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RPI, Union Capital District Rivalry Highlights Weekend Action in ECAC

RPI junior Ryan Haggerty leads the nation in goal scoring through 10 games.

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Schenectady, NY -- Union has had RPI's number in recent years, but the Capital District rivalry could sway towards Troy this season. The Dutchmen are 9-1-1 over the last 11 games of the series dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season, including five victories over their arch rivals in the 2011-2012 season.

The Engineers haven't defeated Union since November 13, 2010, and have only three wins against them since the start of the 2007-2008 season. Fortunes could change this weekend as the Engineers have started off the season well, and have an offense that could put up big numbers on a Union defense that has been inconsistent in its own end.

Union goaltender Colin Stevens was banged up for some of that period, but this is a series that should, on paper, be won by RPI. No one in the country has more goals or power play goals than RPI junior Ryan Haggerty. Four players, including Haggerty, are averaging a point per game. Seth Appert's team can come at you in waves. They skate hard, and can really win the battles to loose pucks when on top of their game.

RPI Goaltender Jason Kasdorf, the reigning ECAC Rookie of the Year, was injured in the second game of the year, but junior Scott Diebold has replaced him admirably. The Buffalo native has a 1.78 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.

Union was hit hard by graduation and early departures to the pros, including starting goaltender Troy Grosenick and third leading goal scorer Josh Jooris. Rick Bennett's team is paced offensively by senior Daniel Carr who just recently became the program's all-time leader in goals scored with 60 (now 62). Senior defenseman Mat Bodie has nine assists and has been a mainstay on the blue line since the Dutchmen's run to the Frozen Four. Another player to keep an eye on is junior Shayne Gostisbehere, a draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Messa Rink and Houston Field House should be rocking this weekend. Will the Dutchmen continue their dominance or will the Engineers have something to say?

Complete ECAC Weekend Schedule

Friday
RPI at Union (7:30 p.m.)
Cornell at Clarkson
Colgate at St. Lawrence
Dartmouth at Princeton
Harvard at Quinnipiac
Saturday
Union at RPI
Cornell at St. Lawrence
Colgate at Clarkson
Harvard at Princeton
Dartmouth at Quinnipiac
Sacred Heart at Yale

* All Games are 7 p.m. unless noted

Jeff Cox covers college and junior hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.