February 16, 2007
Least, But Not Last

By Joe Gladziszewski

The Rensselaer Engineers have scored the fewest number of goals among all 12 ECACHL teams both in league games and overall. RPI also ranks last in the league in goals allowed. But despite those statistical rankings, the Engineers find themselves ahead of three teams in the standings, albeit by just one point over Brown, Union, and Yale.

ECAC Hockey League Notebook

Matt Angers-Goulet leads RPI with just nine goals on the season. The Engineers are in a decent position, considering their -34 goal differential (71 scored, 105 allowed).

National TV Schedule

With a 5-9-4 ECACHL mark, RPI has 14 points. They've done well in head-to-head games against those aforementioned teams, all of which have 13 points. RPI split the season series with Union, and beat Yale and Brown on the road in late January. The Engineers also split with Princeton, the team directly ahead of it in the standings.

"We've been pretty good in close games all year, both in the league and out of the league. Eight of our nine wins are by one-goal and we've also got seven ties in there," head coach Seth Appert said.

After starting the season with somewhat surprising success – a 4-1-3 record that included a tie against Boston University and win at Denver – the Engineers found some tough going. Those results, Appert admitted, were probably due to some shaky goaltending performances by the opponents and instilled a false confidence in his club.

It led to a rough stretch in the middle of their season, with just one win in 13 games. That streak ended with a win at Union on Jan. 13 and RPI has a respectable 4-4-1 record since then. It's worth noting that the Engineers have played well even in those four losses, with the exception of a 6-1 loss to Cornell last weekend.

"We've played really well in the last month and a half, and probably even better than our record shows," Appert said. "We got back into better habits in practice, which carry over to games, and our attention to detail has gotten better."

RPI gets to test itself against the top two teams in the league this weekend, with road games at St. Lawrence and Clarkson. The Engineers' last game against SLU, you may recall, was a 3-3 tie in the Big Red Freakout! as the Saints overcame a 3-1 deficit late in the third period.

This weekend's games will have a huge impact on the tightly-grouped standings in the ECACHL, setting up some great games to decide the final position on the final weekend, when Yale and Brown visit RPI and Union.


Two ways to go: Like most teams in the ECAC Hockey League, Princeton can potentially finish with a first-round bye in the playoffs, or as low as last place. The Tigers picked up a huge win last weekend, with a 3-0 victory over Dartmouth. That snapped a three-game winless streak in the league.

"I think we're in the same position as a lot of teams in this league. There are four games left and there's a long way to go. Teams can finish with home ice and a bye in the playoffs, or in last place," Gadowsky said. "We're trying to get better every game because there's a lot to play for."

One of the best stories out of Princeton is sophomore forward Lee Jubinville. As a freshman, he scored just 10 points in 30 games. This year he leads the team with 22 points in 23 games.

"He may be the fastest and quickest player I've ever coached," Gadowski said. "His increased production is probably a reflection on his ice time. He plays a lot because he's well-rounded and we can use him in all situations."

Those types of players are in high demand and Princeton landed him in the recruiting process, due to some work done by current Ohio State assistant Jason Lammers. Gadowsky said Jubinville is the kind of player that is attractive to lots of teams.

"He fits the mold, because of his quickness and competitiveness, and I'm sure that there's not a coach in the country that wouldn't want a Lee Jubinville."


Great Weekend Getaway
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Quinnipiac at Cornell (Fri.)
Princeton at Cornell (Sat.)

Friday night's game at Lynah is the one to watch as the two teams enter the weekend third and fourth in the standings. A win would go a long way toward locking down a top-four finish in the league.

While You're There: Ithaca College is hosting the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference championships on Saturday, as wrestlers from several upstate New York schools vie for bids to the Division III nationals.

Stick Salute

St. Lawrence became the first team to clinch a top-four spot in the ECACHL standings and will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs, and home ice for a quarterfinal series.

Bench Minor

Harvard finished the Beanpot with two losses, and coach Ted Donato questioned the importance of the consolation game. If the tournament has such strong tradition and regional importance, which we're led to believe in pre-tournament hype, the consolation game should also be treated with the utmost respect.

• Even though Yale is in a three-way tie for last place in the ECAC Hockey League, it certainly has something worthwhile to play for this weekend. Wins over Harvard and Dartmouth would guarantee the Bulldogs at least a share of the Ivy League title and make it possible for them to win the title outright.

• St. Lawrence's Drew Bagnall was a sixth-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, but his rights were traded from Dallas to Florida in March of 2004, when the Stars acquired Valeri Bure. Bagnall was flattered that another team was interested in him, and shared this anecdote about how he heard the news: "I found out about it through friends back home. The boys were at the bar and it was pretty late, but they said they saw it on the ticker and called me," Bagnall said. "It was the day of a game, or the day before a game, and I thought they were joking around."

• Harvard lost twice in the Beanpot, but carries a four-game unbeaten streak in league games (3-0-1) into this weekend's tilts at Yale and Brown.

• Since dropping two games at Niagara, Quinnipiac has won three straight non-league games, all against Atlantic Hockey opposition. The Bobcats have beaten Holy Cross 7-0, Bentley 6-1, and American International 8-1 for a three-game aggregate of 21-2.

• The Dartmouth vs. Yale contest is a 4 p.m. game on Sunday, and can be seen on ESPN U.

• With 34 points already this season, Union forward T.J. Fox has already amassed the highest single-season point total for a Dutchmen player since Jordan Webb and Joel Beal shared the team scoring lead with 37 points in the 2002-03 season.

• Brown's Brian McNary has a three-game point streak and is tied for second on the team in scoring, with 18 points this year.

• Clarkson scored five goals in each of its wins last week, and eight players lit the lamp over the weekend. Shawn Weller was the only player with more than one goal – he had three – and was named ECACHL Player of the Week.

• Colgate's Mark Dekanich is heating up as the season winds down. He has a 1.85 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in the Raiders' last eight games.

A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report. Joe Gladziszewski can be reached at gladdy@insidecollegehockey.com.