I know it’s been over a week since the Festivus Face-Off game at Lake Placid, and longer than that since I’ve posted anything. Sorry – holiday preparations intervened. And, sadly, it was another of those games that leaves me scratching my head over what to write anyway.
It started out well – the RPI fans were loud and into it, the teams were playing pretty evenly, and RPI even drew first blood midway through the first period. It brought back memories of some great RPI games in Lake Placid a few years ago.
Early in the second period the score was 2-1 Union, but RPI came back to tie it on Mark McGowan’s first career goal – and a pretty one it was! – but that was about the last bright moment for RPI. Several penalties in quick succession killed their momentum and the tide began to turn Union’s way.
Many of the people I talked to felt the referees did not do RPI any favors in that game, in fact quite the opposite. My family and I did think there were a couple of questionable calls – Mike Bergin’s cross-check and Alex Angers-Goulet’s boarding calll stood out to us – but we also heard fans booing calls that we were certain were justified. And the sad fact is that only one of Union’s five goals was scored on the power play, so there’s no direct connection to be made between the number of penalties called on RPI and the loss. There’s always the more nebulous question of momentum, confidence, and players tired from penalty-killing, of course. But in a recent Troy Record article, Coach Appert himself said that the team is not playing the way they need to play to win, and that the defense in particular came up short in Lake Placid.
The semester break is here. The boys have gone home for a little R&R and when they get back, they’ll have a couple of solid weeks without classes to concentrate on hockey. They say they are ready to turn their season around, and with two non-conference games on the schedule before league play resumes, this is the time to work hard and get any problems straightened out. I’m looking forward to seeing the much-improved 2012 Engineers!
Happy Holidays everyone, and let’s go, Red!