Puckman rpihockey.net

What's New

Game Pictures
ECAC Standings
Odds & Ends

Contact Me

Crash Victim Marsters Recalled as Man with a Smile

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, June 11, 2009

Ben Barr remembered Rens­selaer Polytechnic Institute teammate goalie Nathan Marsters as a person who was always happy, and a good netminder, too.

Marsters, who played for the Engineers from 2000-04, was tragically killed Monday night when his pickup truck struck a deer on a road in Smithville, Ontario.

The deer crashed through the windshield. Marsters, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 6-foot-4 Marsters played in 115 games with RPI. He posted a 57-50-6 record with a 2.55 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and 10 shutouts.

"He was one of those guys everybody loved," said Barr, who is now an assistant coach with Union. "He always had a smile on his face, no matter how good or bad the day was going. It's tough. Obviously, on top of being a great goalie, he was a great person to be around. He's probably the nicest person I've ever met."

Kevin Broad, who was a freshman forward when Marsters was a senior, echoed Barr's sentiments.

"Nate was one of those guys that has this contagious laugh that I'll probably never forget," said Broad, who served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Engineers last season. "He was always laughing, always smiling. No matter what the situation, he could always make light of it.

"I was always impressed with how calming and relaxing a presence in the locker room as one of my leaders, yet how competitive he was on the ice. You always knew what you were going to get with Nate on the ice."

Former RPI coach Dan Fridgen recalled the time assistant coach Bill Cahill saw Marsters play junior hockey for the Chilliwack Chiefs.

"He was out at the Royal Bank Cup, and saw this kid," said Fridgen, who coached RPI from 1994-2006. "He spoke to Nate's dad, and called me to tell me about this guy. He's been tracking him, and was playing really well. I made a couple of phone calls. The next day, I called Bill back, and I said to make the kid the offer because, first of all, he doesn't know how good he is, and neither does anybody else. Once they find out, they'll be all over him. We ended up taking him early.

"He was very low-maintenance, a quality person, and you can always tell a quality person with good character by the family which he came from. His mom and dad, Karen and Gary, are just quality people with a quality family."

Marsters made the 2000-01 ECAC Hockey All-Rookie team after posting a 14-13-1 record in 28 games. He had a 2.35 GAA, a .929 save percentage and four shutouts. He was also named the team's most valuable player. The following year, Marsters helped RPI reach the ECACH tournament semifinals. He was 15-9-3 with a 2.58 GAA, a .920 save percentage and one shutout.

The 2002-03 season was a struggle for Marsters. His GAA ballooned to a 3.41, and his save percentage dropped to .891. He split time in goal with Kevin Kurk. The Engineers finished 11th that season, and faced sixth-seeded and Cap­ital Region-rival Union in the first round of the ECACH tourn­ament.

The Engineers stunned the Dutchmen, sweeping the two-game series. While the series is best remembered for the two short-handed goals Barr scored 50 seconds apart in the third period in the series-clinching 3-2 win, Marsters' play in the two games was a major factor in RPI beating Union. He stopped 66 of the 69 shots he faced, helping RPI advance to the quarterfinals against Cornell.

"Nate was the type of person that, when he knew that he was the guy and you were relying on him, that brought his game to a whole new level," Fridgen said. "Before going into the playoffs, I had a meeting with him, and told him he was going to be the guy. It was pretty obvious what happened during that series. He was incredible."

Marsters had an outstanding senior season. He played in 35 games, and was 21-13-1 with a 2.15 GAA, a .922 save percentage and five shutouts. He guided the Eng­ineers past Princeton in the first round of the ECACH tournament, and RPI lost to Dartmouth in three games in the quarterfinals.

For his efforts, Marsters was named to All-ECACH second team, and won his second team MVP award.

"He was a phenomenal goalie," Barr said. "He was a guy that won us a lot of games in those four years."

Marsters was a fifth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2000 NHL draft, but never played for them. He spent four years in the minors, splitting time between the AHL and ECHL.

He played in 37 games for the AHL's Portland Pirates in 2005-06, going 23-9-2 with a 3.10 GAA and a .900 save percentage. Marsters was called up by the Anaheim Ducks, the Pirates' NHL affiliate, during the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs when starting goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere was injured.