I’m writing this in between the Quinnipiac and Princeton games and trying to get a feel for what RPI’s early season record means. As you can probably guess, my conclusion is there’s not much we can conclude at this point.
The comeback win over Quinnipiac, featuring a Viktor Liljegren hat trick and 22 straight saves from Chase Perry in the second and third periods after allowing three goals in the first, was exciting and impressive to watch. Whether or not it was meaningful remains to be seen as the season goes on. Is it the start of a new level of play for the Engineers? Is Quinnipiac just a bad team this year? (Probably yes to the latter, at least comparatively speaking.)
One thing I am willing to commit to at this point, though, is that this edition of the Engineers, Coach Smith’s first, is showing a resiliency and an ability to adjust and improve as the game goes on that was sorely missing in recent years. That alone is reason for optimism in my mind!
A lot remains to be seen as the season unfolds. A what-a-beating loss to Clarkson may not be as bad as it looks if Clarkson turns out to be as good as they currently look. Losing both games to Union? Harder to excuse but, again, we don’t know what kind of team Union will be over the course of the ECAC season.
All in all, I’m cautiously optimistic that, at least, we haven’t seen RPI’s best hockey yet this year and there should be some more exciting games to watch ahead. And for the moment, that’s enough to keep me happy.