TROY, N.Y. — What can you say about a battle of last place teams?
The answer depends on which way you look at it. It was either two teams occupying the last two spots in the ECAC standings playing each other, or it was a start to the second half of the ECAC season for both teams as they attempted to climb in the standings.
Either way, one team looked like it was ready to move up, and one did not.
The Rensselaer Engineers got 27 saves from Nathan Marsters and broke out with four goals in the third period to dump the Vermont Catamounts, 6-0, and jump into a tie for tenth place in the ECAC, while leaving the Catamounts in 12th.
“They came out and they played real hard,” said head coach Dan Fridgen. “We did a real good job in all areas, five-on-five, power play, penalty kill, and it was good to see because they’ve earned it. They’ve put in some hard work and we also appreciate the fans sticking with us.”
The Engineers scored in the first on a nifty passing play as Matt Murley dished the puck to Marc Cavosie at the bottom of the faceoff circle, and he beat Shawn Conschafter.
In the second period, Murley scored as he floated one over the shoulder of Conschafter, who misjudged it.
From there, the Engineers poured it on in the third. Jim Henkel scored on the power play off of a one-time pass from Conrad Barnes, then Murley scored again with a feed from Cavosie. That was followed by an Andrew McPherson goal over the shoulder of relief goaltender Mike Gomez and another goal by Ben Barr to make the final, 6-0.
“It was a total team effort,” said Fridgen. “The attitude on the bench was great and hopefully this will keep things going.”
Vermont (3-15-2, 3-7-1 ECAC) will travel to Union on Saturday while the Engineers (9-9-3, 3-6-2 ECAC) will host Dartmouth. The two teams meet again next Saturday in Vermont.
“The win was huge,” said Marsters. “That was the team right ahead of us and to leapfrog them and to get to the two points is only half the battle.
“We have to finish it off against Dartmouth.”