College Hockey:
Engineers Move Back Into ECAC Playoff Contention

Henkel Keys Offense; Vermont's Sharp Gets Hat Trick In Loss

— The Rensselaer Engineers jumped back into the ECAC playoff picture, capturing a 6-4 win Saturday over Vermont to take three points on the weekend. The win catapulted the Engineers over Brown into the tenth and final ECAC playoff position.

The Engineers were without the ECAC’s leading scorer, Marc Cavosie, who injured his elbow on Friday against Dartmouth, but got two goals from Jim Henkel and spread their offense out to get the win.

“We get them going, we’ve think that we’ve broken their back and then we get into penalty trouble and they come back, but we were pretty resilient all weekend,” said head coach Dan Fridgen. “We bent, but we didn’t break. We stayed with it and we had some big efforts from some guys because we had Marc out of the lineup tonight.”

The Engineers took the lead when C.J. Hanafin and Carson Butterwick got together on a give-and-go. Hanafin got it back to Butterwick, who snapped one over the shoulder of Tim Peters to take the 1-0 lead.

The Cats tied it up on the power play when Patrick Sharp wristed one through the legs of Nathan Marsters.

The Engineers took the lead on the power play when Mikael Hammarstrom patiently waited and then put one through the legs of Peters. That was followed by a fluke goal by Henkel. Henkel’s long dump in from center ice deflected off of Catamount defenseman Jason Fortin and past Peters to give the Engineers a 3-1 lead.

The Cats came back to tie it up. Sharp wristed one from the blue line on the power play to get the Cats within one, and then in the third Scott Mifsud deflected a Fortin shot past Marsters.

The Engineers, in turn, scored two goals to take a 5-3 lead. Henkel took a rebound and put home a power-play goal, and then a three-on-two resulted in Butterwick sending a pass to Andrew McPherson, who put it past Peters.

Sharp completed a hat trick for Vermont on the power play, but a Matt Murley empty-net goal sealed the win.

“I give all the credit to the guys in the locker room; they got a strong game from Sharp and we’ve been doing real well about some solid power play guys. They had some good movement going on their power play, and they switched it up on us, but we got some big games from some guys,” said Fridgen. “It was a really big road win for us — it was something that we needed, to come out of this weekend with three out of four points.”

The Cats (3-18-2, 3-10-1 ECAC) sit in the basement of the ECAC, four points out of a playoff spot. They will travel to Harvard and Brown next weekend. The Engineers (10-10-4, 4-7-3 ECAC) are in tenth, but only one point out of seventh place in the topsy-turvy ECAC.

“We just want to concentrate on the process and let the end result take care of itself. We got out of sync with the process a little bit, like with the penalty trouble, but we executed our system well and with the game on the line, we stepped it up,” said Fridgen. “We didn’t break; we kept coming back and we got some key goals from some key guys stepping up.

“It will be an enjoyable bus ride home.”

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