The streaks are over for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The Engineers ended a long power-play goal drought and snapped their five-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory over Robert Morris in the Governor’s Cup consolation game Saturday at the Times Union Center.
Chase Polacek scored the Engineers’ first power-play goal of the season, ending an 0-for-41 slump that dated back to last season. RPI’s last power-play goal was scored by Jonathan Ornelas against Clarkson Feb. 23.
“It was nice to get a power-play goal,” RPI coach Seth Appert said. “There was a little bit of relief there on the bench getting that.”
Polacek was standing in the left circle when he one-timed a Tyler Helfrich cross-ice pass past goalie Wes Russell at 12:17 of the second period, giving RPI a 2-0 lead. That goal proved to be the game-winner when the Colonials’ Trevor Lewis scored late in the second.
“It was definitely good to get that first power-play goal out of the way,” Polacek said. “I just got a little load off my shoulder.”
Goalie Allen York was outstanding, making 40 saves for the Engineers (1-4-1).
“I know that I’ve been quoted in saying that I think Mathias [Lange] is the best goalie in our league, and I think Allen is the best goalie in our league, and I’ll stand by that,” Appert said. “The work that they do to make themselves better every day is impressive. They have great habits in their training. Allen has come a long way.
“What showed tonight is that, sometimes, [York] got scrambling, sometimes, he got a little out of control. But what he does is he competes extremely hard, and that’s an underrated component of what a goaltender can bring to a team.”
York made 21 saves in the second, but was particularly strong late in the third, when the Colonials (1-3-1) put a flurry of shots on him.
Robert Morris 0 1 0 — 1
RPI 1 1 0 — 2
First Period — 1, RPI, Burgdoerfer 1 (York), 18:12. Penalties — Zarbo, RPI (holding), 1:31; Helfrich, RPI (roughing), 11:02; Velasquez, RM (holding), 16:02.
Second Period — 2, RPI, Polacek 1 (Helfrich, Cullen), 12:17 (pp). 3, Robert Morris, Lewis 2 (Longpre, Krug), 17:38. Penalties — Lewis, RM (hooking), 1:40; Zarbo, RPI (holding stick), 9:50; Velasquez, RM (tripping), 11:49.
Third Period — None. Penalties — Velasquez, RM (holding), 3:18; Cowan, RM (tripping), 6:30; Crichton, RM (holding), 12:06; Smith, RPI (holding), 15:01.
Shots on Goal — Robert Morris 11-22-8 — 41. RPI 13-16-3 — 32.
Power-play opportunities — Robert Morris 0 of 4; RPI 1 of 6.
Goalies — Robert Morris, Russell 1-3-1 (32 shots-30 saves). RPI, York 1-1-0 (41-40).
T — 2:03.
Referees — Frank Murphy, John Murphy. Linesmen — Andy Petrus, Stephen Shufelt.