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Hockey notebook: RPI's Haggerty on pace for 40-goal campaign

Friday, November 8, 2013
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Ryan Haggerty credits team success for his hot start. Seth Appert believes Haggerty is doing a better job of playing an honest game.

However they want to describe it, Haggerty is getting the job done for Rensselaer Polytechnic Ins­titute.

The junior forward leads the nation in goal scoring with 10. He just needs two more to match his career high set last year. If Haggerty continues on his torrid pace, he could end up with over 40 goals in the 34-game regular season.

That may be a stretch. However, he can become the first RPI player to reach 20 goals since forward Chase Polacek scored 21 in 2010-11. The Engineers haven’t had a player reach 30 goals since

1999-2000, when forward Brad Tapper tallied 31.

Haggerty has had three multigoal games, including a hat trick in a 7-1 win over Sacred Heart Oct. 19. He was named ECAC Hockey player of the week three days later.

Thanks to Haggerty’s hot hand, the 10th-ranked Engineers are off to a 5-2-1 start.

“Obviously, we’ve had team success, which is the most important thing right now,” Haggerty said. “Personally, I’ve had good opportunities to score by moving my feet, and being detail-oriented in the defensive zone. I’m just shooting the puck, and hitting the net is the biggest thing. I’m getting a lot of shots through, and they are slipping through [the goalies].”

Appert, RPI’s head coach, knew Haggerty had the ability to score goals because he possesses a very good shot.

“What he’s slowly, through his career, gotten better at is the other areas of game, which get him the puck more,” Appert said. “He’s completing his game better right now. Everybody’s game is a little different, and everybody’s trigger, what makes them go, is different. Ryan’s are when he’s moving his feet, finishing his checks and winning puck battles; when he’s playing an honest game.

“[For] some guys, it takes away from their offense because they’re too focused on being physical or doing other things. With Ryan, that makes him tick. It gets him involved, it gets him engaged, it puts him in the hard areas of the ice more and it gets him the puck more. When he has the puck, he is very dangerous.”

Kasdorf surgery likely

It is looking more and more likely that RPI sophomore goalie Jason Kasdorf’s season is over.

Kasdorf, who suffered a dis­located right shoulder in practice a few weeks ago, will probably have season-ending surgery, Appert said after practice Wednesday at Houston Field House. Appert said a decision will be made by the end of this week.

“I would say it’s a strong likelihood that he’s going to have surgery and be out for the year,” Appert said. “That’s what it’s looking like. We’ve taken our time on it and let him rehab a little bit and see how it feels.

“The dislocation is one concern, considering it’s come out twice with no contact in minimal situations. But the broken bone and the bone fragments in the shoulder are probably as or more problematic to a rehab situation.”

Kasdorf, a Winnipeg Jets draft pick, was coming off a freshman campaign in which he went 14-5-2 with a 1.62 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage and three shutouts. He led the Engineers to a second-place finish in the ECACH, their highest finish since Appert became head coach in 2006.

Kasdorf played in RPI’s first two games this season, going 1-1 with a 3.49 GAA, a .786 save percentage and one shutout. The Engineers will apply for a medical redshirt for Kasdorf, which will mean he still has three years of college eligibility.

“You also have the concern of messing up two seasons,” Appert said. “If you try to get him through this years and he plays at 75 or 80 percent, and it’s going to come out again. That’s what every doctor we’ve talked to that seen his shoulder says.

“And then you don’t have surgery until the end of the year, and then he loses a summer of training and he’s coming next year not as confident. We’re strongly leaning toward the surgery.”

IKKALA, HIGGS NAMED

Union forward Cole Ikkala and RPI forward Brock Higgs have been named candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, it was announced Thursday.

Ikkala and Higgs are two of 20 candidates for the award. To be

eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition.

The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the NCAA Frozen Four in April in Philadelphia.

The other candidates are Mac Bennett (Michigan), Jack Berger (Princeton), Sam Brittain (Denver), Greg Carey (St. Lawrence), Scott Czarnowczan (Ferris State), Nic Dowd (St. Cloud State), Kyle Gibbons (Canisius), Kevin Goumas (New Hampshire), Jordan Heywood (Merrimack), Andy Iles (Cornell), Stephen Johns (Notre Dame), Nick Jones (Mercyhurst), Dennis Robertson (Brown), Kevin Ryan (Niagara), Steven Shamanski (Providence), Dillon Simpson (North Dakota), Ryan Walters (Nebraska-Omaha) and Matt Zarbo (Clarkson).

CARVEL OK

When you’re coaching, you are either watching what is happening on the ice or talking to your players.

But there is a hazard to the job. St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel learned that Saturday night when his Saints faced Brown at Meehan Auditorium. Carvel was hit in the left eye by a puck during the first period.

Carvel tweeted a picture of his injury. In an interview Wednesday, Carvel it looked a lot worse than it did.

“There was no major damage,” Carvel said. “I saw a specialist on Monday. My concern was I had a pretty good gash above my eye. But it was [concern about] the cheekbone. When it first happened, my fear was that I broke my cheekbone. I think the puck hit me flat, so it didn’t hit my eyeball at all.”

He did return to the game in the second period.

LOCAL UPDATE

Here’s a look at how college hockey players from the Capital Region did over the past week.

Union junior goalie Colin Stevens (Niskayuna) returned from his upper-body injury to post wins last weekend over Dartmouth and Harvard. He made 15 saves in the 7-2 victory over the Big Green, and followed up that with a 20-save effort in a 4-2 triumph over the Crimson.

Union freshman defenseman Jeff Taylor (Clifton Park) scored his first collegiate goal in the Dartmouth game.

Boston University sophomore forward Jordan Juron (Latham) had two assists in the Terriers’ 6-0 win over Vermont last Saturday.

Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Courtney Burke (Albany) picked up an assist in the Badgers’ 4-1 triumph over Ohio State last Saturday. She had another assist in Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Buckeyes.

 
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