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Third Period Flurry Does in Engineers

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, January 26, 2003

HANOVER, N.H. - The Rensselaer-Dartmouth game was up for grabs after two periods Saturday night.

It wasn't the Engineers who grabbed the two points, as Dartmouth scored five times for a 7-3 victory.

The Big Green capitalized on a trio of RPI mistakes to score three goals within the first 11:37 of the period to take firm control of the battle of struggling ECAC teams after the Engineers had forged a 2-2 tie on power-play goals by Carson Butterwick and Scott Basiuk midway through the second.

The Engineers, mired in their first six-game winless (0-5-1) streak in seven seasons, showed little in the final period - but leading scorer Kevin Croxton did end a three-game scoring drought with his 11th goal, skating around a defenseman and roofing one over the glove of Dartmouth goalie Nick Boucher to pull RPI within 5-3 with 6:28 remaining.

Dartmouth (6-6-0 in ECAC, 10-8-1 overll) broke a four-game winless streak, while the Engineers (8-15-2) fell to 2-8-2 in ECAC play.

For the second time in eight days, the Engineers failed to beat a team that had been struggling, that hadn't won in weeks. (Last week, it was Colgate, a 3-0 loss.)

Freshman winger Hugh Jessiman had a hat trick and two assists for the Big Green, and Kent Gillings had two goals and an assist.

"It's frustrating," said Rensselaer coach Dan Fridgen. "No question. We come out in the second period, did a great job (to) tie it up with a couple power-play goals; matter of fact I thought we should have come out of that period up a couple of goals."

"The guys are frustrated," Fridgen said. "And their confidence is a little shaken. But we've got to stay strong and continue to work hard."

After Lee Stemniak broke the 2-2 tie with a power play goal 3:19 into the period, many Engineers chins seemed to drop.

"Well, when you're playing catch-up hockey, you open youself up (to opposing scoring chances)," Fridgen said. "But in know way did we abandon ship. I thought we continued to work hard ... but they got a couple goals, we opened up, thinking offense and not concentrating on defensive play and they got a couple more."

Basiuk took an unnecessary holding penalty early in the third and the rebound of Pete Summerfelt's drive kicked right to Stempniak's stick and he drilled it past RPI goalie Nathan Marsters. It was one of many times Dartmouth forwards had no red-shirted player near him deep in the RPI zone.

Later, freshman center Max Guimond glided around RPI defenseman Brad Farynuk and slid one under Marsters.

Jarrett Sampson (three assists) sent a chip pass over an RPI defender to Jessiman and when Marsters came out to play the puck, Jessiman got there first and literally carried the puck over the goal line.

The barrage was painfully reminiscent of the the first 8:18 of the second period of Friday night's game, when Vermont scored four deep-slot goals to pull away from the Engineers.

"I don't know what the story is," Basiuk said. "We didn't pack it in after the good second period. The guys are still giving 100 percent but we're making too many mental mistakes. Taking penalties; I took one myself that hurt us."

Butterwick, scoring just his second goal, banged in his own rebound after a nice pass from Mikael Hammarstrom and 9:27 of the second.

"That was probably the first time this year that it just went in, know thinking," Butterwick said. "I just got it (rebound) on my stick and put it in. It's nice to get but it's definitely tainted by the loss."

Then Basiuk fired one in from the point a few minutes later.

Then, with Basiuk off for holding, the Engineers nearly took the lead - on three occasions.

Mark Yurkewecz set up a tip-in try by Butterwick on a 2-on-1. Boucher got just enough of it to steer it wide.

The Big Green carelessly allowed Ben Barr a breakaway but Boucher came up big on that. Eric Cavosie made a nice move around a defenseman and nearly found Boucher's five hole.

"We get one of those, who knows," Fridgen said. "But we just have to get stronger and use this experience to get better."