Rensselaer

Rensselaer Opens at Ohio State

Engineers face Buckeyes on Friday (7pm) and Saturday (4pm)
Engineers face Buckeyes on Friday (7pm) and Saturday (4pm)

START ME UP
Rensselaer travels to Ohio State for a two-game, non-conference series this weekend ... Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm on Friday night and 4pm on Saturday at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.

ENGINEERS EDGED IN EXHIBITION
Saint Mary's scored the eventual game-winner early in the second period and held on for a 2-1 victory over Rensselaer on September 30 at the Houston Field House ... Calder Brooks netted the game's first goal at 8:44 of the first period, before RPI senior Viktor Liljegrenequalized 11 seconds into the second ... Jake Coughler put the Huskies up for good at 3:25 of the frame, as the visitors were able to ride goaltender Eric Brassard to the win ... He finished with 35 saves, while Engineers Chase Perry (12 stops) and Linden Marshall (15) split time in goal.

TOP RETURNERS
Rensselaer brings back six of its top seven point-getters from a year ago, including Evan Tironese, who notched seven goals and a team-high 21 assists for 28 points ... Jacob Hayhurst had seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points, while Viktor Liljegren added 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points.

GOALTENDERS
Chase Perry, who played 70.6% of RPI's minutes between the pipes last year, is back for 2017-18, along with freshman Linden Marshall and sophomore Kyle St. Denis, who joined the program in January ... Perry went 6-20-1 with a 3.35 goals against average and a .906 save percentage, registering one shutout.

ROSTER MAKEUP
Of the 27 players on the 2017-18 roster, there are three seniors, five juniors, 10 sophomore and nine freshmen ... Of the 24 skaters, 16 are forwards and eight are defensemen, with three goaltenders.

ALL-TIME VS. OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes own a 2-0-3 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to December 27, 1973, in Troy ... The two teams tied, 5-5, on that day as well as the following two meetings (Dec. 30, 1977 & Nov. 25, 2006), before last year's series sweep by the Buckeyes at the Houston Field House.

BUCKEYES SWEEP IN 2016-17
Ohio State took both games of a November series at the Houston Field House last season, winning by scores of 4-0 and 3-2 ... Matt Tomkins made 28 saves and Nick Schilkey scored twice in the opener, before Tanner Laczynski (1 goal, 1 assist) paced the visitors in the finale ... Riley Bourbonnais (1 goal, 1 assist) led RPI offensively, while Chase Perry turned away 37 in the second game.

NEW REGIME
The Engineers will begin a season with a new head coach for the first time since 2006-07, as Dave Smith takes over after spending the last 12 years in the same position at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. ... Smith led the Golden Griffins to a 21-11-7 overall record last year, including an 18-4-6 mark in Atlantic Hockey play.

INCOMING CLASS
Rensselaer welcomes nine players in the Class of 2021, including seven forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender ... Five are from the United States, three are from Canada and one is from Sweden.

CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED
RPI's three seniors will all be wearing letters this season as head coach Dave Smithannounced that Jared WilsonViktor Liljegren and Mike Prapavessis will be captains for the 2017-18 season ... A defenseman and veteran of 114 games, Wilson has 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 career points, entering this season ... Liljegren, a winger, has accumulated 22 goals and 23 assists for 45 points in 117 games, while Prapavessis, a blueliner, has played in 117 contests, collecting seven goals and 36 assists for 43 points.

BRIGHT SPOT
The Engineers finished 2016-17 with the nation's ninth-best power play, at 21.3% ... RPI went 36 for 169 on the man advantage, including 17 for 63 (27.0%) from January 1 onward.

IN ECAC HOCKEY PLAY
Chase Perry shined in conference play last year, posting a 5-6-0 record, with a 2.39 goals against average and a .933 save percentage, which was good for third among ECAC Hockey goalies.

GOALS RETURNING
The Engineers bring back 61.4% (51 of 83) of their goal-scoring from last season, including 11 from Jared Wilson and 10 from Viktor Liljegren ... Evan Tironese (7 goals), Jacob Hayhurst (7 goals) and Brady Wiffen (4 goals) are also back for 2017-18.

BLUE LINE SCORING
Rensselaer returns 55 of 62 points from last year's defensive core, including 16 of 17 goals ... Jared Wilson (11 goals), Mike Prapavessis (14 assists) and Will Reilly (13 assists) led the way for RPI's blueliners.

ECAC HOCKEY LEADERS
Jared Wilson led all ECAC Hockey defensemen in goals with 11 ... He also led all league blueliners in power play goals (6), game-winning goals (4) shooting percentage (13.9%) and penalties (33) ... Will Reilly (2 goals, 13 assists) was fifth among conference freshmen defensemen in scoring with 15 points, firing the most shots (80) and shots per game (2.29) among that same group.

SCOUTING OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes (1-1) split with No. 12 Wisconsin last weekend, winning 3-2 before losing by the same score line ... Mason Jobst (2 goals) and Freddy Gerard (2 assists) led the way for OSU in the opener, with Sean Romeo saving 18 between the pipes ... Gerard (1 goal, 1 assist) continued his success in game two, while Romeo stopped 22 ... Cameron Hughes (1 goal, 1 assist) paced Wisconsin to the win, with Kyle Hayton saving 16.

BUCKEYES STANDOUTS
Juniors Mason Jobst (2 goals, 2 assist) and Freddy Gerard (1 goal, 3 assists) are tied for the team lead with four points apiece ... John Wiitala (2 goals) is third with two points ... In goal, Sean Romeo (1-1) has a 2.52 goals against average and an .889 save percentage.