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Engineers Survive on Freaky Friday

RPI Not Guilty of Looking Ahead to Freakout, Net 3-2 Win Over St. Lawrence

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, February 9, 2002

TROY - It had been a while since Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute won a tight game with a decisive second period; like, say, last season.

Until Friday night.

Carson Butterwick scored twice, including the game winner in the second period, Conrad Barnes notched his first goal of the season and Nathan Marsters stopped 35 shots as the Engineers edged St. Lawrence, 3-2.

The victory improves RPI's ECAC record to 5-7-3 for 13 points and moves them past St. Lawrence (6-9-0, 12), Princeton (6-9-0, 12) and Yale (5-8-2, 12) into seventh place in the conference.

And it moves the Engineers over the .500 mark overall at 11-10-4.

They host archrival, second-place Clarkson (7-3-5, 11-10-6) tonight in the 25th Annual Big Red Freakout.

They'll take a streak of 4-1-2 into the game, a streak which followed a four-game losing skid.

The Engineers didn't exactly dominate the second period Friday night, but scored a pair of goals on outstanding individual efforts to break a 1-1 tie, then held off the Saints in the final stanza.

"We began taking little baby steps in that direction two weeks ago," RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. "It started with Vermont (actually Dartmouth) coming back on us two weeks ago (for a 4-2 win), then they came on us last week and tied us."

Also last week, Vermont nearly fought back from a pair of two-goal deficits before RPI prevailed, 6-4.

"Again, we bent but we didn't break," Fridgen said, "and tonight, we held them off. I thought we did a good job staying composed (after SLU's Jim Lorentz scored with 1:48 remaining for the final count.)"

"It didn't rattle us," Fridgen said. "They were the ones under the pressure to come back."

The RPI defenders both went to Josh Anderson late in the game and when Anderson dished the puck back to Lorentz, he skated in, then fired a shot past the angling Marsters and into the back of the net.

The Engineers permitted no more scoring chances as the clock wound down, however, and posted consecutive victories for the first time this season.

In the first minute of the second period, Cavosie, just inside the goal line and six feet from the crease on the right, deked around an SLU defenseman and sent a hard pass to defenseman Steve Munn streaking down the slot.

St. Lawrence freshman goalie Mike McKenna slid over to rob the RPI co-captain,

"It would have been too pretty for me," Munn said. "It was a great play by Cavosie. He put it on my tape but the guy just got his stick on me a little bit, and you've seen my hands at work before."

Then, a sudden goal two minutes later put RPI on top.

Cavosie took a pass from Blake Pickett at center-ice, moved around a defenseman and headmanned the puck to Barnes at the SLU blue line.

The sophomore center-right winger skated hard in between the two circles and beat McKenna with a rising wrist shot for his first and a 2-1 lead at 3:23 of the period.

Barnes went crashing into the end boards at the end of the play, but knew the puck was in the net as he was sliding along the ice. And paying that price was "definitely worth it."

"I felt like an elephant was lifted off my shoulder," Barnes said. "A big relief. And it's great to get the win and it's a big win, too. (Tonight) is Freakout! and we have to come hard again."

Eight minutes after Barnes' goal, Munn saw a crowd in front of the net and threw the puck down there from the left point.

Butterwick whirled away from a backchecker and was free for a full-control deflection.

Butterwick's first-period power play goal came after a big play by Matt Murley, who stood behind the net for several seconds, went to his left, faked a sharp-angle shot, moved further into the circle and fired a blast.

McKenna made a stick save, but Butterwick had a tip-in rebound.