RPI scores six unanswered goals in blowout win over Princeton

RPI scores six unanswered goals in blowout win over Princeton

TROY, N.Y. – Six different players scored for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's hockey team on its way to defeating Princeton University, 6-2, on Friday night at the Houston Field House. With the win, the Engineers improve to 9-18-3 overall (6-9-2 ECAC Hockey), while the Tigers drop to 7-15-2 (5-11-1 ECAC Hockey).

After falling behind 2-0 early in the second period, RPI began its comeback efforts at 11:24 of the frame, when junior Jake Marrello (Slingerlands, NY/PAL Jr. Islanders) tucked home the rebound of a shot by sophomore Donovan Ott (Lebanon, PA/Johnstown Tomahawks) for his fourth goal of the year.

Senior Brady Wiffen (St. Mary's, ON/Trenton Golden Hawks) drew the hosts even at 2-2, stuffing in a rebound of his own at 16:02 of the second. Freshman Jake Johnson (Bloomington, MN/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) kept the play alive at the blue line for classmate Nick Bowman (Shelby, MI/Coulee Region Chill), who fired a shot on goal. Princeton senior goaltender Austin Shaw (Denver, CO/Witchita Falls Wildcats) made the initial stop, but Wiffen corralled the carom and buried his seventh goal of the season.

RPI took the lead for good at 2:23 of the third, when junior Chase Zieky (Avon, CT/Salmon Arm Silverbacks) finished off a centering feed from the right side by classmate Todd Burgess (Phoenix, AZ/Fairbanks Ice Dogs). Zieky collected the backhand pass in the middle of the slot and wired a shot into the top right corner of the net for his sixth goal of the year.

Freshman Jakub Lacka (Bratislava, Slovakia/Central Illinois Flying Aces) pushed the hosts' advantage to 4-2 at 6:05 of the frame, firing home his fourth goal of the season from right between the circles. Taking a feed up the left wing boards from junior TJ Samec (St. Paul, MN/Brookings Blizzard), Lacka moved his way into a high percentage scoring area, thanks to classmate Tommy Lee (Calgary, AB/Chilliwack Chiefs) creating space by driving the net.

Burgess made it a 5-2 game at 12:09, finishing off a 3-on-2 rush that began in the defensive zone. Zieky found senior Meirs Moore (Duluth, MN/Victoria Grizzlies) in the neutral zone, who delivered a return pass to Zieky on the right wing. Zieky then picked out Burgess, who was cutting the middle of the ice, for the snap shot inside the left post.

A power play goal by Bowman with 1:58 remaining in the third period capped the scoring. Receiving a pass at the bottom of the left circle from classmate Kyle Hallbauer (Howell, NJ/Lone Star Brahmas), Bowman ripped home his second goal of the year from a tight angle.

Princeton netted the only goal of the first period, despite an 18-6 edge in shots for the homestanding Engineers. Liam Grande (Whitby, ON/Cobourg Cougars) buried a partial breakaway at 8:51 of the period, thanks to a cross-ice feed from sophomore Jake Paganelli (Verona, NJ/Fargo Force).

The Tigers then took a 2-0 lead at 2:53 of the second on a tip-in tally by senior Alex Riche (Oakville, ON/Cobourg Cougars). Senior Ryan Kuffner (Ottawa, ON/Gloucester Rangers) took the point shot that was steered home by Riche from just outside the crease.

Freshman goaltender Owen Savory (Cambridge, ON/St. Catharines Falcons) made 24 saves to improve to 4-9-3, while Shaw (2-1-1) had 36 stops at the other end of the ice. The 42 shots were a season-high for the Engineers, who also matched a season-best for goals, with 11 different skaters registering at least one point.

RPI is back on the ice tomorrow night, when it hosts sixth-ranked Quinnipiac University (7pm). Princeton travel to Schenectady to take on 20th-ranked Union College tomorrow (7pm).