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Kurk Back in Fold

By Ken Schott

Schenectady Daily Gazette, October 2, 2003

TROY - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute goalie Kevin Kurk had a good start to his season last year. For a time, it looked as if Kurk would replace Nathan Marsters as coach Dan Fridgen's top goalie.

By the time the ECAC tournament rolled around in March, Kurk wasn't even with the team.

Kurk didn't dress for RPI's playoff games at Union and Cornell. In fact, he didn't even make the trips for those contests. At the time, Fridgen termed Kurk's absence "a coach's decision," never offering an explanation.

No one was forthcoming about the circumstances for Kurk's suspension during Wednesday's media day at Houston Field House. However, it isn't an issue anymore.

"We've moved forward," Fridgen said.

Kurk has, too. The senior netminder did reflect about the way the season ended for him.

"It was frustrating," Kurk said. "It's always tough not being around the guys. The best part of playing hockey is being around your teammates. When you're not around them, you're kind of lost a little bit."

Kurk got the opening-night start against Wisconsin in the Ice Breaker Tournament. He made 30 saves in the Engineers' 5-1 victory.

He then posted the first two shutouts of his career in consecutive games. He made 13 saves in a 2-0 win over Iona on Oct. 25, and then stopped 17 shots the next night in a 3-0 triumph at Army.

But the lack of consistent goal scoring, combined with splitting time with Marsters, probably frustrated Kurk. His season ended Feb. 28 after allowing seven goals in a 7-1 loss.

Kurk ended the season with a 5-11-2 record and a 3.16 goals-against average. He played in a career-high 22 games.

"It was just a coach's decision, I guess," Kurk said. "There's really nothing you could do about it. He does what's best for the team. You have to accept what he dishes out."

Despite the season-ending suspension, Kurk never thought about leaving school.

"Not in the least," Kurk said. "Once the season ends, you start thinking about next season right away [and] what you can do to start getting better [in] off-ice training."

Kurk will face an uphill battle in trying to regain a share of the RPI goalie duties. Marsters' play in the playoffs helped him overcome a slow start to his season, which included a two-game suspension in October.

The competition will be friendly, though. Kurk and Marsters are beginning their third year as roommates.

"It's good to have him back," said Marsters, who is also a senior. "He's my roommate, and probably one of my best friends."

Notebook

RPI's Red-White scrimmage will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Field House. After the scrimmage, fans will be able to skate with the players...

The Engineers will be wearing a black "TC" patch on their uniforms in memory of equipment manager Tom Cavosie. The father of Eric and Marc Cavosie died in a boating accident during a fishing trip to Newfoundland in July.