TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Senior Todd Burgess recorded the programs first four-goal game in 20 years to lead the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey team to a 7-1 victory over Princeton University, on Saturday night at the Houston Field House. With the Senior Night win, the Engineers improve to 15-15-2 overall (11-8-1 ECAC Hockey), while the Tigers drop to 4-18-5 (2-14-4 ECAC Hockey).
Burgess (Phoenix, AZ/Fairbanks Ice Dogs) got the scoring started for RPI at 4:15 of the opening frame, jumping on a loose puck in the right circle and rifling a shot past Princeton sophomore netminder Jeremie Forget (Mascouche, PQ/Carleton Place) for an unassisted marker.
The Engineers took a 1-0 lead to the first intermission, along with a 14-5 shot advantage.
RPI then netted the first two goals of the second period to open up a 3-0 lead. Senior Jake Marrello (Slingerlands, NY/PAL Jr. Islanders) was the beneficiary of a giveaway in the low slot at 5:01 of the period. He collected the puck and stuffed it through the five-hole on Forget for his sixth on the year.
Seven minutes later, Burgess tallied for the second time, polishing off a feed from behind the net by sophomore Ture Linden (Great Falls, VA/Lone Star Brahmas). Marrello earned the secondary assist on the goal that came at 12:11 of the middle stanza.
Princeton freshman Liam Gorman (Arlington, MA/St. Sebastian’s) intercepted a pass just inside the RPI blue line and fired home his first collegiate goal at 14:10 of the second. The unassisted marker brought the visitors to within 3-1.
RPI pushes its lead back to three goals (4-1) with just 7.5 seconds remaining the period, when senior Mike Gornall (Irwin, PA/Topeka Roadrunners) blocked a point shot and started a 2-on-1 rush the other way. Working up the right wing boards, he found sophomore Ottoville Leppanen (Espoo, Finland/Espoo Blues U20) cutting in from the left. Leppanen put a deke on Forget, before tucking home his fourth goal of the year between his legs.
Burgess the completed the hat trick at 6:49 of the third, scoring on the power play. Classmate Patrick Polino (Buffalo, NY/Lincoln Stars) delivered the feed into the middle of the slot for Burgess for the one-time finish. Fellow senior Shane Bear (Calgary, AB/Brooks Bandits) earned his third assist of the weekend on the play.
Polino then made it a 6-1 game at 16:08 of the final period. Freshman Rory Herrman (Poway, CA/Fargo Force) led a 3-on-2 rush up the left wing boards, before firing a shot on net. The rebound fell to senior Chase Zieky (Avon, CT/Salmon Arm Silverbacks), who sent a cross-crease pass to Polino for the easy tap-in – his 10th goal of the season.
The Engineers capped the scoring at 18:10, with Burgess sweeping home his fourth of the contest and team-leading 13th of the year. Helpers went to Marrello and Linden once again.
Sophomore netminder Owen Savory (Cambridge, ON/St. Catharines Falcons) turned away 21 of the 22 shots he faced, while Forget managed 24 saves in 40 minutes of work. Junior Ryan Ferland (Franklin, MA/Jersey) stopped nine in the third period. The Engineers went 1 for 3 on the power play, while the Tigers wound up 0 for 3.
Burgess extended his career-long point streak to six games, during which he has eight goals and three assists. Dating back to January 31, he has nine goals in eight contests. He is the first RPI skater to net four goals in a game since Matt Murley ’02 on November 18, 2000 against the University of Massachusetts.
RPI is back on the ice next weekend, when it closes out the regular season at No. 20 Harvard University and Dartmouth University on Friday (7pm) and Saturday (7pm), respectively. Princeton closes out the regular season at home against Yale University and Brown University.