Denied a chance to end his scoring drought midway through the second period, Andrei Uryadov found a way to do it in much more dramatic fashion.
A junior left wing, Uryadov whipped in a backhander 5:37 into the third period for the equalizer as RPI rallied from a four-goal deficit to tie Dartmouth, 4-4, Friday night at Houston Field House.
Uryadov’s first goal since Dec. 1 salvaged a point for the Engineers, who ended a seven-game home losing streak and improved to 4-9-3 in ECAC play, 9-17-4 overall.
Last in the conference, the Big Green remained winless in their last five and slipped to 3-10-2, 8-11-3.
“I expect a lot from Andrei,” RPI head coach Seth Appert said. “I know what he has inside of him, and it’s my job to try and get it out. I think what we saw tonight was a real spirited, intense, strong effort from Andrei. I was real pleased to see that and happy he was rewarded with the tying goal.”
After scoring in 11 of RPI’s first 16 games this season, including a six-game point streak, Uryadov went 14 games without a goal and had one points in 13, sitting three times as a healthy scratch.
“I never really thought about it,” he said. “We were in a slump as a team, and we still have to get out of it. We have to win some games. If me scoring means we win, I like that. If me not scoring means we win, that’s OK with me, too.”
On the tying goal, Uryadov controlled the puck in the right corner, shaking off a Dartmouth defender before coming around the net and finding room to lift a shot past the blocker of Big Green goalie Joe Grossman.
“I was pretty wide open. I was amazed how open I was,” Uryadov said. “The puck stood up on me a little bit, so I got it off the ice a little higher.”
Earlier in the game, Grossman stacked his pads to rob Uryadov on an open look to the left of the net with Dartmouth holding a 4-2 lead.
“It was a great save by him. I thought I had him beat,” Uryadov said. “I beat the defenseman and took it wide around him, but he made a great play and stopped me. But, that’s the motto of our team right now: Don’t get denied. You have to keep battling and playing hard and good things will happen. It would have been nice if we got back and won the game, but we won’t stop here.”
The all-freshman line of Scott Halpern, Tyler Helfrich and Chase Polacek had a goal and assist apiece for RPI, which began its comeback 7:54 into the second period, 49 seconds after Dartmouth made it a 4-0 game on freshman Dan Markowitz’s fluke goal.
Standing to the right of the crease, Halpern knocked in a centering pass for his third goal of the season.
Polacek tipped in a Bryan Brutlag slap shot 30 seconds later to make it 4-2, then set up Helfrich for a one-timer on a two-on-one rush at 11:40 to cut the deficit to one goal.
Mathias Lange, who replaced starter Jordan Alford after Dartmouth’s third goal, robbed Josh Gillam on a breakaway with 5:30 left in the second to keep RPI within 4-3.
Dartmouth 1 3 0 0 — 4
RPI 0 3 1 0 — 4
First period — 1, Dartmouth, Gillam 5 (Boldt), 11:10 (pp). Penalties — Brutlag, RPI (holding), 10:52; Grecu, Dar (elbowing), 11:31; Merth, RPI (interference), 17:39.
Second period — 2, Dartmouth, Pritchard 6 (Gibson, Grecu), 1:41. 3, Dartmouth, Reeds 6 (Grecu, Stephens), 4:17 (pp). 4, Dartmouth, Markowitz 1, 7:05. 5, RPI, Halpern 3 (Angers-Goulet), 7:54. 6, RPI, Polacek 7 (Brutlag, Helfrich), 8:24. 7, RPI, Helfrich 5 (Polacek, Halpern), 11:40. Penalties — Angers-Goulet, RPI (interference), 3:39; Contini, RPI (high-sticking), 12:03; Grossman, Dar (roughing, served by Gillam), 17:52.
Third period — 8, RPI, Uryadov 7, 5:37. Penalties — Foss, RPI (tripping), 6:04; Burgdoerfer, RPI (tripping), 14:13.
Overtime — None. Penalties — None.
Shots on goal — Dartmouth 9-13-6-0 — 28. RPI 13-12-5-3 — 33.
Goalies — Dartmouth, Grossman 0-0-2 (33 shots-29 saves). RPI, Alford (12-9), Lange 4-10-3 (4:17 second, 16-15).
Power-play opportunities — Dartmouth 2 of 6. RPI 0 of 2.
A — 2,593. T — 2:16.