Things looked promising when Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute took a 1-0 lead less than 11 minutes into their game against 16th-ranked Quinnipiac, the highest-scoring team in ECAC Hockey.
But that was the only goal the Engineers scored in the first 59 minutes. Meanwhile, the Bobcats took a two-goal lead on a hat trick by sophomore third-line center Eric Lampe, and held on after a late charge by the Engineers to take a 3-2 victory Friday at Houston Field House.
In a ceremony during the second intermission, Rensselaer honored Frank Chiarelli as the fourth person inducted into RPI’s Ring of Honor, joining legendary coach Ned Harkness and former NHL players Adam Oates and Joe Juneau. A white banner bearing his red
No. 8 was unfurled next to Juneau’s at the west end of the field house to a standing ovation from the crowd of 2,906.
But 53 years after Chiarelli’s
final season in 1954-55, the Engineers (4-8-2 ECACH, 9-16-3 overall) are looking for more scoring.
That Quinnipiac (7-3-3, 15-7-3) can afford to place Lampe — who now has 10 goals this season — on its third line highlighted the difference between the two teams. Lampe is behind Ben Nelson (10 goals, 22 points) and Brandon Wong (seven goals, 26 points) on the Bobcats’ depth chart at center, and skates with junior winger David Marshall, who has 48 career goals.
“Their stick skill, and their size and strength and depth were impressive tonight,” RPI coach Seth Appert said. “I thought we did a good job of containing mostly their first two lines, but that’s why they’re a premier team in the country, [because] they have guys like Marshall and Lampe on their third line.
“There’s no question we have three lines that can score,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. “I hate to call the Lampe line our third line because I really don’t think of it that way. I think we’ve got three lines that are top two lines, and it depends on who’s playing well one night.”
Quinnipiac is averaging 3.12 goals per game, and entered the game tied for third place in the ECACH. RPI averages 2.25, and entered the game tied for ninth. But even more maddening than the Engineers’ low-scoring output was that RPI shut out the nation’s 21st-ranked power play team in six chances, though Appert felt that was more a matter of survival than anything else.
“We were OK,” Appert said. “I thought we hung on the penalty kill more than we executed well. . . . I don’t think we cleared the puck as well as we needed to on the kill. But, at the same time, our crisis management was very good. And when we were tired and scrambling on the penalty kill, we did a good job of keeping more of their stuff to the perimeter.”
“We were aware of their skill level coming in,” RPI center Jake Morissette said. “We knew we had to limit our turnovers, and be really smart with the puck. But when we gave them chances, they were able to capitalize.”
With RPI leading, Mathias Lange allowed Lampe’s first two goals within a span of 3:30 in the second period that allowed Quinnipiac to take the lead. Lampe tied it 1-1 eight seconds after RPI killed Quinnipiac’s fourth power play at 6:09.
The Bobcats took a 3-1 lead when Lampe scored on his own rebound after crashing the net at 15:01 of the third period.
Quinnipiac 0 2 1 — 3
RPI 1 0 1 — 2
First Period — 1, RPI, Lord 6 (Polacek, Ornelas), 10:48 (pp). Penalties — B. Nelson, Qui (tripping), 5:12; Contini, RPI (holding), 7:43; B. Nelson, Qui (holding), 10:42; Lord, RPI (boarding), 12:49; Vassel, RPI (interference), 14:41; M. Nelson, Qui (hooking), 16:46; Lord, RPI (hitting after whistle), 20:00; Leitch, Qui (hitting after whistle), 20:00; M. Nelson, Qui (hitting after whistle), 20:00.
Second Period — 2, Quinnipiac, Lampe 8 (Henningson), 6:09. 3, Quinnipiac, Lampe 9 (Atkinson), 9:39. Penalties — Klerer, RPI (elbowing), 4:01; Merth, RPI (interference), 16:24; Lampe, Qui (hitting after whistle), 20:00; Marshall, Qui (hitting after whistle), 20:00; Merth, RPI (hitting after whistle), 20:00; Contini, RPI (hitting after whistle), 20:00.
Third Period — 4, Quinnipiac, Lampe 10 (Henningson, Marshall), 15:01. 5, RPI, Brutlag 3 (Polacek, Merth), 19:01. Penalties — Travis, Qui (hooking), 3:52; Foss, RPI (interference), 8:09; Quinnipiac bench, served by Marshall (too many men), 12:40.
Shots on Goal — Quinnipiac 8-15-6 — 29. RPI 6-9-8 — 23.
Power-play opportunities — Quinnipiac 0 of 6; RPI 1 of 6.
Goalies — Quinnipiac, Fisher 8-4-2 (23 shots-21 saves). RPI, Lange 4-10-2 (29-26).
A — 2,906. T — 2:30.
Referee — Jack Millea. Assistant referees — Paul Simeon, Andy Petrus.
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