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RPI Unhappy With Tie

Late Goal Keeps Last-place Princeton from Losing

By Tim Wilkin

Albany Times Union, February 15, 2003

TROY - RPI planned to break the Princeton hex. The Engineers needed only to get through the final 2:18 of the third period to get a victory, their first over the Tigers in three tries this season.

They couldn't do it. Princeton scored a soft goal with 2:18 left in the third period Friday night and gained a 2-2 tie with the Engineers in an Eastern College Athletic Conference hockey game at Houston Field House.

"Am I satisfied with the tie? No," said RPI coach Dan Fridgen. "We should have come away with a win. You have to give them credit, though, because they kept coming at us."

RPI (9-19-3, 3-11-3 ECAC) is in 11th place in the 12-team league with nine points. Princeton (3-20-1, 2-14-1) is in last place.

Princeton beat RPI Nov. 16 at home, then beat the Engineers on Dec. 29 in the consolation game of RPI's holiday tournament, both by 4-3 scores.

"We haven't beaten them all year, and I thought we had them," said RPI goalie Nathan Marsters. "At least we got a point out of this. Getting one point is better than nothing, I guess."

Princeton got the equalizer when Matt Maglione fired a low wrist shot from just inside the RPI blue line. The shot got through a maze of players in front, then eluded Marsters, who up to that point had played a solid third period.

It appeared as though Maglione was just trying to dump the puck in front of the net.

"I saw him shoot it," Marsters said, "but then I lost sight of it. It hit me in the (left) arm, and then it went in. It's kind of disappointing."

RPI took a 2-1 lead on Carson Butterwick's fourth goal of the season at 4:28 of the second period. With the Engineers skating a man down, Butterwick picked up a loose puck at center ice and skated down the left side of the Tigers' zone with Eric Cavosie, who was on the right side.

The 2-on-1 break was successful when Butterwick teed up and fired a shot past Princeton goalie Nate Nomeland. It was RPI's first short-handed goal since March 9, 2002, when Chris Migliore got one against Princeton in the ECAC playoffs.

The goal wouldn't stand up. Fridgen was hoping to get one more and put the Princeton jinx to rest. The best chance for the Engineers came later in the second period when Mikael Hammarstrom's shot outside the left post was snared by Nomeland.

"It's not like we didn't have opportunities," Fridgen said. "We just couldn't capitalize. If we could have just gotten that third goal..."

Princeton's Mike Patton got the first goal at 4:47 of the opening period, and RPI answered when Nick Economakos scored with 39 seconds left.

Notes: Former RPI standout Matt Murley was in attendance at the game. Murley plays with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League and will be in the lineup when they play the Albany River Rats at 2 p.m. today at Pepsi Arena. ... Junior defenseman Scott Basiuk has been promoted from assistant captain to captain. He shares the captain's duties with Danny Eberly. ... RPI plays Yale tonight at 7 at Houston Field House.