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Butterwick Regaining Scoring Touch for RPI

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, January 29, 2003

It may have been a lost weekend for Rensselaer, but it was a good one for forward Carson Butterwick.

The Engineers senior, who was the team's only returning player to score more than 10 goals last season, snapped out of a drought. He picked up two assists in Friday's 5-3 loss at Vermont, his first points in 11 games. In a 7-3 defeat at Dartmouth on Saturday, Butterwick ended a 15-game goal-less streak when he scored in the second period. It was just his second goal of the season.

"That was nice to see happen," said Butterwick, who has two goals and seven assists this year after getting 13 goals and 13 assists last season. "It's been a bit of a dry season, so far."

Butterwick insists that he hasn't put any pressure on himself to carry the offensive load after the departures of Marc Cavosie and Matt Murley, the Engineers' top two scorers last season. He believes it was just bad luck.

"Maybe just the fact that I didn't get some of those goals early on, when you don't think about it and relax as you play, had something to do with it," said Butterwick, whose only other goal came at St. Cloud State on Nov. 2. "I just started gripping the stick a little tight because I wasn't getting a ton of opportunities every game to score. When I did, maybe I wasn't relaxed about it."

Butterwick had one of his more frustrating games in RPI's 3-1 loss at Harvard on Nov. 30. He had two great opportunities to score in that game.

"I had an open shot in the top of the slot, and the goalie [Dov Grumet-Morris] made a great save on me," Butterwick said. "On the same shift, I got another pass out front and beat the goalie. It hit the post. I was wondering to myself why these aren't going in now. I've never had a problem shooting without thinking."

Even though Butterwick has struggled offensively, his leadership skills remain sharp. The assistant captain isn't letting his problems affect the team.

"He's been fantastic," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. "Even during the dry spell, he was always encouraging others and helping them with their game. As a leader, that's a real effective way of handling the situation because you're not concentrating on yourself."

"I think it's going to help him emerge more as a leader now that the bubble has broken a little bit. I'm sure he's feeling more confident now than he was during the dry spell."

Butterwick hopes his three-point weekend will be the spark to help him through the rest of the season. That was the case at nearly the same point last season, when he had 11 points in an eight-game stretch that boosted his numbers to 10 goals and 10 assists.

If Butterwick can get going, it could also help RPI (2-8-2 ECAC, 8-16-2 overall) snap out if its six-game winless streak and move up from 11th place in the conference. The Engineers head to the North Country this weekend for games at St. Lawrence on Friday and Clarkson on Saturday.

"Hopefully, this is the start of another hot streak," Butterwick said. "Maybe it'll help our team into the playoffs with making space on the ice, defensive plays and some goals. Hopefully, it all comes together for me now. It's a pretty critical time for our team."

Mayotte honored

Union freshman Kris Mayotte was named ECAC goalie of the week for the second time this season.

Mayotte made 31 saves, including 14 in the third period, in Friday's 2-0 win over Dartmouth. It was Mayotte's second shutout of the season and first in ECAC play.

In Saturday's 4-2 win over Vermont, Mayotte stopped 23 shots. His weekend save percentage was .964.

Mayotte, who won the goalie honor Oct. 21, has allowed just three goals in his last 10 periods of play. During that span, he has a 0.90 goals-against average and a .963 save percentage.

Union notes

  • Union's sweep of Dartmouth and Vermont was the team's first four-point road effort since Feb. 27-28, 1998, when it won, 6-0, at Colgate and, 1-0, at Cornell. The last time the Dutchmen went unbeaten on an ECAC weekend road trip was Jan. 28-29, 2000, when they tied Yale, 2-2, and beat Princeton, 3-1.
  • The Dutchmen's win over Dartmouth was their first victory at Thompson Arena since Nov. 8, 1996, when they earned a 7-3 triumph. Union had lost on its last five trips to Hanover.
  • Union has four straight wins against Vermont, its longest current victory streak against an ECAC team. The Dutchmen have won on their last two trips to Gutterson Field House, a place where they had lost in their first 10 visits as an NCAA Division I team.
  • Sophomore center Joel Beal is tied with Cornell's Ryan Vesce for the ECAC lead in scoring with 29 points. Beal needs seven points to break the team record of 35 set by Chris Ford in 1993-94 and tied by Cory Holbrough the following season.

    Beal leads the league with 23 assists. He needs six assists to break the team record of 28 set by Troy Stevens in 1993-94.

Providence in '04

The ECAC is having a press conference in Providence, R.I., on Thursday to announce that the Dunkin' Donuts Center will host the 2004 NCAA Women's Frozen Four.

The event, which will be hosted by Yale, was scheduled to be played at the New Haven Coliseum. However, the Coliseum was closed last August, leaving Yale officials scrambling to find a new site.

The Hartford Civic Center and the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn., were considered as alternatives.

Around the ECAC

  • Yale's Evan Wax had his second four-goal game of the season, scoring all of the Bulldogs' goals in a 4-3 win Saturday over Connecticut. Wax had his other four-goal effort in Yale's 5-4 win at Vermont on Nov. 23.
  • Mike Gilligan coached his 600th game at Vermont on Saturday against Union.
  • Clarkson and Cornell combined for 111 penalty minutes Friday, a game won by the Big Red, 3-0. The Golden Knights' Dale Good and the Big Red's Mike Iggulden got into a fight at the end of the game and were given game disqualifications. The fight was triggered when Clarkson's Jeff Genovy received a five-minute major for checking from behind at the final buzzer.
  • Sam Paolini had a goal and two assists in fourth-ranked Cornell's 5-2 win Saturday over St. Lawrence. Big Red forward Stephen Baby recorded his 100th career point.
  • Dartmouth's Brian Boucher became the school's all-time winningest goalie when he helped the Big Green past RPI. The win was his 41st, which surpassed Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, who was a goaltender at Dartmouth from 1977 to 1981.

Around the country

  • Colorado College's Peter Sejna set a team record when he collected a point in his 27th straight game in Saturday's 5-0 triumph over Wisconsin. Sejna leads the nation in scoring with 27 goals and 26 assists.
  • Merrimack needed a five-goal third period to beat Holy Cross, 6-3, and avoid becoming the first Hockey East team to lose to a MAAC school. Holy Cross had a 3-1 lead midway through the third.
  • Minnesota State-Mankato played to a pair of ties over the weekend at Minnesota. The Mavericks have nine ties this season, including seven in WCHA play.