Army West Point Cadets vs RPI Engineers

Opening puck drop between Army & RPI @ Houston Field House

Rensselaer hosts fellow Hudson River Valley neighbor Army West Point tonight looking to bounce back after last night’s OT loss to Harvard. It was a back and forth opening period. Each team had stellar scoring chances throughout the period. The story of the first was the play of Army goalie Jared Dempsey and RPI goalie Linden Marshall. Each faced 9 shots and both turned back all of them. Army had the first Power Play when Brady Wiffen was called for Holding @ 5:32. RPI had one as well, as Trevor Fidler was called for Holding @ 14:09. Overall the first was as even as can be.

RPI’s Ottoville Leppanen battles with Army’s Dalton MacAfee in front of Army goalie Jared Dempsey

The 2nd period was continued in the same vein, strong goaltending from both keepers. Army had a few good chances early but Marshall was on point. Army’s Marshal Plunkett was called for Interference @ 9:00. RPI’s PP couldn’t muster much, it looked lack luster and had too much passing. Shortly after the PP expired Jacob Hayhurst had a nice chance as he raced in on Dempsey, but Dempsey easily saved the shot from the slot. Army had a strong forecheck in the RPI defensive zone that led to the game’s first goal. Brendan Soucie walked the puck out from behind the goal line and roofed it over Marshall’s shoulder @ 15:11. Aside from the go ahead goal both teams looked evenly matched. The Engineers out shot the Cadets 12-11.

Army players celebrate Brendan Soucie’s 2nd period goal.

The 3rd period wasn’t any different. Strong goaltending kept Army from pulling away from RPI. An Army Power Play @ 6:48 just helped build momentum for the Cadets. Marshall stopped all 8 he faced. RPI had its own Power Play when Matt Berkovitz was called for Hooking @ 15:23. This helped RPI get going, as they peppered Dempsey but couldn’t put one by him. RPI was buzzing now. Engineers coach Dave Smith pulled Marshall with about 2:30 left to play. With constant pressure RPI was able to tie the game @ 1 when Wiffen knocked home a lose puck in front of the Army goal @ 19:20.

RPI needed to get this game to overtime. Since they did, tonight was their night to leave the ice excited. Patrick Polino rushed the puck into the Army zone in a 2 on 2. Just inside the blue line, he cut across the ice causing Army defenseman Marshal Plunkett to commit the wrong way, giving Polino a clean look at Dempsey. RPI wins it @ 1:16 in OT on Polino’s wrist shot.

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