January 30, 2011 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Yale Swept Out of New York

Remain No. 1 in Pairwise After Losses to Union, RPI

by Jason Klump/CHN Writer

TROY, N.Y. — All season long, Union and RPI have been outstanding at home. That was put to the test this past weekend, however, with Yale and Brown coming to town.

Consider the test passed.

Both Union and RPI kept pace with each other, each sweeping the respective New England contingent. RPI capped things off with a 5-2 win over Yale in Troy on Saturday.

"Well we had to keep up with Union, I think that's first and foremost," RPI coach Seth Appert said.

The Dutchmen now trail Yale by only a point in the ECAC standings. And RPI isn't far behind, thanks in large part to its goaltender, Allen York, who stymied Yale's high-powered offense all night.

"That's why we have him," Appert said. "Allen does what he does, sometimes he's spectacular. Always solid and in control and he just sets the tone for us. He has a calming presence and he's such a hard worker. He was great in the middle 30 minutes of the game. I thought the front 10 and the back 20, we were real good in general and did a lot of great things in those 30 minutes. In those middle 30, they were scary good and Allen was outstanding."

Yale coach Keith Allain said his team played much better than Friday's 3-2 loss to Union.

"I'm extremely proud of the way my team played tonight. I thought their goalie stole the game and that we did everything possible we could," Allain said. "And if you look at the first two periods last night, I thought we played outstanding. Sometimes in hockey that happens. But we bottle this game and keep it up, and I will be very pleased with our hockey team.

"They were very effective on the power play. They got shots through and they went in. I don't know if they had 16 shots in the game, they probably had 12 of them on the power play."

Yale's blip this weekend, remarkably, didn't hurt it in the Pairwise. And fact is, both Union and RPI are current NCAA at-large qualifiers who are both very tough at home, and have had good non-league wins. But to keep that important top spot, the Bulldogs will have to get a bunch of wins again quickly.

RPI, meanwhile, shot to No. 6 in the Pairwise this weekend. Before the season, losing stud sophomores-to-be Brandon Pirri and Jerry D'Amigo were thought to be a monkey wrench in a potentially good season. But that has proven not to be the case.

"I think at the beginning of the year everyone said we wouldn't be able to win and we wouldn't score and all these things," Appert said. "But these guys have believed in each other from day one and they have earned the right to have this be a big game."

Appert is a huge promoter of the ECAC as a whole and mentioned often how Yale's No. 1 mark was "good for the league." Now his team is partially responsible for what will likely bring all the naysayers out of hiding.

"Well it's good for the league when they're beating other teams, not when they're beating us though," Appert said. "I love that they were No. 1. But I think which is great when you look at the Pairwise which is what really matters, I think we have seven or eight teams in the top 28 from our league right now. Our league is the best it's been since I have been here and although Yale will probably slip from No. 1, we saw tonight how good they are. They are an absolutely dynamic, dangerous team. To me, they're the best offensive team in the country and still the team to beat."

Said RPI captain John Kennedy, recently back from injury, "Everyone was saying they were going to be hungry not wanting to drop two in a row, but at the same time we were hungry. Even though we won the game last night, we're never satisfied. And we know being a top 10 team, we are going against No. 1. So even though we won and they lost, we were ready."

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