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Saints Stymie RPI, 4-0

By Phil Janack

Schenectady Daily Gazette, November 9, 2003

CANTON - Somewhere in the 10 miles between Clarkson and St. Lawrence, the RPI men's hockey team got lost.

The same Engineers that beat the Golden Knights on Friday to end a four-year North Country hex didn't show up Saturday night at Appleton Arena.

Instead it was the Saints who put a lengthy drought to rest, beating RPI, 4-0, for their first win since the season opener Oct. 3.

Senior defenseman Tony Maci had a pair of goals, and junior goalie Mike McKenna made 20 saves as St. Lawrence (2-6-3) snapped an 0-6-3 winless streak.

RPI (3-3-1) had won three straight and was unbeaten in four games, but failed in an attempt for its first North Country sweep since the 1984-85 season.

It also marked the first time the Engineers were shut out up north since an 11-0 whitewash at Clarkson Nov. 22, 1997.

"It was not very pretty at all," RPI head coach Dan Fridgen said. "They played like a desperate hockey team, and I don't think we played very well at all. We didn't play with that edge we need to play with game in and game out."

"Maybe they thought it was going to be easier than it was. You can't come into games thinking it's already won, and being happy about the night before. Last night, we played with an attitude. Tonight, we didn't have it."

RPI had the first good scoring chance of the game, when Kevin Broad sprung Ben Barr on a breakaway 1:57 in, but his shot went off goalie Mike McKenna's left shoulder and was cleared.

From there, St. Lawrence controlled the play and forced Nate Marsters to make several quality saves before breaking through at 13:34.

Defenseman Tony Maci intercepted a clearing attempt by Engineers freshman center Oren Eizenman at the left point, and ripped a 50-footer over Marsters' glove for the only goal the Saints would need.

"It wasn't that we were tired from last night, at all. That's no excuse," captain Scott Basiuk said. "They outworked us and beat us in all the battles. They had the jump on us, and we didn't play with enough fire. We didn't match that intensity."

St. Lawrence took its momentum into the second period. Marsters made a save on Jamie Parker's shot from the left circle off a faceoff, but Parker drove to the net and chipped in his own rebound to make it 2-0 at 1:47.

Parker drew a penalty on RPI defenseman Jamie [sic] Romfo for hitting from behind at 4:46, and St. Lawrence needed just four seconds to cash in its power play on Maci's deflected shot.