The best thing about Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s stunning 4-3 overtime loss to Bentley on Saturday is that there wasn’t much time for the Engineers to dwell on the defeat.
Sure, the loss still stings. But there is one way to get over that — by beating Massachusetts.
The Engineers (0-3) will face their third Hockey East team of the season when they host the Minutemen (1-1) tonight at 7 at Houston Field House.
RPI is in the midst of playing five games in nine days. After tonight’s game, the Engineers will be playing in this weekend’s Governor’s Cup at the Times Union Center.
“We’re fortunate that we can get right back in there on Tuesday night, and not have to wait a week after the poor performance against Bentley,” said RPI coach Seth Appert, whose team has lost to Hockey East schools Vermont and New Hampshire in the young season.
It won’t be easy for the Engineers. They are facing a UMass team that beat nationally ranked North Dakota, 3-2, on Oct. 11 in the consolation game of the Icebreaker tournament.
RPI hasn’t started a season 0-4 since 1995-96, when it opened 0-5 under Dan Fridgen.
“There’s not much that needs to be said,” Appert said. “Obviously, the guys are pretty disappointed about our performance on Saturday. The big thing is, especially this early and with a young team and a young season, we don’t want to get all consumed with results. We need to be focused on the process of becoming a good team. That’s the message, and that’s what’s need to continue to stay strong.
“It’s not the loss that is so disappointing against Bentley. It’s how we played. The fact [is] we didn’t play with the same mental intensity as the night before [in a 1-0 loss at New Hampshire].”
RPI captain Matt Angers-Goulet recognized that fact after Saturday’s game.
“It’s disappointing,” Angers-
Goulet said. “Obviously, you never like to lose. It really doesn’t matter what team we’re playing against, we just have to play for 60 minutes. We have to work harder. It starts in practice.”
The Engineers did snap a scoreless streak of 137 minutes, 25 seconds, with their three goals against Bentley. But the power play continues to be a source of frustration, going 0-for-16 in the first three games.
Dating back to last season, the Engineers haven’t scored a power-play goal in their last 32 attempts. The last power-play goal was scored by Jonathan Ornelas against Clarkson on Feb. 23.
“We’re not a team that is maybe able to score five or six [goals] a night, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to score three a night,” Appert said. “You can score three a night by getting your power play better, and by playing hard, and winning puck battles and attacking the net with intensity.”
Appert reinstated senior forward Andrei Uryadov to the team Monday. He practiced for the first time, but it’s doubtful that he will be in the lineup tonight.
Uryadov was suspended by Appert for “team reasons.” Appert wouldn’t specify what those reasons were, but Uryadov didn’t endear himself to his coach and his teammates last season by taking three game misconducts and a
10-minute misconduct. The
10-minute misconduct occurred in the second game of RPI’s playoff series with Yale.
Uryadov led RPI with 89 penalty minutes last season. He was the team’s third-leading scorer with seven goals and 12 assists.