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Colgate Clicks in Third, 3-0

By Bob Weiner

Schenectady Daily Gazette, January 18, 2003

TROY - A superb goaltending duel deteriorated into a one-sided Colgate triumph Friday night at Houston Field House.

The Raiders, held in check by Rensselaer junior goalie Kevin Kurk during the first two periods, scored three third-period goals to defeat the punchless Engineers, 3-0, before a crowd of 2,848.

Rensselaer's scoring struggles continued against Colgate junior goalie David Cann, who made 28 saves and kept the Engineers off the scoreboard for the fifth straight period. RPI hasn't scored since the second period of last week's 3-3 tie with Union.

"I was just trying to stay focused and make the first save," said Cann, who posted his second shutout of the season and third of his career. "We just had to keep it tight. Both teams have been struggling offensively, but I thought Kurk did a great job for them, also. This was a huge win for us."

Colgate (3-5-1 ECAC, 8-11-2 overall) broke the scoreless duel when sophomore defenseman Joey Mormina beat a screened Kurk with a hard slap shot from just inside the far blue line at 2:54 of the final period.

Sophomore right winger Adam Mitchell scored, with help from a Rensselaer defensive breakdown, at 17:08 before Scooter Smith, Colgate's leading scorer, tacked on his 14th goal of the season on the power play at 18:50.

I thought we played a real solid game," said Rensselaer head coach Dan Fridgen, who was signed to a three-year contract extension Thursday. "The opportunities were there. We did a good job carrying the puck in the neutral zone, but it came down to a bounce here and there. There were a lot of missed opportunities out there."

Neither team got much going in the first period, which was dominated early by the Raiders until the Engineers (2-5-2, 8-13-2) drew a pair of power-play opportunities in the final three minutes.

Rensselaer's best scoring chance occurred in the final minute of the period, when junior center Ben Barr mistimed a perfect centering pass by Scott Basiuk.

"I should have scored on that one, but I didn't see the puck that well," said Barr. "This is getting frustrating not scoring goals right now, but maybe we can make a statement against Cornell [tonight]."

Both goalies thwarted solid scoring opportunities in the second period. Kurk came up big against Smith on a pair of slap shots, while Cann stopped Nolan Graham on a wrister from the slot with 11 minutes remaining, and then stymied Eric Cavosie on a breakaway with six minutes to go in the period.

Rensselaer suffered a key loss with 14:08 left in the period, when senior defenseman and captain Danny Eberly was hit along the far boards and stayed on the ice well after the trainer and team doctor worked on him. He never returned to the game. Fridgen said Eberly had some kind of injury to his shoulder.