Engineers dominate over Thanksgiving to go 3-1

MEN’S HOCKEY STRUCK early and often in their four Thanksgiving break games.

The Engineers played four hard games over the week of Thanksgiving break. The first was on Friday, November 20, against Bentley. In this game, RPI scored three unanswered goals in the first two periods. These goals were scored by sophomore Lou Nanne, senior Mark Miller, and sophomore Mike Prapavessis. Two of the goals were assisted and both were by sophomore Drew Melanson. It took Bentley until the end of the second period to score on the Engineers’ defense. Bentley scored again in the third. The shots on goal and faceoff totals were nearly even between the teams, and no power play goals were scored despite the seven that occurred during the game. The final score of 3-2 set the tone for the ensuing games.

On Tuesday, November 24, RPI played against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. This game started similarly to the previous. The Engineers once again scored three goals before their opponents were able to put one up. When UNH did manage to put a goal on the board, it was followed by two others—one a power play goal—by the same player, Andrew Poturalski. After his third goal a minute into the third period, the game remained tied at 3-3 until less than five minutes remained in the game. Freshman Alex Rodriguez scored the game winning goal assisted by senior Travis Fulton and junior Parker Reno.

Rodriguez also scored the first goal for RPI in the Shillelagh Tournament at the University of Notre Dame, assisted by Prapavessis. The game was played against the Western Michigan Broncos. The goal was scored nine minutes into the first period; the next goal wasn’t scored until the second period. It was a power play goal by junior Riley Bourbonnais. In this game as well, the Engineers managed a third goal before their opponents scored. Nanne scored RPI’s third goal seconds after Bourbonnais’ in the third minute of the second period. The play in the second period was rough, totaling six penalties including a major and game misconduct by the Engineers. 13 minutes into the second period, the Broncos managed to put an unassisted power play goal by freshman Cam Hackett.

Play slowed down in the third period. Hackett did see 40 percent of his shots in the third, but there were only two penalties compared to the six in the second. RPI put one more up, the goal scored by junior Jake Wood late in the third. The game ended with a final score of 4-1. The Engineers ended up putting fewer shots on net than the Broncos despite the final score.

The Harvard game in the tournament at Notre Dame was RPI’s first loss since the game against Michigan on Family Weekend. The Harvard goalie was stellar, making 31 saves throughout the game, but kudos to the Engineers for putting 14 shots on in the third period. Each team had five power plays and won 31 faceoffs. On the score sheet, the teams look very well-matched and it was an exciting game to watch.

The Engineers did not get much of a break for Thanksgiving, and still managed to play well over the weekend with stomachs full of turkey. Their next game is against Dartmouth College on Friday before they get another swing at Harvard in the Houston Field House on Saturday. Hopefully they get a good turnout and even the score.