WEST POINT, N.Y. — The Rensselaer Engineers came into the weekend needing a spark. They got it as Kevin Kurk posted 17 saves and earned his second consecutive shutout, while the Engineers scored twice in the third period to put the game away, defeating the Black Knights of Army, 3-0.
The Engineers opened the scoring in the first period when Kevin Croxton tried a wraparound and the puck squirted free in the slot. Mikael Hammarstrom lifted it over a fallen Brad Roberts for the 1-0 lead.
Before the Engineers scored their goal, the game opened up with breakaways and odd-man rushes on both sides. The Black Knights got two consecutive breakaways and each time Kurk stoned them.
The Engineers added two goals in the third period, one by Danny Eberly and one by Nolan Graham. Graham won a faceoff clean and Eberly took the puck at the blue line and fired it past the glove of Roberts before he could react to make it 2-0.
Late in the third on the power play, Graham got the puck from Carson Butterwick and went high over the shoulder of Roberts.
The Engineers held on and shut out their opponent for the second consecutive evening.
“We had to keep them off the board because if they sense any type of comeback or get a goal on the board, they’ll turn into different team,” said Engineer coach Dan Fridgen. “And if they get their confidence, they’re hard to contain.”
“If one of our guys converts, it might have been a different game,” said Black Knight coach Rob Riley. “We couldn’t get that goal to give us a spark.”
“I thought that Kurkie changed the momentum of the game,” said Fridgen. “He made two great saves in the first period. The key was keeping them off the scoreboard and Kevin had a fantastic weekend.”
Kurk made a total of 30 saves this weekend in his first two collegiate shutouts.
“When it rains it pours and you’re grateful for every one you can get,” he said. “Like I said yesterday, all I want it the win. The shutout is just a bonus.”
The Black Knights are now 0-2-0 on the season and will play Iona in a home and home next weekend.
“It was a good game for early in the year,” said Riley. “We weren’t quite sure what we have and we made a game of it. For 50 minutes we were right there, and overall we played pretty good.”
The Engineers move back to the .500 mark at 3-3 and will travel to St. Cloud for a pair of games next weekend.
“We didn’t waver from our game plan all weekend long,” said Fridgen. “This was an important weekend for them, they earned that and they got some confidence back with a couple of victories. They played a solid 120 minutes.”