After drop­ping two games to Notre Dame, En­gi­neers look to pick up ECAC points at Yale and Brown

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By Joe Boyle [email protected]­i­tal­first­media.com Sports Edi­tor

TROY>> RPI Hockey en­ters De­cem­ber with a few roads trips, a good break, and an urge to flip a switch after a busy fi­nal week of Novem­ber which con­sisted of a home and home se­ries with UMass-Low­ell be­fore a trip to South Bend, In­dian to take on the No. 5 Fight­ing Ir­ish in a two game se­ries.

“They have good struc­ture, they have good ta­lent, their goal­tender, es­pe­cially Fri­day night, played very well,” said RPI Head Coach Dave Smith on the Notre Dame pro­gram. “When you’re build­ing a pro- gram, as we have talked about, you can see what depth does. Their first line got the empty net goal, but their sec­ond line got one, and their third line got one. We want to have that depth, and that ex­pe­ri­ence, and that skill.”

RPI lost to Notre Dame last Fri­day night 5-1 and the fol­low­ing Satur­day night 3- 0.

In those losses, RPI gen­er­ated 70 shots ex­actly. Just one goal crossed. Fresh­man de­fense­man Kyle Hall­bauer was able to score his first ca­reer goal off of rocket from right above the hash marks. The shot was well placed above Notre Dame Goalie Cale Moriss’ blocker

and tucked right un­der the cross­bar.

“It’s ob­vi­ously a great ac­com­plish­ment get­ting your first goal,” said Hall­bauer. “To do it at Notre Dame is pretty awe­some, but we were down 5- 0 at that point, so you can only live up to it so much and I think I was more fired up try­ing to get the boys back into the game.”

An­other first since the last time we checked in on the RPI hockey team was Owen Sa­vory’s first ca­reer win against UMass-Low­ell on Novem­ber 23. The fresh­man goalie has earned him­self more time in net as of late, start­ing both games against UMass-Low­ell and a game two start against Notre Dame on De­cem­ber 1.

“Any­time you can play in a big at­mos­phere like that is un­be­liev­able. I was pretty happy with the boys. I think they felt com­fort­able with me in there and I felt com­fort­able get­ting in there,” said Sa­vory on get­ting the start against Notre Dame. “I think they were con­fi­dent with me in there which makes me feel good.”

Prior to his last tree starts, Sa­vory came in for re­lief of Lin­den Mar­shall against UMass-Amherst in the first game of the sea­son back on Oc­to­ber 12, and played 37 min­utes against Prince­ton on Novem­ber 10.

Sa­vory step­ping up turns eyes to the net now. With Sa­vory build­ing con­fi­dence, the bat­tle for the only spot in be­tween the pipes be-

comes wide open be­tween not only Sa­vory and Mar­shall, but also se­nior Chase Perry.

“Owen has worked hard and I think he has put a good chal­lenge onto Lin­den and Lin­den hasn’t been his best re­cently, but he’s also work­ing through it,” said Smith. “That’s what good teams do. We talk about depth up front, depth in goal is real im­por­tant and I thought Chase came in and played real well in re­lief Fri­day night.”

It’s a com­pe­ti­tion for time in net now. Sa­vory, though pinned with a 1-2 record, car­ries a .931 save per­cent­age with a 2.28 goals against. Mar­shall, cur­rently 3-7 on the sea­son, has a .889 save per­cent­age with a 3.97 goals against. The se­nior Perry, made 17 saves and al­lowed just a goal in his re­lief ef­forts in the 5-1 Notre Dame loss.

“I think our re­la­tion-

ship started in the sum­mer and it only con­tin­ues to grow ev­ery­day on the ice as we con­tinue to push each other,” said Sa­vory on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the goalies all bat­tling it out for the one spot. “Es­pe­cially for that guy who is get­ting that start, the other two guys are work­ing hard to get an­other start and I think that makes your goal­tend­ing bat­tle bet­ter and your goalies bet­ter.”

Look­ing ahead to the week­end, RPI trav­els to New Haven, Con­necti­cut to take on Yale Fri­day night be­fore a trip to Prov­i­dence to take on Brown. A big em­pha­sis will have to be on gen­er­at­ing of­fense off of the shots the team is tak­ing.

“We talk about the ECAC’s and we play to win ev­ery game, but this is the stand­ings. This is two points in the stand­ings,” said Smith on the week-

end and if there is much of em­pha­sis on ECAC im­pli­ca­tions. “Our strength of sched­ule is in our fa­vor if we can roll off some wins here. Our fo­cus is on Yale and con­tin­u­ing to get bet­ter ev­ery­day. I’ve chal­lenged our group to change our mind­set a lit­tle bit.”

That mind­set, as Smith puts it, is to no longer feel that a game be­ing “close” is ad­e­quate. Smith wants the En­gi­neer’s to flip a switch and come out chas­ing a vic­tory and two points in the ECAC stand­ings.

“We’re go­ing to Yale, who we re­spect, and we know that if we aren’t on our game, we won’t win,” said Smith. “If we have a lit­tle bit more con­fi­dence and a dif­fer­ent mind­set, we may go in there and come out with two points, so we need to put that in our back pocket as we travel. We can’t go in there and wait to see what hap­pens.”


RPI Hockey Head Coach Dave Smith draws up a gameplan in the mid­dle of the sec­ond pe­riod against Quin­nip­iac on Novem­ber, 9at the TD Bank Sports Cen­ter in Ham­den, Conn.


RPI cel­e­brates Jakub Lacka’s goal on Oc­to­ber 13, at the Hous­ton Field House.


RPI Hockey cel­e­brates after Meirs Moore’s game ty­ing goal in the sec­ond pe­riod against Union on Oc­to­ber 26

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