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RPI rolls through Clarkson

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POTSDAM — Right from the start the Rensselaer men’s team took control of Saturday’s ECAC Hockey game at Cheel Arena.

The Engineers kept Clarkson from taking its first shot for over 10 minutes and went on to produce a 6-2 win before 2,444 fans.

RPI (12-11-5 overall, 7-6-3 conference) scored three goals in the first period and owned a 6-0 lead before the game was even half over, ending the Golden Knights’ two-game run.

“We just weren’t ready to play,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “That’s obviously on me. It was the same kind of morale we had after a victory against Harvard where we weren’t ready to play against Dartmouth. We talked about it today. We tried to attack it face on. We have to have more maturity to handle a victory like that, put it in the rearview mirror and have the compete-level necessary to win.

“There’s a lot of history and tradition behind that jersey and we have to have a compete-level at home that people require.”

Even though RPI had kept Clarkson without a shot until Will Frederick put one off the leg pad of goalie James Kasdorf at 10:26, the Engineers still had not scored themselves.

But RPI produced a spurt in the first period where it scored three goals in 4 minutes, 17 seconds. Bo Dolan started the run with a goal that banged off both goalposts and went in at 12:32. Ryan Haggerty scored on a breakaway at 14:54 and Matt Neal scored the final goal of the period at 16:49.

“I thought we had good purpose to what we wanted to do and a good will to not be cute in the neutral zone,” RPI coach Seth Appert said. “But I also think we were fortunate. I don’t think it was as lopsided as the score. Some of our shots found their way to the back of the net for whatever reason, through traffic or screens and some of there’s didn’t. In the first 25 minutes, that’s a big difference.”

While RPI enjoyed an impressive first period, the start of the second period is when the Engineers really put Clarkson away.

Clarkson’s Ben Sexton received a roughing penalty with two seconds left in the first period and RPI capitalized 42 seconds into the second period with a goal from Jacob Laliberte to make it 4-0. Haggerty scored his second goal of the game at 2:10 to extend the lead to 5-0 and Casey Jones pulled goalie Greg Lewis and inserted senior Dan Rosen.

“Probably the best part about it was the second period we have a power play to start, and if they kill that they get momentum and all of a sudden if they get a goal it’s 3-1 in their building,” Appert said. “I thought our power play did a really good job of coming out with urgency and starting that period off the right way.”

RPI’s final goal came from Nick Bailen at 9:08 of the second period and one of the assists was credited to Mark Miller, a Massena native who moved out of the area after his freshman year.

“It felt great, I dreamt about it growing up,” Miller said. “I played at Cheel and I played at Appleton my whole life. I used to dream about playing here. Coming back was really exciting. A lot of memories coming back and it’s just great to come back.”

Clarkson (7-14-7, 6-7-3) scored both of its goals in the third period.

Junior Allan McPherson scored first for the Golden Knights at 8:06, with assists going to Will Frederick and Ben Sexton. It was the fourth straight game with a goal for McPherson.

James Howden added a second goal just 62 seconds later with T.J. Moor assisting.

“It was pretty unacceptable for us at home,” Clarkson senior Adam Pawlick said about the game. “We’ve got to come out flying. We knew they were going to come out hard. There’s no real excuse there. We gave them 40 minutes ahead of us and that’s not what you do here. It’s 6-0 and they are building on their lead, that’s not what you want to see in your own building.”

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