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Yale's Flurry Buries RPI

By Mike MacAdam

Schenectady Daily Gazette, December 6, 2003

TROY - The flurries weren't supposed to start until later.

Instead, Yale beat the Nor'easter to the punch with a three-goal scoring burst in the third period that swept Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute out of Houston Field House on the losing side of a 5-4 score Friday night.

No one had a better night than Yale junior defenseman Jim Callahan, who came into the game with six goals in 64 career games, but scored a hat trick, including two game-tying goals.

"The roof kind of crashed in on us, and we weren't able to regroup," said Engineers defenseman Brad Farynuk, who had a goal and an assist. "After they took the lead, we were a little shell-shocked. It all happened pretty quick."

RPI fell to 2-2-1 in the ECAC and 7-5-2 overall heading into its final game tonight before Christmas break.

The Engineers had not given up five goals in a game since the opening weekend of the season Oct. 11-12, but Yale (4-5-0, 4-8-0) capitalized on defensive lapses, especially in the opening minutes of the third.

RPI led after two, 3-2, and took a 4-3 lead on freshman Tommy Green's fourth goal of the season at 2:44 of the third, but Callahan tied it at 5:07, and Joe Zappala scored the gamewinner at 7:04. Ryan Steeves intercepted a clearing attempt by Farynuk inside RPI's blue line, and Zappala crashed the net, shoving the rebound past Kevin Kurk, starting in place of Nathan Marsters, who dressed, but is sick with a cold.

RPI failed to generate much offense after that.

"That whole thing was kind of a blur," RPI head coach Dan Fridgen said. "It wasn't pretty to watch. I think they realized they're on break after this weekend, and their minds already left. Regardless, we've still got to play 60 minutes."

Yale gave the Engineers a quick wake-up call by scoring 47 seconds into the game as Callahan scored his second of the season, assisted by Steeves and Zappala.

The Engineers tied it right back up at 2:47 as Farynuk ripped a slap shot from the left point that popped the water bottle off the top of net.

RPI scored on another long shot when captain Scott Basiuk's low, soft wrist shot from the right point filtered through a screen to the back of the net.

The Engineers were in good position to increase their lead with Yale committing three penalties in the first five minutes of the second period, but it was the Bulldogs who scored.

Mike Klema snapped the puck past Kurk from the right circle as the Engineers were caught back on their heels in the defensive zone despite the man advantage.

RPI failed to finish on several great scoring chances in the second.