As the opening match of one of the most anticipated sports at Rensselaer, it was no surprise that the men’s ice hockey exhibition game against St. Mary’s University drew a packed audience of students and alumni to the Houston Field House Saturday night. With a near-full-house attendance, the Engineers (ranked #15 overall) bulldozed past the Huskies in a 5-1 victory that left the rink ablaze with pride when the game ended.
Sophomore forward Mike Zalewski started RPI off just a minute and a half into the first period on a stealthy penalty shot by giving a fake to the right that left the goal wide open for his snap into the net. Then, just over four minutes, junior Ryan Haggerty fired one in on the assist from fellow junior Jacob Laliberte in the first power play goal of the game. St. Mary’s responded with a quick one off a Rensselaer defenseman’s skate with 7:16 on the clock, and RPI went into the intermission with the lead.
The Engineers came back out on fire and stayed that way for the remainder of the game, with a goal by junior Mark McGowan for the third point, with a feed from junior Matt Neal. Just two minutes later, freshman Jake Wood fired one into the back of the net with the help of juniors Zach Schroeder and Luke Curadi to advance the Engineers to 4-1. Finally, almost 18 minutes into the third, senior captain Matt Tinordi polished the scoring off with the third power play goal of the night, assisted by sophomore defenseman Phil Hampton.
Both goaltenders did exceptionally well Saturday night—sophomore Jason Kasdorf finished with thirteen saves and only allowed one past him, while junior Scott Diebold kept out the nine shots that he was faced with over the second half of the competition. The goalies had .935 and .873 save percentages last season, respectively.
The Engineers face Sacred Heart and Boston College, Saturday and Sunday respectively, in their first games of the