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RPI Engineers – Men’s Hockey Heads to No. 8 Notre Dame For Two This Weekend

WAGONS WEST 
Rensselaer hits the road for a pair of non-league games at eighth-ranked Notre Dame this weekend, with puck drop scheduled 7pm on both Friday and Saturday nights.

RPI SPLITS WITH UMASS LOWELL

The Engineers earned a 2-1 victory on Friday afternoon in Lowell, before falling the River Hawks, 5-2, on Sunday at the Houston Field House … Freshman Jakub Lacka netted the game-winner in his return to action, with junior Will Reilly also tallying and picking up an assist … Owen Savory made 26 saves to earn his first collegiate win … In the return trip to Troy, the River Hawks scored four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to win in come-from-behind fashion … Juniors Jacob Hayhurst and Todd Burgess netted RPI’s goals on Sunday, with Reilly once again chipping in with an assist … Lacka earned his first collegiate assist on the games opening goal, while classmate Ottoville Leppanen had three helpers on the weekend.

RPI LEADERS

Junior Jacob Hayhurst (2 goal, 11 assists) has a team-best 13 points through 11 games this season … Classmate Will Reilly (2 goals, 4 assists) and freshman Ottoville Leppanen (2 goals, 4 assists) have six points apiece, while junior Patrick Polino (3 goals, 2 assists) has five points … Freshman Jakub Lacka (3 goals, 1 assist) is averaging a point per game and is tied with junior Todd Burgess (2 goals, 2 assists) with four points.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Sophomore Linden Marshall (3-6-0) has a 3.65 goals against average and a .895 save percentage as the starter nine games this season … Freshman Owen Savory made his collegiate debut in the season opener at UMass, stopping 8 of 9 shots in the third period … He then earned the win in his first collegiate start on Friday at UMass Lowell, saving 26 … For the season, Savory is 1-1-0, with a 2.38 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in four appearances.

ALL-TIME VS. NOTRE DAME

The Fighting Irish have a 6-4-0 lead in the all-time series, which dates back December 29, 1988 – a 6-0 Engineers victory at the Houston Field House … RPI went on to win the first three meetings, before Notre Dame took four straight from 2005 to 2011 … The two teams have split the four contests played in South Bend (2-2-0).

RECENTLY

Notre Dame is 3-1-0 in games played over the last decade, including two wins at the Houston Field House last season … RPI’s lone victory over that stretch came on October 10, 2014 – a 3-2 win at Compton Family Ice Center … Mark Miller scored the eventual game-winner 4:32 into the third period, while Jason Kasdorf made 31 saves for the win between the pipes.

2017-18 VS. THE FIGHTING IRISH

Then-4th-ranked Notre Dame swept a two-game series at the Houston Field House on November 17-18, 2017 … In game one, Jake Evans had a goal and an assist, while Andrew Oglevie chipped in with two assists … Todd Burgess scored RPI’s lone tally, with helpers going to Jacob Hayhurst and Mike Prapavessis … In the series finale, Cam Morrison scored 13 seconds into overtime to lift the Fighting Irish to a 1-0 victory … Linden Marshall, who started both games in net for the Engineers had 33 saves in the OT defeat.

SCOUTING NOTRE DAME

The eighth-ranked Fighting Irish come into the weekend riding a four-game winning streak, with Cal Burke (3 goals, 2 assists) and Alex Steeves (3 goals, 2 assists) leading the way with five points during that stretch … Overall, Notre Dame is paced offensively by Burke (8 goals, 7 assists) with 15 points and Bobby Nardella (5 goals, 9 assists) with 14 … Joe Wegwerth (7 goals, 4 assists) and Dylan Malmquist (3 goals, 8 assists) have 11 points apiece.

IRISH GOALTENDING

Junior Kale Morris is 6-4-1 as the starter in 11 of 13 games this season … He carries a 1.90 goals against average and a .935 save percentage into this weekend’s play … Sophomore Dylan St. Cyr is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 goals against average and a .942 save percentage … He is the son of Manon Rheaume, a former standout netminder with the Canadian women’s national team and the only female player to ever play in an NHL preseason contest, when she signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 … She also appeared in a preseason contest in 1993.

FIRST GOALS

Freshman Jakub Lacka netted his first collegiate goal just 15 minutes into his first game, scoring on the power play in the first period at UMass on October 12 … He added his second goal the following evening at the Houston Field House … Freshman Ottoville Leppanen and Ture Linden each potted their first collegiate goals against No. 11 Union on October 26 – a 5-3 victory at the Houston Field House.

FIRST POINTS

Rookie defenseman Kyle Hallbauer earned his first collegiate point – an assist – against the Minutemen on October 12 in Amherst … Classmates Brady Ferner and Jake Johnson each picked up their first collegiate assists against Union on October 27.

PENALTY KILL IMPROVEMENT

After going 3 for 7 in the season-opener at UMass, the Engineers have killed off 39 of 45 chances shorthanded, including 13 of 14 against the Union Dutchmen on October 26 and 27 … RPI’s 86.7% on the kill over that stretch is third in ECAC Hockey and 12th nationally.

HAYHURST’S HOT START

Junior Jacob Hayhurst registered at least one point in six of RPI’s first seven games, including three multi-point contests … After being kept off the scoresheet against Quinnipiac and Princeton, he picked back up with a goal and an assist in the two-game series with UMass Lowell.

HELPING HAND

Hayhurst’s 11 assists rank 12th in the nation … He is third among ECAC Hockey skaters, trailing Adam Fox (13 assists) and Brandon Fortunato (13) … Hayhurst’s 13 points are good for seventh in the conference.

POINT OF REFERENCE

Junior Jacob Hayhurst was the first RPI player to record a point in each of the team’s first five games since Matt Neal in the 2012-13 season … Neal collected three goals and six assists for nine points in five contests. 

TOP FACE-OFF MEN

The Engineers have won 48.4% of their faceoffs this season, led by junior Jacob Hayhurst at 52.3% … Senior Brady Wiffen is second at 50.2%, while freshman Ture Linden rounds out the top three at 47.0%.

MISCELLANEOUS LEADERS

Freshman Jakub Lacka leads the Engineers with three power play goals, while junior Patrick Polino has the club’s lone shorthanded tally … Lacka is scoring on 27.3% of his shots, which is tops on the team and fourth in ECAC Hockey … Junior blueliner Will Reilly and Polino are tied for the team lead with an even rating.

VS. RANKED TEAMS

The Engineers are 2-2-0 against teams ranked in the USCHO.com Top 20, sweeping then-No. 11 Union on October 26 and 27 … RPI then dropped league games at then-No. 13 Quinnipiac and then-No. 18 Princeton on November 9 and 10.

CONFERENCE LEADERS

The Engineers are second in ECAC Hockey in blocked shots (169) and fourth in penalties (57) … RPI is second in shorthanded goals (1) and fifth in penalty kill (80.8%).

INDIVIDUALLY

Junior Jacob Hayhurst is second among ECAC Hockey skaters with seven assists in conference play … He is fourth in points (8), seventh in faceoff wins (57) and 17th in faceoff percentage (56.4%) … Senior blueliners Tommy Grant and Meirs Moore are tied for sixth with 10 blocked shots apiece.

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