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A Welcome Matt for Engineers

Murley Gets Offensive Outburst Started as RPI Ends skid, 6-0

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, January 26, 2002

TROY - Well, there's one. That awful streak is over.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ended a six-game ECAC winless streak that had dropped the Engineers into the conference basement Friday night, pulling away from Vermont late for a 6-0 triumph.

Matt Murley scored his 14th and 15th goals, Nathan Marsters stopped 27 shots for his second shutout in three games and the Engineers scored four times in the last 7:01 to make a close game a rout.

The decision transplaces the teams, as the Engineers (3-6-2 in ECAC play) climb out of the cellar and the 3-7-1 Catamounts (3-15-2 overal) return there.

Rensselaer will take a 9-9-3 overall record and modest three-game unbeaten streak into tonight's game with Dartmouth. A victory could send the Engineers up a couple more notches in the ECAC standings.

Having scored two or fewer goals in eight of the ten previous ECAC contests, the Engineers certainly had fun with the late scoring barrage which included: Jim Henkel's one-time from the mid-slot on a perfect, last-second feed from Conrad Barnes; Murley's blast from the right circle off Marc Cavosie's feed; Andrew McPherson's semi-breakaway which beat substitute goalie Mike Gomez high; and Ben Barr's first goal of the season on a great headman pass from Nolan Graham.

"Lots of fun. Finally got everybody going," Murley said. "Some guys broke some slumps and we got a complete game from everyone."

Cavosie, the ECAC scoring leader, charted his 13th goal and two assists to go over the 30-point mark (13-18-31) for the season.

"Marc made a great pass to me and I just buried it," Murley said of his second goal.

Henkel credited Conrad Barnes, who had two assists, with his goal.

"I got put up front on the power play," Henkel said. "Barnes made a great play, got the guy to go down and made a helluva pass across and Ijust had to get it up top. The goalie was on the ice."

Barr, double-shifting when Chris Migliore was shaken up, took Graham's long lead pass, shedded a defenseman and wristed it home to complete the scoring at 17:57.

"Migs came off 'cause he hurt his shoulder and I got behind them," Barr said. "Very good pass (from Graham)."

McPherson has two goals and two assists over the past two games (3-8-11 overall).

"My linemates (Barnes, Mikael Hammarstrom) are making me look good," he said. "I like scoring but I think it's the first time in four years I really tried to play the way the coaches tell me to. The biggest thing is, they've told me for four years, 'keep your stick on the ice.' I've done that the past two weeks and I've had more chances than I can count."

On RPI's second period goal, Murley sent a rising rocket from the blue line that goalie Shawn Conschafter lost briefly through a screen. As he lifted his stick, the puck went under the crossbar and hit the bottom of his water bottle sitting on top of the net.

Murley and Cavosie worked their magic on the first goal, each slicing through the UVM defense in the lower slot. Then Murley fed Cavosie for a hard quick wrister.

Marsters made two huge goalmouth saves to keep the Engineers on top.

A turnover gave Patrick Sharp an open shot, but Marsters slid over and closed the right-side hole midway through the period.

"I don't think he put it where he wanted to," Marsters said of Sharp. "He kind of shot-putted it into me. It felt good to get that out of the way early. You build on saves like that."

Seven minutes later, he stoned Bryson Busniuk on a full breakaway from the blue line.

Rensselaer coach Dan Fridgen said the Engineers were solid "in all areas."

"Power play, penalty kill, 5-on-5 situations and it was good to see," he said. "They certainly have earned it, they've put in a lot of hard work. And we appreciate the fans sticking with us and they showed their appreciation after the game."