RPI men’s hockey saw its three-game win streak snapped this weekend following a loss to Clarkson University on Saturday. However, the Engineers started out strong against their North Country foes, defeating St. Lawrence University in a 4-0 shutout on Friday evening. Rensselaer is now 7-18-1 overall on the season, including a 4-9-1 mark in league play. The St. Lawrence Saints drop to 8-15-3 overall with a 4-9-1 ECAC record, while the Clarkson Golden Knights roll to a 12-11-5 record with a 6-5-3 conference standing.
The Engineers hit the back of the net four times in the second period of Friday’s match to earn the 4-0 victory. Senior Patrick Cullen added a goal and two assists, while junior goaltender Bryce Merriam stopped all 19 shots faced to earn his third shutout of the season.
Cullen netted the eventual game-winner at 6:42 of the middle frame. Freshman Mark McGowan’s initial shot was denied by senior SLU goaltender Robby Moss, but Cullen was waiting on the doorstep to sneak the rebound under the crossbar. Junior Marty O’Grady made it a 2-0 game just 1:18 later as he collected a rebound from sophomore Matt Tinordi’s shot, and snuck the power play goal just inside the left post.
Junior CJ Lee added to the lead, scoring the Engineers’ second power play goal of the night after he converted on a pass from Cullen. Sophomore defenseman Bo Dolan closed out the period when his snapshot from the top of the slot went straight to the back of the cage at 17:58, giving RPI the 4-0 advantage. Sophomore Johnny Rogic senior Alex Angers-Goulet both assisted on the play.
Merriam closed out the third period with seven saves, while Moss finished with 20 stops on the night.
Rensselaer’s good fortune ran out come Saturday, however, as the Golden Knights edged the Engineers in a 3-2 decision. Clarkson senior Nick Tremblay broke a 2-2 midway through the third period to give the visitors the win.
Clarkson opened the game with a goal from sophomore Alex Boak at 2:38 of the first period. Senior Jake Morely, who assisted on the first goal, made it a 2-0 advantage for the Golden Knights at 11:03 off a power play opportunity.
Rensselaer pulled within one at 13:28, however, with sophomore Guy Leboeuf’s second goal of the season, with the assist going to freshman Jacob Laliberte.
After an action-packed first period, Tinordi would score the only goal of the second frame to even the score at two. Cullen’s shot from the point ricochetted off Tinordi’s skate and into the net at 9:38 to knot the game.
However, following Tremblay’s goal in the third period, the Engineers could not muster up the offensive power to final the equalizer, ultimately falling in a 3-2 decision. Clarkson senior goaltender Paul Karpowich earned the victory with 29 saves, while Merriam posted 14 stops at the other end of the rink.
One of the biggest nights for RPI hockey is on the doorstep as the Engineers host Cornell University and Colgate University this weekend. Friday’s match against Cornell, set to begin at 7:30 pm, will be nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network. Saturday marks the 35th annual Big Red Freakout! for Rensselaer, with puck drop set for 7 pm. Both games are set to take place at the Houston Field House.