Engineers skate to three-point weekend

Men’s hockey ties Harvard University 2-2, defeats Dartmouth in 2-1 decision

SENIOR PATRICK CULLEN RIPS a shot on net during the Engineers’ match against Cornell University two weekends ago. Cullen had an assit in RPI’s 2-2 tie with Harvard University on Friday.

RPI men’s hockey had a successful weekend on the road, tying Harvard University in a 2-2 match, and defeating Dartmouth College 2-1 the following day. The Engineers are now 8-19-3 overall, and 5-10-3 in ECAC action. That records places Rensselaer in a tie for 10th place in the league after sitting at the bottom of the barrel for the majority of the season. The Harvard Crimson moves to 8-7-10 overall with a 6-4-8 league record, while the Dartmouth Big Green falls to 9-12-4 overall, including a 6-9-3 conference mark.

With just over a minute remaining in regulation in Friday’s match against Harvard, sophomore Brock Higgs scored the game-tying goal to send the contest into overtime. Although the Engineers couldn’t come away with the win in the sudden-death extra frame, they were able to skate away with a point to add to their record.

Rensselaer started the game at 15:39 of the first period with junior C.J. Lee’s sixth goal of the season. Lee picked up a loose puck in front of the Harvard net and buried the shot. Junior Marty O’Grady and freshman Mark McGowan earned the assists on the play.

Less than two minutes later, however, the Crimson knotted the game at one with junior Alex Fallstrom’s ninth tally of the year. Fallstrom collected a rebound at the edge of the RPI crease, and flipped the biscuit over junior Bryce Merriam at 17:22.

Both teams skated through a scoreless second period before Harvard junior Luke Greiner gave the Crimson the lead at 10:09 of the third frame. After a RPI turnover in the neutral zone, senior Eric Kroshus grabbed the puck and skated two-on-one with Greiner into the offensive zone. Kroshus sent the puck over to Greiner, who was able to bury the shot to give Harvard a 2-1 advantage.

With 1:03 remaining in regulation, Higgs buried his shot to send the game into overtime. The goal, his second of the season, was assisted by senior Patrick Cullen and Lee.

Neither team was able to hit the back of the net in the overtime period, leaving the match in a 2-2 deadlock. Merriam finished with 29 saves for the Engineers, while sophomore goaltender Raphael Girad posted 27 stops for the Crimson.

Rensselaer carried that momentum from the end of the match to Hanover, N.H., the next evening for its battle with the Dartmouth Big Green. Freshman Jacob Laliberte scored the game-winning goal at 6:20 of the second period to give the Engineers a 2-1 victory over its Ivy League foe.

Graduate student Joel Malchuk opened the match with his fifth goal of the season at 9:23 of the first period. Malchuk won the faceoff, passing to his right to sophomore Johnny Rogic, who then backhanded a shot on goal. Malchuk was there waiting for the rebound and swatted the puck into the net for a 1-0 advantage.

RPI gained the lead off its first power play of the match at sophomore Bo Dolan passed the biscuit over to junior Nick Bailen. The defenseman then passed the puck to the low slot, where it deflected off Laliberte’s skate and into the Dartmouth net.

The Big Green cut the deficit in half off freshman Brandon McNally’s sixth of the season at 10:07, but that would be the only goal of the night for Dartmouth. Merriam stopped 19 shots, including 11 in the third period to earn the win. Dartmouth senior goaltender James Mello made 26 saves for the Big Green in the loss.

The Engineers return home for their second-to-last weekend of regular season play. RPI takes on Quinnipiac University for a 7 pm matchup on Friday, and then hosts Princeton University at the same time on Saturday.