Engineers Whip Icemen, 9-1, Capitalizing on Speed, Defense
TROY, N.Y.--The RPI Hockey team, aptly named the Engineers, combined flashy play from a bunch of large, powerful forwards, and fine defense to systematically tear apart Harvard before 3617 fans at Houston Fieldhouse last night, 9-1.
Riddling the Crimson defense with accurate passing and superb skating, RPI, now 3-0 in the ECAC, made Harvard's lone goal--a third-period tally by Mike Watson--significant only to prevent the Crimson's first shutout since 1977.
RPI controlled first period play, peppering fifteen shots at Crimson goaltender Wade Lau, and scoring twice, but put the game away in the second period.
The Engineers entered the stanza with a two-goal lead, but played uninspired hockey for the period's ten minutes. A one-man effort by Dave Stoyanovich at 9:52 opened the flood gates, and RPI proceeded to add three more markers in as many minutes for a six goal lead.
At 12:21, Bob DeBraase converted a three-on-one breakaway into the Engineers' fourth score, and he picked up his second and the team's fifth just over a minute later.
The Crimson regained some momentum with a pair of shots in RPI's netminder Gerry Fink, but Larry Landon and Michael Deschenes worked a two-on-one to perfection at 16:19, sending Harvard to the dressing room down 6-0.
The Engineers added three more goals in the final stanza and a string of Crimson penalties killed wheatever comeback hopes that squad might have had. RPI's crisp passing and continual movement dominated the fast-paced first period and gave the Engineers a quick 2-0 lead.
After DeBraase took a face-off to Lau's right, Pierre Thibault flipped a shot on net and Mike Tickett poked home the rebound for a short-handed tally at 5:17. The Engineers scored again ten minutes later when DeBraase fed Paul Murphy.
Despite solid checking by the Crimson. RPI was able to put together numerous scoring chances and only sharp play by Lau (15 saves in the period) held the margin at two.
Harvard's ECAC and overall ledger dropped back to the 500 marks and the loss neutralizes Tuesday's big win over Boston University.
"We were kind of flat after the win against BU," Crimson forward Greg Olsen said after the game. "If we could have had a couple of breaks at the beginning it might have been different, but I guarantee we'll be back tomorrow." The Crimson travels to Colgate tonight to face the Red Raiders.
THE NOTEBOOK: Harvard's freshman forward Jay North played his finest game for the Crimson, just missing on several scoring oppotunities...RPI's Jacques de St.Phalle was a linemate of Watson at Deerfield.