed

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, November 26, 2002

TROY - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's offense came alive on Saturday night; somewhat anyway. The Engineers scored more than one goal in a first period for the first time this season, tallied as many as four for just the third time and pressured the opposing net as well as they have all season in a 5-3 non-conference victory over Mercyhurst.

It was the Engineers' 13th victory in as many games against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams.

Ben Barr scored two goals and set up another to pace the RPI offense, which has scored 26 goals in nine non-conference games (RPI is 5-4-0).

That's a shade under three goals per game but that output is considerably better than the Engineers have done within the tight-checking, clutch-and-shove ECAC. In conference play, the 1-3-0 Engineers have scored just 2.0 per contest - eight goals in four games, including just five against Yale and Princeton, two of the weaker defensive teams in the league. And the Engineers dropped both of those games.

With road games at contenders Brown and Harvard, one can hope the five-goal onslaught Saturday night was a signal that the RPI attack is about to upgrade its efficiency.

One thing the Engineers did, which they've rarely done this season, is - consistently - shoot the puck and put it on net.

"I thought we did a good job of shooting the puck, especially with the release and just putting it on goal," Rensselaer head coach Dan Fridgen said. "You look at (Nick) Economakos' goal (a quick snapper from the right circle), and the other goals it's just getting it to the net and getting opportunities."