BURLINGTON, Vt. — Injuries, illness, disqualifications. None of that mattered to the Rensselaer Engineers and Nathan Marsters as they shut down the Vermont Catamounts, 4-1, and moved higher into the ECAC standings with a big win over the slumping Cats on Friday.
The Engineers (12-8-1, 6-4-1 ECAC) scored once in each of the first two periods and added two empty-net goals as the Cats (9-10-1, 5-6-1 ECAC) closed the gap in the third period to 2-1.
The Engineers opened the scoring in the first on a power play. Jim Vickers received the puck in the left circle and wristed one that eluded Andrew Allen’s left pad.
The Engineers then took the 2-0 lead in the second when Jim Henkel and Ben Barr came down on a two-on-one. Henkel fed Barr and Barr knuckled one over Allen for the goal.
The Cats came back in the third period to come within one as J.F. Caudron found the puck on his stick in the left circle and wristed one over the glove of Nathan Marsters.
The Engineers added two Matt Murley empty-net goals in the end to seal the 4-1 win.
“We knew that when they got one they were going to come to life and we held them off as much as we could,” said Engineer coach Dan Fridgen. “It was a great effort from the defense to the forwards. The guys kept it real simple, they got opportunities and capitalized and the difference was when Nate made some real big saves. And that’s big for us right now, him stepping up.”
“We had great chances,” said Catamount coach Mike Gilligan. “Great game, great goaltending and plenty of great chances. [Marsters] was good and I thought we might have went to his glove too often.”
Marsters made 42 saves in the game and came up huge on a Graham Mink breakaway in the third period.
“That was fun there, I went to poke the puck and forced him to shoot,” said Marsters. “The puck went straight into my glove.”
“He was unbelievable,” said Jim Henkel of Marsters. “The kid had the top corner open and all of a sudden you saw the glove go up. He played unbelievable for us. Thank God we got him back there.”
The Engineers continue to fight through all sorts of obstacles as Nolan Graham was still out with an injury, Marc Cavosie was serving a one-game disqualification, and Francois Senez and Steve Collova are out with the flu.
The win moved Rensselaer into a tie for third place in the ECAC while the Catamounts are still winless in the calendar year 2001, dropping to 0-6-1 in the new year.
“I thought we worked real hard, it didn’t make a difference how many defensemen they had, we worked real hard and again, we just didn’t come up with timely goals, but we’re playing very well,” said Gilligan.
“Everybody stepped up their game considering we were shorthanded,” said Fridgen. “I was just praying that they didn’t get the equalizer because I didn’t know how much we had in the tank for overtime.”
The Cats will host Union on Saturday evening while the Engineers travel to Dartmouth.