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Power Outage Continues for RPI

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, December 1, 2002

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had two power plays in the first 12:19 at Harvard Saturday night and failed to generate a shot on goal on either.

It was a sign of things to come, as the Engineers couldn't match the highly skilled Crimson in creating scoring chances and dropped a 3-1 decision.

Danny Eberly scored his team-leading sixth goal on a 5-on-3 power play for the Engineers, but that was the extent of RPI's scoring production, as the Engineers were outshot, 41-21.

The setback marked the second time this season the Engineers went winless on an ECAC road weekend (they tied at Brown Friday) and dropped them to 1-4-1 in conference play.

The Engineers (6-8-1 overall) were within 2-1 with about two and one-half minutes to play, making plans to pull goalie Nathan Marsters, when a missed call helped Harvard score its final goal - by Brett Nowak - at 17:24.

Nowak took a feed from Tim Pettit and fired a blast over Marsters' stick. The Crimson had a nice 4-on-3 rush on the play, but RPI defenseman Blake Pickett was clearly the victim of obstruction inference by a Harvard player.

The bigger story, though, was that while the high-scoring Crimson (7-2-0, 7-3-0) have a multitude of goal-producing forwards, the Engineers continue to struggle to put the puck in the net.

In its six ECAC games, RPI has totaled just 10 goals, getting only one on three occasions.

"We've got some guys who need to step it up in that (goal-scoring) department," Rensselaer coach Dan Fridgen said. "We've had the younger guys step up. A couple of them have been a little bit snakebit, but hopefully they'll fight through it and find the net."

One of those the Engineers need to produce is senior right winger Carson Butterwick, who scored 13 goals last season but has just one in 14 games this year.

He almost came through with a game-tying goal midway through the final period, but Harvard goalie Dov Grumet-Morris just got a piece of it and steered it over the crossbar.

"That's what it looked like to me," Butterwick said. "I got a lot of power behind it but it looked like to me he just got part of his glove on it.

"Then a few seconds later, I hit the post on a good chance," Butterwick said. "I've got to bury those kind of chances. It's pretty frustrating for myself to know that I could have helped my team win if I put in those chances."

Grumet-Morris also made a sliding save on Nick Economakos with about six minutes remaining.

On a second-period power play, Engineers center Ben Barr backhanded one through the crease that just missed the goal post and Ryan Shields shot high with a one-timer on a pass from Kevin Croxton.

Eberly took a blue-line, cross-ice feed from Croxton and one-timed a blast past Grumet-Morris at 10:16 of the second.

The Engineers couldn't build any momentum, though.

Marsters, 3-4-0, had 38 saves.