When the ECAC Hockey preseason coaches and media polls were released, Rensselaer was down close to the bottom in each. The Engineers were picked to finish 10th in the 12 team league.
So it might come as a surprise that Seth Appert's team is responsible for the only blemish on preseason favorite Boston College's record and is off to a 3-0-1 start in league play, including three road contests. RPI just went up to the North Country and came away with three points, including an overtime win over St. Lawrence.
Junior Riley Bourbonnais is leading the way offensively with five goals and three assists. The Rochester, NY native has already matched his total goal scoring output from his first two years in Troy combined. Senior Mark Miller has two game-winning goals on the season. Freshman Evan Tironese has pitched in right away with a goal and six assists.
Junior defenseman Parker Reno, a former NHL Draft target, has stepped up on the blue line. He is +7 and has four assists. Sophomore Jared Wilson is also playing well for Appert's defense.
Senior Jason Kasdorf was looking healthy and back in form before taking a tough hit Friday. The Buffalo Sabres prospect has a .927 save percentage to go along with his 2.46 goals against average. Freshman Cam Hackett was solid in Saturday's overtime win.
The one area RPI has struggled in most is in closing out games and finishing strong. The Engineers have outscored their opponents 16-11 in the first two periods, but have lost the third period by a cumulative score of 14-6.
RPI entertains Yale and Brown at the Houston Field House this weekend with its four-game unbeaten streak on the line.
Bobcats Still Perfect
There is only one unbeaten, untied team left in the country. Rand Pecknold's Quinnipiac Bobcats enter Friday's big home tilt against Harvard with a perfect record of 8-0-0.
Eight different Bobcats have scored the game-winning goals, including Arizona Coyotes prospect Connor Clifton. His goal 1:26 into overtime Saturday at Lynah Rink helped the Bobcats complete the comeback after overcoming a three-goal deficit against Cornell.
Only Penn State and North Dakota have a higher average margin in terms of shots disparity than Quinnipiac. The Bobcats do a terrific job in paying attention to detail and maintaining puck possession.
Hot Start for Trio of Ivy Rookies
The six Ivy League schools competing in ECAC Hockey start the season several weeks after the rest of the conference so forgive some folks for letting the hot starts by three rookies slip past the mainstream focus.
Cornell's Anthony Angello, a Pitsburgh Penguins prospect, has three goals and three assists in his first four games. The former Omaha Lancer has a point in each game, including two multi-point games.
Harvard's Ryan Donato has three goals and two assists after tallying twice in the Crimson's 5-2 win over Brown Saturday night. The 2014 Boston Bruins draft pick has been a mainstay on the power play and has shown off his skating ability.
Joe Snively, in his last season as a draft eligible, has four goals and a helper in his first four games at Yale. He scored twice in consecutive games against UMass and Harvard.
Union snapped its four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win at Clarkson Saturday night. Sophomore Spencer Foo scored twice in the victory. Classmate Ryan Scarfo has a team-leading five goals on the year.
Similarly, Colgate ended a three-game slide with a 2-1 victory over Princeton Saturday. The Raiders are suffering from key losses to their blue line more than most pundits imagined in the preseason. Don Vaughan's team is giving up nearly four goals per game.
It's been a tough start to the season for Brown. The Bears are 0-3 and are giving up 6.33 goals per games. Brendan Whittet's team has some exciting players up front, but the defense and goaltending could make it a long winter.
After accumulating just 11 points over 26 games in his first two seasons in Hanover, Dartmouth junior Troy Crema has posted a goal and four assists in the first four games this season.
Clarkson and St. Lawrence entered this past weekend with a combined record of 10-3-1, but the two North Country teams could only muster three points against their foes from the Capital District. The Golden Knights went 0-1-1 while the Saints split the weekend series.