02.18.2016 - RPI Concludes Regular Season on Winning Note

TROY, NY – Rensselaer’s last weekend of the regular season consisted of three consecutive games at the Houston Field House. With two Super East Collegiate Hockey League (SECHL) games remaining, and an SECHL playoff berth yet to be secured, the Engineers needed to perform in order to guarantee a game the following weekend at Floyd Hall Arena.

The Engineers welcomed the Wildcats of the University of New Hampshire to Troy on Saturday night. The Wildcats were ranked 1st in the ACHA Northeast entering Saturday’s contest, and had handed RPI a tough 9 – 1 loss earlier in the season. With more players in the lineup than their previous meeting in November, Rensselaer looked to put the pressure on UNH, and they did just that. The Engineers led the Wildcats from 16:54 remaining in the first period until 11:57 remaining in the third. Unfortunately, RPI could not hang on for the win, losing by a score of 4 – 3. More details on this game can be found here.

The following night, the Montclair State University Red Hawks arrived at the Houston Field House to take the ice opposite the Engineers. In this instance, Rensselaer found themselves trailing by a goal just eight minutes into the game. However, five unanswered tallies from RPI secured this contest, as well as fifth place in the SECHL. A more in-depth look at this 5 – 1 victory can be found here.

RPI faced off against their first NCAA opponent in club history this past Monday. The Post University Eagles, a Division II NCAA program, took an early lead, but the Engineers were eventually able to even the score at 3 towards the end of the second period. Two consecutive penalties on RPI led to a 5 – 3 Eagles’ lead with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation. Two goals from sophomore defenseman Brett Rooney (2G, 1A) knotted the score at five, and Rooney’s defensive partner, senior Josh Huett (1G, 3A), found space above the Post netminder’s right shoulder from the left face-off circle to take a 6 – 5 lead over the Eagles. RPI maintained pressure to hold on for a 6 – 5 win to end the weekend.

Despite playing their most challenging schedule in club history, the Engineers earned 15 regular season wins; only the 2012 – 2013 season surpassed this amount (16). With a record of 15 – 12 – 1, Rennselaer secured fifth place in the SECHL as well as eighth place in all of the ACHA Division II Northeast region. This success allowed RPI to punch a ticket to both the SECHL playoffs, and the ACHA regional playoffs in the following weeks.

RPI travels Friday (2/19) to Floyd Hall Arena in Little Falls, NJ, to make their first appearance in the SECHL playoffs. They are slotted to play Central Connecticut State University. In their two meetings this year, the Engineers fell to the Blue Devils by scores of 3 – 1 and 6 – 5. Rensselaer looks to continue their current offensive momentum against CCSU. Notably, this is RPI’s first year in the Super East, a league within the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) that has produced the previous two national championship teams: NYU (2015) and UNH (2014). The puck drops between the Engineers and Blue Devils at 8:10PM.

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