No addition for RPI’s Ring of Honor

After four years of honoring its past, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute won’t have an inductee to th
PHOTOGRAPHER:

After four years of honoring its past, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute won’t have an inductee to the Hockey Ring of Honor this season.

Engineers coach Seth Appert made the announcement during his weekly press conference after practice Wednesday.

The first four honorees were forward Adam Oates in the 2004-05 season, forward Joe Juneau in the 2005-06 season, coach Ned Harkness in the 2006-07 season and forward Frank Chiarelli last season.

The renovation of Houston Field House is playing a role in not having an inductee this season.

“We’ve honored our two most prominent and two most recent alums with Juneau and Oates, and we honored our great and storied tradition with Chiarelli and coach Harkness,” Appert said. “Now, we wanted to take a step back this year, especially with the renov­ations coming that we aren’t totally completed with the plans yet . . . and take a year to think where we’re going to go with the Ring of Honor.”

Other issues Appert discussed were if the new renovations would block the banners in the west end of the field house, and whether or not to have an honoree every year.

“We’ll take a year off from it this year,” Appert said. “By next year, we’ll know what the renovation will look like from a design perspective, and will move forward with the Ring of Honor from there.”

ALUMNI GAME

RPI’s annual alumni game will take place at noon Saturday at Houston Field House.

Some of the former players coming back include Kevin Broad (2007 graduate), Kevin Croxton (2006), Nick Economakos (2005), J-F Gosselin (1999), C.J. Hanafin (2005), Garry Kearns (1958), Ivan Moore (1992), Vic Pereira (2005), Scott Prekaski (2000), Dan Riva (1999), Alain St. Hilaire (1999) and Red Bliss, a 1938 graduate.

COOK, LANGE FINALISTS

Union forward Matt Cook and RPI goalie Mathias Lange have been named finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, it was announced Wednesday.

The other eight finalists are Andrew Carroll (Minnesota Dul­uth), Erik Condra (Notre Dame), Chris Hahn (Maine), Trevor Hyatt (Alaska Fairbanks), Jeff Lerg (Michigan State), Jordan Pearce (Notre Dame), Mike Phillipich (Air Force) and Dean Strong (Vermont).

Voting is under way, and concludes March 26.

Votes from coaches and media will be coupled with fan balloting to determine the recipient of the award. Hockey fans around the country can vote online during this time at www.seniorclassaward.-com. Text voting also will be available during the voting period. To vote via text, fans must send the text code corresponding with the student-athlete of their choice to 839863. Cook’s code is HOC3, and Lange’s is HOC6.

The winner will be announced at April’s Frozen Four in Washington.

STILL MIFFED

Time hasn’t changed how Appert feels about Union forward Kelly Zajac’s overtime game-winning goal in last Saturday’s game at Messa Rink.

He has even seen a video of the goal posted on YouTube taken from the stands to the left of the net. The video shows Cook and RPI forward Chase Polacek colliding at the net, and Polacek crashing into goalie Allen York.

Referee Bryan Hicks was along the goal line on the right side, and called it a good goal.

“To me, it’s, at minimum, in the crease [violation],” Appert said. “If you pause the tape when Zajac’s shooting the puck, Cook and Polacek are both standing in the middle of the crease. Was it more Chase that hit Allen? Yeah. I still think Cook glanced him as well.”

Cook disagrees.

“All I know on that play is I was trying to drive hard to the net,” Cook said. “When I noticed I was coming up on the net, and you can see it on the tape, I kind of jump out of the way. At no point do I come in the crease, and I definitely do not touch their goalie.”

TV GAMES

Three ECACH games will be televised this weekend, and two of them will get national exposure.

Tonight’s Yale-Union game from Messa Rink will not only be on Time Warner Cable Sports channel 3, it will also be carried by the NHL Network (Time Warner Cable channel 675). Game time is 7:30.

Saturday’s Cornell-Harvard matchup from Bright Hockey Center is on CBS College Sports (Time Warner Cable channel 663) at 7.

Also on Saturday, RPI’s Big Red Freakout game against Yale is on TWC-3 at 7.

LOCAL UPDATE

Here’s a look at how college hockey players from the Capital Region did over the past week.

u Quinnipiac junior forward Mike Atkinson (Kinderhook) had an assist in the Bobcats’ 2-1 overtime loss to Cornell last Friday.

u New Hampshire freshman forward Mike Borisenok (Wat­ervliet) picked up an assist in the Wildcats’ 4-1 victory over Maine last Friday.

u St. Lawrence junior forward Tara Akstull (Clifton Park) scored twice in the Saints’ 5-1 victory over Union last Saturday.

WILD ROAD TRIP

Princeton had an interesting time in Central New York last weekend.

First, the Tigers took a 3-2 overtime victory at Colgate. After the game, the team stayed in Hamilton, where Colgate is located, instead of making the hour-long trip to Ithaca, where they would face Cornell the next night. There are more hotels to choose from in Ithaca than the two located in Hamilton.

Shortly after leaving Hamilton on Saturday, the team bus broke down, and the Tigers had to wait two hours before a replacement bus arrived. Their game against the Big Red, originally set to start at 7 p.m., didn’t get under way until 8:15.

“Any time you hear the bus kind of sputter and then everything shuts off and you’re just coasting down a hill, it’s kind of an uneasy feeling,” Tigers defenseman Taylor Fedun told the Ithaca Journal. “But all the guys on the bus really took it in stride, and we knew that we were going to get there, eventually.”

The Tigers, who lost to the Big Red, 1-0, at Hobey Baker Rink Nov. 7, were on the verge of another 1-0 loss to them when Dan Bartlett tied it with 36 seconds left in regulation. The game appeared headed for overtime.

But 18 seconds later, Taylor Fedun scored on a two-on-one rush to give the Tigers a stunning win.

“It’s not like we did anything spec­ial, it just happened to work,” Tigers coach Guy Gadowsky said. “But I give our guys a lot of credit. They had a long day. But, boy, you don’t see endings like that every day.”

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