The Engineers moved to No. 10 in the United States Collegiate Hockey Online rankings with their win over previously No. 13 University of New Hampshire in front of the 3346 fans in attendance Saturday night. RPI’s success once again came as a result of a high-powered offense. Senior Johnny Rogic wasted no time in burying a shot from the slot only 38 seconds into the game. Seniors Matt Tinordi and Guy Leboeuf did the dirty work to get Rogic the puck, setting the tempo of the first period. The Engineers spent a lot of time in the Wildcats’ zone and not much time in their own as the RPI defense played well in the first. An odd-man rush was denied by a great shot block early in the period. Shortly after, tight defensive play in front of junior Zack Diebold led to a quick counter attack for the Engineers. Junior Luke Curadi moved the puck out of the zone where junior Zach Schroeder took over. Schroeder saw freshman Jake Wood flying up the left wing and hit him with a beautiful pass as he entered the zone. Wood capitalized and scored the Engineers’ second goal of the night and the first of his career by beating UNH goaltender Jeff Wyer over his left shoulder from the hashmark. RPI outshot the Wildcats 14-3 in the first.
The Engineers’ offense continued to produce scoring early once again in the second period. Junior Matt Neal roofed a backhander off of sophomore Milos Bubela’s rebound to score the third goal of the game after only 2:16 of play. At the 3:13 mark, Eric Knodel of UNH would get called for roughing, giving RPI their second power play opportunity of the night. Junior Ryan Haggerty scored his eighth goal of the season, putting home a rebound in the slot with the assists going to Neal and senior Brock Higgs. Haggerty’s goal gives him a four game goal streak and keeps him at the top of the nation in goals scored along with Riley Barber from Miami. After allowing four goals on 14 shots and playing only 23:44 minutes of the game, Jeff Wyer was pulled by UNH and replaced with Casey Desmith. This seemed to give the Wildcats the spark they were looking for as, for the duration of the period, UNH controlled the play. Forcing the Engineers to scramble and applying a lot of pressure, UNH was able to get RPI to take a tripping penalty 5:56 into the period. Although no goals came from the power play, UNH was able to continue to build momentum. With the play going all UNH’s way, Jeff Silengo was able to tip a point shot into RPI’s net for the Wildcats’ first goal midway through the period. Shortly after, the Engineers would be called for interference leading to a shot from Matt Willows of UNH that found its way into RPI’s net. The goal was reviewed but confirmed by the referees 11:42 into the period, displeasing those in attendance. Late in the play, Haggerty would again find the twine, but the goal was immediately waved off as RPI was called for a crease violation, further agitating the crowd. With one second left to play, a UNH skater crashed into RPI goalie Diebold with no penalty. Agitated with the referees and UNH’s play, the crowd begin to reign down boos as the period came to a close. Outshooting RPI 16-12 and scoring two unanswered goals, UNH went into the locker room with everything going their way.
RPI recovered and came out in the third matching UNH’s play. The teams traded rushes up and down the ice. A sense of urgency could be felt from UNH while RPI tried to weather the storm. The next goal would be huge. UNH thought they had that goal late in the period, but were denied by a fantastic sprawling save by Diebold. The Wildcats pulled their goalie to no avail late in the third as they tried anything to even the score. The Engineers’ defense and netminder held strong until the end of the game with the final score staying at 4-2. Diebold made 30 saves for the Engineers, making big saves and key moments in the game. RPI finished the game with 27 shots on goal.
The Engineers begin a two-game road trip November 1, facing Harvard and then Dartmouth on November 2. Both opponents are unranked. The Red and White return to the Houston Field House to face No. 14 Cornell on the November 8 and unranked Colgate on November 9.