RPI hockey wins opener against Mercyhurst

TROY — In the week main as much as his staff’s season opener against Mercyhurst, fifth-year RPI trainer Dave Smith mentioned he sought after his staff to play quicker than it had prior to now.

From the primary shift of the sport, Smith’s want was once granted.

Ryan Mahshie scored 34 seconds into the sport as RPI, keyed via a five-point evening from junior winger Jakob Lee, received a season-opening recreation for the primary time within the Smith generation with a 6-3 choice over the Lakers on Friday at Houston Field House within the first of a two-game nonleague weekend collection between the groups.

Entering Friday’s recreation, RPI was once 0-2-2 with a blended seven targets scored in 4 earlier season openers underneath Smith.

“It is very nice to get the first win on the first night but more importantly, we took a real positive step forward with our identity,” Smith mentioned. “We established, especially in the first 15 minutes, that we were going to go with pace and we were going to make some plays. Establishing our identity in a win was great.”

Mahshie opened the scoring at the recreation’s first shift when he discovered room to the fitting of the Lakers’ web and was once unchecked when Lee threaded a move in the course of the protection.

“I don’t think that goal happens without my teammates, Jake Lee made a real good play down low,” Mahshie mentioned. “It was just a great play by Jake Lee and I was in the right spot at the right time.”

RPI saved up the drive and made it 2-0 on the 3-minute, 3-second mark when Jake Gagnon’s wrist shot from the highest of the fitting faceoff circle eluded Lakers goaltender Tyler Harmon. Following a Rylee St. Onge function at 7:20, the Engineers energy play unit cranked it as much as break the evening for Mercyhurst (0-3).

Just 11 seconds into its first man-advantage of the sport, Jack Agnew fired the puck from the left level via a display screen that was once deflected in via Lee to provide RPI a 3-1 lead.

In the second one duration, Lee scored once more at the energy play after redirecting an Agnew move into the online previous Harmon for a 4-1 Engineers lead as RPI chased Harmon in want of Matt Lenz within the Lakers’ function.

“It was a lot of fun, a lot of energy in the crowd. It was a lot of fun to play in front of them,” Lee mentioned. “The guys played great, (goaltender Jack) Watson was solid behind us. We just want to build off that. The hardest thing to do is get two wins in a row and sweep a team so we’ll try to do that (Saturday).”

James McIsaac’s function at 14:21 of the second one higher the RPI result in 5-1 sooner than Mercyhurst netted a couple of targets within the 3rd, the primary approaching a Watson turnover within the function crease, however Mahshie cemented the win with an empty-netter with 40.7 moment left within the recreation.

Gagnon completed with a couple of assists to move together with his function and Lee’s help on Mahshie’s empty-net function was once his 3rd of the evening.

“Jake Lee has a history of scoring, Jake Lee has a history of elite practice habits,” Smith mentioned. “You don’t expect five (points) in the first one, but we expect greatness from him.”

A crowd of one,278 attended the sport and taken numerous power as COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted on the faculty. The coverage in position closing season restricted the gang to only scholars and school.

“I don’t (usually) notice the fans, but I did tonight,” Smith mentioned. “I actually stopped in the first period and just looked, especially behind the bench. The energy they brought tonight was terrific.”

Sean Martin, an area freelance author, is a widespread contributor to the Times Union.

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