Dutchmen blackout at the Field House
The latest matchup between Rensselaer and Union College was the annual “blackout” game at the Houston Field House. For the occasion, the Engineers wore special black jerseys adorned with four of the team’s core pillars: “integrity,” “family,” “discipline,” and “commitment.”
The start of the first period was uneventful. There was a lack of offensive opportunities for both teams, although the intensity was there. A boarding call against Justin Addamo (Gr) with 7:00 left to play in the period gave the Dutchmen the first power play of the game; a fantastic RPI penalty kill shut them down. The Dutchmen were given another power play when Jack Brackett ’24 was called for holding with 1:30 left to play in the period. They were shut down yet again and the period ended 0‒0, with RPI leading shots on goal 4‒1.
Union was red hot in the first four minutes of the second period, keeping the puck in the RPI defensive zone and tallying four shots on goal. At 12:57, a sloppy mistake from goaltender Linden Marshall (Gr) almost gave the Dutchmen the lead, but the Union forward’s shot was blocked by Engineer Zach Dubinsky ’23. With 11:21 left to play in the period, RPI’s Simon Kjellberg ’23 was called for interference to give Union their third power play. On the power play, Marshall made a fantastic glove save to preserve the goalless score. The Engineers returned to full strength and the Dutchmen were zero-for-three while having a man advantage.
The crowd at the Field House was in an uproar over the officiating. The referees were seemingly only calling penalties on the Engineers, including one instance where the referee on the opposite side of the ice, arguably with the worst view of the game, made the decision for a penalty.
Later on in the period, RPI forward Jakub Lacka '22 almost scored but was denied by Union goaltender Connor Murphy; the save caused Murphy to lose his stick. About 15 seconds later, Lacka retrieved the puck and saw Shane Sellar (Gr) gliding into the slot. Lacka dished it to Sellar, who went five-hole on the stickless Murphy to give the Engineers a 1‒0 lead with 8:13 to play in the period. Less than a minute later, the Engineers were given their first power play when Union captain Josh Kosack was given a minor for charging on a high hit. RPI came up empty-handed. The second period came to a close with RPI maintaining their 1‒0 lead and leading shots on goal 14‒8.
Union was ripping shots to begin the final frame. Despite blasting Marshall with shots, none of them found the back of the net. As the third period progressed, the Engineers began to heat up. Engineer Jack Agnew ’24 cannoned a shot from the right flank while Dubinsky was screening Murphy. The Union goalie was unable to control the rebound and Dubinsky backhanded it into the net to double the lead with 11:41 left to play.
The Engineers continued their offensive pressure, really testing Murphy in the cage. Union pulled Murphy out of the net to get a man advantage for the final minute. RPI captain Ture Linden ’22 ripped a shot from beyond the blue line high into an empty net, adding insult to injury.
Time expired with the Engineers taking the victory 3‒0. Including their preseason exhibition, RPI is three-for-three against Union this year. This victory extends the Engineers’ season record to 4‒2‒1 and their ECAC record to 2‒0‒0. The next and last meeting between these two teams this season will be the Mayor’s Cup on January 29.