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Cavosie Gets to the Top in First Pro Season

Former RPI Star Helps Houston to Calder Cup Win Over Hamilton

By Matt Graves

Albany Times Union, June 14, 2003

Marc Cavosie's decision to leave RPI a year ahead of schedule to begin his professional hockey career certainly looks like the right move now.

In his rookie season in the AHL, Cavosie accomplished what he couldn't in three seasons for the Engineers - the top prize in his sport. Cavosie and the Houston Aeros won the Calder Cup on Thursday night with a 3-0 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs.

"It seems like I made the right decision," said the Cohoes native, who left after his junior season in college to sign a three-year contract with the NHL's Minnesota Wild. "Game 7 was unbelievable. To come out and play as well as we did and shut them out was really something."

Cavosie's father was among 17,428 fans at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum, the largest crowd in AHL history. The previous high in Copps was 13,982 for a game between Hamilton and the Albany River Rats during the 2000 playoffs.

"When they (Houston) got that third goal, 17,000 people were quiet," Tom Cavosie said. "It was amazing. I thought Marc played pretty well. He had a lot of opportunities. Of course, I'm looking at it from a parent's standpoint, but I was proud of him."

Marc Cavosie didn't have any goals in the finals, but he saw plenty of ice time and had three goals and eight points during Houston's playoff run. He scored the game-winner in the series-clinching 2-1 victory over top-seeded Grand Rapids in the semifinals.

"Being able to contribute in the playoffs and starting to play well was a thrill," said the 6-foot, 180-pounder, who moved from center to wing in the postseason. "The environment was awesome."

It was the culmination of a roller coaster rookie year for last year's ECAC Player of the Year. It began with Cavosie sidelined because of a broken jaw after being struck by a puck off the stick of future River Rat Greg Crozier. He played in 54 regular-season games and had 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) for West Division champion Houston (47-23-7-3).

"It was kind of a long season for me," Cavosie said. "I had a lot of setbacks, a lot of injuries, little minor things that made it tough for me to crack the lineup."

Oddly, one teammate who was instrumental in helping Cavosie make the adjustment was former River Rat and Adirondack Red Wing forward Sylvain Cloutier, who joined Houston this year after two-plus seasons with Albany.

"I had seen him play in Albany before, being from the area, but I didn't really know him," Cavosie said. "I can't say enough about him. He's been an outstanding captain. He took to the young guys really well."

Cloutier, who also captained the Rats, appeared in 69 regular-season games and had 15 points (four goals, 11 assists). He had two goals in the playoffs, but was acquired primarily to work with the younger players the Aeros had acquired.

"We were able to learn a lot from him and the other veterans on the team," Cavosie said. "People like him, (Jean-Guy) Trudel and (Tony) Tuzzolino made it really easy on the young guys on the team."