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Engineers Settle for Tie with Green

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, February 2, 2002

HANOVER, N.H. - There's something about two-goal leads that brings out the worst in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers.

They didn't play badly Friday night, but for the seventh time this season, the Engineers piddled away a two-goal lead and had to settle for a 2-2 tie at Dartmouth.

Marc Cavosie scored both goals for the Engineers, each set up by Matt Murley.

The deadlock brought RPI's ECAC record to 3-7-3 for nine points, keeping the Engineers in 11th place but moving them within one point of the final playoff berth.

Both St. Lawrence (5-8-0) and Brown (4-7-2) have 10 points.

The 9-10-4 Engineers play at last-place Vermont (3-9-1, 3-17-2) tonight.

Rensselaer, running its strip of consecutive successful penalty kills to 20 in the game, had to kill one off in overtime, as Cavosie took an interference penalty to prevent a 2-on-1 Dartmouth breakout.

"We did a real good job killing that penalty off in overtime," said RPI coach Dan Fridgen, "And I thought we did a good job matching their intensity."

Leading 2-0, however, the Engineers surrendered a severely damaging goal with six seconds remaining in the second period.

They had control of the puck at center ice near their own blue line with 18 seconds remaining, but coughed it up.

Dartmouth's Chris Taliercio gave it to Chris Baldwin, who skated around the net and fed Frank Nardella, who was left open in front of the net.

Rensselaer goalie Nathan Marsters had no chance, as Nardella buried his sixth goal of the season.

That goal was clearly the difference between victory and the deadlock in the well-played defensive struggle for the Engineers, who hung tough throughout the third period. They never could regain any real momentum, however.

After Marsters made two tough saves on a Dartmouth rush eight minutes into the final period, the Big Green (6-4-4, 9-8-4) tied the game, again from behind the net.

Jamie Herrington sent the puck out and it was deflected, but Lee Stempniak emerged with it and flipped it by Marsters.

"Unfortunately, they scored two goals that were very similar to the one they tied it up on last week. (Dartmouth won 4-2 at Houston Field House)," Fridgen said.

"We have to learn not to put too much pressure on the guy behind the goal line and put some on the guy in front," Fridgen said. "Then we had a play like that with five seconds left (in regulation) but our guy (Jim Henkel) doesn't get it high enough and puts it right into (Nick) Boucher's (goalie) pads."

Also on that play, Dartmouth's Mike Maturo affected Henkel's shot with a stick check,

The Engineers took a 1-0 lead at 17:17 of the first period when Cavosie took a return pass from Murley and beat Boucher with a bang-bang one-timer.

Except for special teams, Fridgen parted Cavosie and Murley Friday night, putting Cavosie at wing on Nolan Graham's line, and putting center Conrad Barnes between Murley and right winger Carson Butterwick.

"Yeah, and as you (saw), I put them together once (in the first period) and they got a goal," Fridgen said. "I can put them together any time. But we need to get some better (scoring) depth. I'm doing what's best for the team and they were both 100 percent behind me."

Rensselaer's second goal, on the power play, was the game's prettiest. Murley banged a headman pass off the sideboards to Butterwick, creating a 2-on-1 with Cavosie. He streaked in on Boucher and beat him cleanly.

Marsters, now 5-6-3, charted 40 saves.