Already dealing with several players out with injuries, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey team was dealt a severe blow Friday.
Engineers coach Seth Appert suspended four players for violation of team rules. The players suspended are the team leaders, all seniors. Defenseman Curtis Leonard is the team captain. Defenseman Luke Curadi and forwards Mark McGowan and Matt Neal are the alternate captains.
The suspensions are indefinite, Appert said. He would not reveal the rules that were violated. The foursome missed the two-game weekend series against sixth-ranked Miami (Ohio).
“Indefinite means it’s open-ended,” Appert said Saturday afternoon. “If there’s a set number of games on it, then there would be a set number of games. There isn’t a set number of games on it, so it will be re-evaluated.”
Asked when that would be, Appert said, “When I decide to re-evaluate it.”
Appert was also asked if the team leaders are taking the punishment for something the team did. He said, “No.”
The players were unavailable for comment.
The Engineers are without forwards Mark Miller and Lou Nanne because of injuries. Forward Drew Melanson, the team’s leading scorer, returned to the lineup Tuesday against Harvard after battling mononucleosis. Goalie Jason Kasdorf also came back Tuesday after sitting out five games with a lower-body injury. RPI was without forward Viktor Liljegren for the Harvard game because of back issues.
RPI dressed 11 forwards, one less than normal, and six defenseman for both games this weekend.
“You put the lineup out that you have available,” Appert said. “We have guys out with injuries. We have suspensions. We’ve been playing short-handed for six to eight weeks, and we put ourselves in that position, so we’ll have to continue to do it. The guys that are eligible to play are going to have to step forward in key situations and key roles to give ourselves a chance to win.
Leonard, Curadi, McGowan and Neal were allowed to attend the games, Appert said. However, they are banned from practices and team meetings.
Miller has three goals and four assists in 19 games, Leonard has a goal and four assists in 20 games, McGowan has a goal in 20 games and Curadi has an assist in 16 games.
Appert said none of the players will lose their letters. Junior defenseman Chris Bradley is the acting team captain.
This is the second time this season that a Capital Region college hockey team had players suspended for violation of team rules. Union’s Nick Cruice, Matt Wilkins and Max Novak were penalized before the start of the season. Cruice and Wilkins got three-game suspensions, while Novak was out five games.
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Categories: College Sports