TROY, N.Y. − Senior Chase Zieky scored the game's only goal and Owen Savory made 38 saves to lead the Rensselaer Polytechnic Intitute (RPI) men's hockey team to a 1-0 victory over the University of Vermont, in the 43rd Annual Big Red Freakout! at the Houston Field House. With the win, the Engineers improve to 12-12-2 overall, while the Catamounts drop to 3-18-4.
Zieky (Avon, CT/Salmon Arm Silverbacks) broke a scoreless tie at 14:05 of the second period, when he collected a loose puck at the edge of the crease and lifted it past Vermont junior netminder Tyler Harmon (Ramsey, NJ/New Jersey Rockets) for his seventh goal of the season. Zieky provided a screen for sophomore Jake Johnson (Bloomington, MN/Cedar Rapids Roughriders), who took a shot from the right point that was stopped. The rebound fell to Zieky for the tap in finish, with freshman Zach Dubinsky (Highland Park, IL/Lincoln Stars) picking up the secondary assist.
RPI had opportunities to add the lead in the third period, including multiple breakaway chances that were either thwarted by Harmon or missed the net. Senior Mike Gornall (Irwin, PA/Topeka Roadrunners) saw his shorthanded breakaway go by the wayside in the final stanza, before a 2-on-0 break led by Jake Marrello (Slingerlands, NY/PAL Jr. Islanders) was denied.
Savory (Cambridge, ON/St. Catharines Falcons) came up the large for the Engineers down the stretch, making six of his 12 third-period saves on the penalty kill, with RPI going shorthanded three times in the frame. He finished with 10 stops when the Catamounts were on the man advantage, while turning away 17 total Vermont shots in the first period alone.
Harmon had 34 saves in the game, with 15 coming in the second period. He also made 10 shorthanded saves as each team finished 0 for 5 on the power play. Vermont finished with a 29-24 edge in faceoffs, with junior Vlad Dzhioshvili (Moscow, Russia/Bloomington Thunder) and senior Derek Lodermeier (Brooklyn Center, MN/Brooks Bandits) going a combined 23-9 on the draw.
Marrello and freshman Tristan Ashbrook (Mantistique, MI/Lincoln Stars) each notched a team-high five shots, with Zieky adding a goal to his two assists last night for a three-point weekend. Dubinsky pushed his modest point streak to three games (1 goal, 3 assists) after collecting a pair of helpers against the Big Green on Friday.
RPI snapped a five-game losing streak in Big Red Freakout! action, as well as a five-game skid against the Catamounts, which dated back to 2004. The shutout, which was Savory's third in the last six games, was just the third ever in Freakout! history. The Engineers have blanked Dartmouth twice in the big game, doing so in 2000 (2-0 by Neil Little '00) and 2013 (3-0 by Jason Kasdorf '16).
Rensselaer improves to 1-0-3 against Vermont in the Freakout!
The Engineers return to action next weekend, when they travel to Western Michigan for a two-game series. Vermont visits New Hampshire for a pair.