Despite the fracas at the end of Saturday’s Mayor’s Cup game between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union, the two teams will meet again in the game next season.
Times Union Center general manager Bob Belber said the game will take place Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
“There’s a lot of excitement about getting to the next year, and having them get back together again,” Belber said. “I’m sure you won’t see [a postgame brawl] like this for many, many years, if ever again. This was just one of those things where it was a passionate game. It was a hard-fought game between the two teams. The coaches would probably be the first to say that they would not like to have this kind of thing happen in the future.”
The Engineers won the game, 2-1, But what drew the attention of everyone locally and nationally was the postgame fracas that started when Union’s Mat Bodie cross-checked RPI’s Brock Higgs in the head at the final buzzer.
The main event was between Union coach Rick Bennett and RPI coach Seth Appert. Bennett went after Appert, and appeared to throw a punch that connected with RPI center Milos Bubela as he was pushing Appert away. Bennett was suspended two games by Union, without pay, on Sunday. After initially saying that he was fine with how Union handled it, ECAC Hockey commissioner Steve Hagwell suspended Bennett two more games and handed Appert a one-game suspension.
Despite the negative attention the Mayor’s Cup received, the schools’ athletic directors want the game to continue.
“It’s been a great event,” Union athletic director Jim McLaughlin said. “You saw the attendance in the past years. It’s something that we like to see continue. We look forward to our participation again and show the community how to properly represent.”
RPI athletic director Jim Knowlton concurred.
“I’m excited about it,” Knowlton said. “It was an absolutely superb hockey game, and I’m not saying that because we won. I’m saying that it was a great, hard-fought hockey game that the student-athletes on both teams played well. For us, we’re excited about it. The mayors were excited about it. I think we’ll be back at it next year.”
With the coverage dominated by the brawl, the attendance for the second annual Mayor’s Cup got lost in the hullabaloo. The game drew 7,100 fans, which is impressive, especially when you consider a persistent snow fell most of last Saturday, and the roads weren’t in great shape.
Last year’s game attracted 5,989.
“We’re very pleased,” Belber said about the attendance increase. “It was a huge crowd. Based on everything that took place, and you hate to have a game end like that, but it’s going to fuel the rivalry even more. I expect it’s probably going to grow from 7,100 next year when we bring it back.”
Belber had a walk-up sale of 1,500 tickets.
“It was nice to see it,” Belber said. “Unfortunately, there’s a lot of talk about what took place at the end of the game. I can’t say enough of about how proud I am of my employees at the TU Center in the job in they did in planning this out.”
RPI junior Scott Diebold was named ECAC Hockey goalie of the week Tuesday.
Diebold helped the Engineers to two wins over the weekend. He made 25 saves in last Friday’s 4-2 victory over Dartmouth. In Saturday’s upset of third-ranked Union in the Mayor’s Cup game, Diebold stopped 28 shots.
Bob Fox, who was the goalie for RPI’s 1954 NCAA hockey championship team, passed away last Saturday. He was 79.
Fox, a native of Verdun, Quebec, posted an 18-5-0 record with a 3.14 goals-against average, an .892 save percentage and six shutouts.
In RPI’s 5-4 overtime win over Minnesota in the NCAA title game, Fox made 36 saves. He was named to the NCAA tournament team.
Ten years ago, Fox was on hand when RPI honored the team on the 50th anniversary of winning the school’s first NCAA title.
“Every time I watch an NCAA final event, whether it’s basketball or hockey, I think of [winning the title] all the time,” Fox said.
Fox was inducted into the RPI Athletics Hall of Fame in 1978.
He graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He earned a masters degree from the University of Colorado in 1957 and a PhD from Stanford University in 1961. Fox went on to be a professor in Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering.
Former St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh was named the winner of the American Hockey Coaches Association’s John MacInnes Award.
The award recognizes people who have shown a great concern for amateur hockey and youth programs.
Marsh was the Saints’ head coach for 26 years. He was 468-399-72, and had 12 20-plus win seasons. He won five ECACH titles (1988, 1989, 1992, 2000 and 2001) and guided the Saints to two NCAA Frozen Fours (1988 and 2000). He won four Tim Taylor Awards as ECACH coach of the year (1989, 1996, 1999 and 2007), and was the AHCA’s Spencer Penrose Award winner in 1989 and 2000.
Here’s a look at how college hockey players from the Capital Region did over the past week.
Union junior goalie Colin Stevens (Niskayuna) made 23 saves in last Friday’s 4-3 win over Harvard. He had 18 saves in the RPI game.
Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Courtney Burke (Albany) had an assist in the Badgers’ 3-1 win over Minnesota Duluth last Saturday.