TROY, NY (NEWS10) — There’s nothing better in sports than a rivalry. In the Capital Region, it doesn’t get much better than RPI against Union on the ice.
The two foes open conference play against each other this weekend. The Engineers will be looking for their first win. They’ve started the season 0-4 against a very tough nonconference schedule.
The Engineers lost two of three to Union last year. They lost 6-0 both at Union, and in the Mayor’s Cup.
The Engineers are trying to pull from those losses heading into this weekend’s series. “One of the key themes for this year has been to take from the lessons learned last year,” said RPI head coach Dave Smith. “We were very inexperienced last year, well those guys remember that. I haven’t personally brought it up, I know the leadership group has talked about it. What went wrong there? What can we do differently? What can we control? It starts with just playing to our identity.”
While it’s easy to get up for a rivalry matchup with Union, the Engineers have a little added motivation from losing the season series last year. “I think there is a little bit of a revenge feel,” said senior Austin Heidemann. “But I think also when you’re playing Union you don’t need any energy from the previous year. It’s a rivalry so everyone’s ready to go no matter what the scores were last year. Realistically we’re going to war with Union for two games here.”
The series starts Friday at Messa Rink, and then shifts to the Houston Fieldhouse on Saturday.