Reilly Hamilton via Flickr
The Engineers took the first game of the series in St. Cloud.
The next two weekends feature a lot of non-conference action that will go a long ways in deciding the eventual make-up of the NCAA tournament field. That non-conference play got under way tonight when RPI won the first game of their two-game series against St. Cloud State, in St. Cloud, by a score of 4-3.
The Huskies got off to a strong start, getting two more goals from their fabulous freshmen, when Jonny Brodzinski and Kalle Kossila gave them a 2-0 lead after one period. But RPI responded back with three goals in the second period. St. Cloud tied the game with 7:27 left in the third period, but RPI netted the eventual game-winner with just 2:12 left in the game. Freshman Milos Bubela scored a pair of goals for RPI, while Mike Zalewski registered three assists. Meanwhile, for St. Cloud, freshman Joey Benik registered an assist in his first collegiate game.
It's a rough start to the second half for St. Cloud, and for the WCHA as a whole. The ECAC came out of the first half of the season as the strongest conference according to the computer rankings, and the WCHA was hoping to use some WCHA/ECAC match-ups to regain an advantage. Instead, tonight's result caused St. Cloud, Denver, Nebraska-Omaha, Colorado College, and Minnesota-Duluth to drop spots in the RPI, while ECAC teams Colgate, RPI, and Princeton all gained spots in the RPI.