TROY, NY – RPI’s offensive outburst on Saturday used to be powerd by way of a TJ Walsh hat trick, the primary of his school profession.
“It felt like I was in the right spots and our powerplay was really clicking today,” stated Walsh. “We had some really good looks. We were creating traffic and really wearing them down and I was lucky enough to be in the right spots and get a few good looks.”
Walsh and RPI powered their well past Army in a 7-4 win Saturday. Along with Walsh’s 3 objective, one lend a hand evening, Jack Agnew accrued 3 assists and Jake Gagnon, John Evans, Austin Heidemann, and Max Smolinski every scored a objective to assist energy the Engineers to the win over the Black Knights.
“Our emphasis tonight was shots from the point and have two guys get to the net,” stated Agnew. “I’m happy TJ was going toward the net. I’m trying to be more involved in the offense this year.”
RPI used to be clicking from the leap and the ability play used to be a large reason. The Engineers had been 3 for 6 with the person benefit Saturday, making them 5 for 18 this 12 months and the most productive energy play within the ECAC, working at 28 p.c.
“I thought the most important piece of the powerplay was the response,” stated Smith. “I think our first goal was a powerplay goal. They come back and we end up getting up by just one and then we get a power play goal, power play goal. When you get those and when you capitalize on it I thought it was really important. The guys were really dialed in at those moments.”
RPI took a 2-1 lead out of the primary length thank you to Walsh’s first objective coming simply 4 mins into the sport at the powerplay. Army spoke back with a powerplay objective of their very own however RPI’s Gagnon used to be in a position to internet his personal on a some distance facet shot that beat Army goalie Gavin Abric glove facet for the lead out of length one. Gagnon used to be fed by way of an attractive move out of the nook by way of John Beaton who continues to provoke within the first few weeks of the season.
“I think we are looking at the net more. Looking for shots with traffic in front,” stated Walsh at the offensive exchange from Friday to Saturday this weekend. RPI scored only one objective Friday evening of their win.
“I think we aren’t worrying about getting pretty goals, just greasy goals in front of the net and bang them home. A goal is a goal at the end of the day so as long as we get them into the back of the net it doesn’t matter how they happen.”
In length two, RPI scored two extra occasions, each all over five-on-five hockey. John Evans scored his first collegiate objective 5 and part mins into the length and Walsh scored his 2nd with 3 mins left within the length. The length proved to be sheer dominance for RPI, outshooting Army 10-2 within the length.
In the 3rd, Army fixed their comeback. Two fast targets within the first two and a part mins temporarily made the sport 4-3. Army’s Brett Abdelnour scored on RPI’s Jack Watson for Army’s 2nd objective of the evening and Jake Felker capitalized on a rebound out on the hash marks that made the sport a one objective differential.
“I don’t think we were on cruise control. They started on the power play. We are trying some new things. We have a 4-1 lead,” stated Smith at the Army comeback. “We tried something that didn’t work, that’s on me, they scored a powerplay goal and get a little momentum. Then, there’s an unfortunate breakdown, and suddenly it is 4-3.”
“I thought our focus was there. I thought our intentional play was there. I don’t think we got off the gas pedal. The other team is trying to do stuff too and Army has a really good powerplay. They move the puck well and they shoot from the right spots.”
That used to be the nearest Army would get to feeling any form of lead.
Smolinski scored from the purpose at the powerplay and Walsh finished the hat trick, additionally at the powerplay, to give RPI the 6-2 lead. Army’s Mike Sacco scored another objective, which used to be a just right shorthanded alternative for the Black Knights, to cap off Army’s scoring. Austin Heidemann finished RPI’s scoring for the evening at the empty internet to rating his first objective as an Engineer.
“We have a really tight locker room and we have very real conversations about how to protect the lead and we aren’t worried about mistakes and what could happen,” stated Smith. “The conversations have been great. The guys are really supportive, which I think is critical.”
RPI is 4-0-0 for the primary time since 1999. The absolute best get started within the Dave Smith Era up to now, the Engineers aren’t counting their chickens prior to they hatch simply but. RPI travels to tackle Smith’s former workforce, the Canisius Griffins, Tuesday evening in Buffalo, prior to assembly the U.S National Development U18 workforce on the Houston Field House subsequent Friday.
“Obviously winning four is a big way to start the year, but we have a quick turnaround,” stated Walsh. “We can’t look at this too deep. We have a tough team to play at Canisius and we have to keep that same mentality and energy that we have brought these last two weekends.”
Smith used to be the pinnacle trainer at Canisius for 12 seasons, main the Golden Griffins to 3 directly journeys to the Atlantic Hockey Championship weekend, together with a championship in 2013.
“We will take tomorrow off. Our guys have been high energy, high effort and it has been great,” stated Smith. “They will practice short and hard Monday and get on the bus and head to Buffalo Monday and get ready to play a team in a city, and a rink, that I know very well. I know I will be very ready and I expect our guys will be ready as well.”