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In the Crease

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, November 14, 2003

Scouting RPI

For a team that recently had a four-game unbeaten string, the Engineers have much work to do. Their power play simply has not produced of late. They don't have any big goal-scorers or a low-slot widebody but the biggest problem has been a lack of shots, which has been based on sloppy puck movement. "Yes, we worked a lot on that all week," said head coach Dan Fridgen. "This week went real well. We covered a lot as far as what our systems were and guys had a lot of energy."...

The penalty killing was decent last week but was much better than that over the first five games. ...

Goaltender Nathan Marsters has made several brilliant saves in each outing but must cut down on his crease-area rebounds. ...

Rensselaer captain Scott Basiuk was asked which type of game makes a team wish more for the following Friday, one like the Engineers' 5-4 victory at Merrimack two weeks ago, or their dismal 4-0 drubbing at SLU last Saturday night. "During the week you kind of forget about the pain of a loss. You really can't dwell much on the past. You just have to work hard all week and usually, the feeling you get working together all week is kind of how you feel going into the game." ...

The Engineers were 11th in the 12-team ECAC virtually from start to finish last season. If they want to move up in the standings, tonight's game is an important one. ...

Fridgen continues to move forward lines around, with only Barnes' line intact from last week. Freshman Oren Eizenman, who centered the top line earlier, skated with the fourth line most of the week. ...

"Contain their speed, play real good defense and build off our defense," Basiuk said when asked what the keys are tonight. ...

Dartmouth, which comes to Houston Field House on Saturday, scored 14 goals in a pair of lopsided victories over the Engineers. Union, which hosts the Big Green tonight, shut them out (2-0) at Dartmouth and lost 2-1 at home.

Scouting Vermont

First-year Vermont coach and former Union coach Kevin Sneddon returns to Achilles Center on Saturday but first, stops at Houston Field House, where his Union teams were 1-1-2. During his first season of 1998-99, the Dutchmen won only three games (3-26-2) and one was at RPI, their only road win and the only win against a team from the four traditional Division I leagues. So, what better place for Sneddon and his Catamounts (0-5-2 overall) to get their first victory of the season. "We want to taste success," Sneddon said. ...

Cats may be winless but they do own a 2-2 tie against a Boston University team that whipped RPI, 5-2. ...

Only once have the Cats been blown out (7-3 to Michigan Tech). "I feel so bad for the guys," Sneddon said. "We competed hard, for the most part, for 120 minutes this (past) weekend and have nothing to show for it. But I challenged each guy in that locker room to think of ways to improve and get better (during the week of practice). Every one (of them) can get better." ...

While the RPI power play has been struggling, UVM's has looked good of late. After a 2-of-20 start over the first three games, the Catamounts have six goals in their last 19 power plays. ...

The offense, overall, though, needs to upgrade itself. In their seven games, the Catamounts have been outscored 28-15 and outshot 245-154. ...

Jeff Corey, a freshman last season, had a pair of goals in UVM's 5-3 victory over RPI last season. ...

RW Jeff Miles has one goal and five assists in six career games against Rensselaer, while LW Scott Misfud has one goal and three assists in four games against the Engineers. ...

Miles had one goal and two assists in last week's 6-4 loss to Harvard. ...

Vermont hasn't swept RPI since 1995-96. when stars Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin led the Cats to a 4-0-0 mark against the Engineers.