Summer time -
normally the long slow period between hockey seasons. Not
this year! With an entirely new coaching staff, interesting
news coming out of Reunion Weekend, Student Orientation,
schedules for all three of the big teams, multiple NHL
signings, and prep for PBAN4, summer's been very busy for
Hockey - A Summer of Change
The 2006-07 Engineers are sure to fall into the “new
look” category once the team finally hits the ice in
October, and it won’t just be graduated seniors and
On March 21, shortly after the team fell
in the first round of the playoffs to ECACHL neophyte Quinnipiac,
head coach Dan Fridgen tendered his resignation to Athletic
Director Ken Ralph. Ralph immediately began a worldwide
search for the 12th head man in the history of the program.
nearly a month of waiting, speculation, and rumors which
included a former NHL coach, a Boston College assistant,
and the coach of the Albany River Rats, the Institute hired
31-year-old Seth Appert, a 1997 graduate of Ferris State
University and seven-year assistant coach at Denver University,
where he won two national championships with the Pioneers.
Appert’s arrival, interest immediately began to
generate as to whether the new coach would bring in his own
assistants, and on May 10th it was learned that assistant
coaches Frank Bretti and Jeff Matthews ’95 would not
be retained in the Appert administration. In late May, Jim
Montgomery was named as Appert’s first lieutenant behind
the Engineer bench. Montgomery won a national title as a
player at the University of Maine in 1993 and later played
parts of 6 seasons in the NHL before retiring in 2005. He
spent the last season as a volunteer assistant at Notre Dame,
and is credited for coining the “Legion of Doom” moniker
for the famous line of LeClair-Lindros-Renberg in Philadelphia
in the mid-90s.
The second assistant coach will be former
Army assistant coach Shawn Kurulak, a 1999 Denver grad
who played his senior
under Appert. Kurulak's former responsibilities included
recruiting and player development, along with video instruction.
He has also spent time coaching at Bemidji State and in
the North American Hockey League.
Finally, in late June, the
incoming class of 2010 received what is expected to be their
final member when defenseman
Peter Merth committed to RPI to become Appert’s first
recruit. Merth joins incoming freshmen Christian Jensen (a
2004 choice by the San Jose Sharks), Jason Fortino, and Erik
Burgdorfer on the blueline in the upcoming campaign, replacing
graduating seniors Brad Farynuk, Scott Romfo, Keith MCWilliams,
and Alexander Valentin. Outgoing forwards Kevin Croxton,
Chris Hussey, and Mark Yurkewecz are being replaced by freshmen
Jordan Cyr and Paul Kerins, and by a returning Kirk MacDonald,
who will finally play his senior year after missing all of
last year while recovering from his battle with cancer.
Engineers’ schedule kicks off on October 7th with
an exhibition against York at Houston Field House. The NCAA
schedule begins in earnest a week later at home against the
defending Hockey East champions Boston University. The following
week, the Engineers travel to Colorado for two meetings with
Appert’s old squad, the Denver Pioneers, and the week
after will participate in an ECAC Invitational at Pepsi Arena
in Albany with Union, Colgate, and Quinnipiac. Black Friday
is November 3rd against Princeton, and other non-conference
matchups include battles with Merrimack, Sacred Heart, and
UMass-Lowell, all at the Field House.
RPI will take part in
two other tournaments during the course of the season,
the first being the annual RPI invitational,
which features Niagara, Ohio State, and Colgate on the
two days following Thanksgiving. The other tournament has
Engineers facing the Vermont Catamounts in the first round
of their Christmas tournament in Burlington, VT, before
facing either St. Cloud State or Union on the second day.
the Big Red Freakout! comes early this season, as the Engineers
take on St. Lawrence, the last team to defeat
RPI in the annual extravaganza, on January 20th.
's Hockey - Building Off of Year One Success
The women's hockey team begins their second season in Division
I September 29th in Houston Field House against the Boston
College Eagles. The Eagles are the first of 11 non-conference
games for the Engineers. Other home non-conference foes include
Wayne State and Sacred Heart. Away NC games include North
Dakota, Boston University, and Sacred Heart.
open their first ECACHL schedule October 28 and 29 when
they travel to Cambridge Mass, and Hanover, NH
to face Harvard and Dartmouth. The home ECACHL opener is
December 1st and 2nd against Cornell and Colgate. Eight
of 12 teams make the ECACHL playoffs, which runs from February
22 to March 3. The eight team NCAA Tournament runs from
9 to March 17.
RPI faces eight schools again this year that
they faced in 2005-2006. Last year they compiled a 12-4-1
Sacred Heart, Colgate, Robert Morris, BU, Union, Wayne
State, Clarkson (Still Sucks) and Quinnipiac.
Joining the Engineers
this season are six recruits, three
forwards and three defensemen. Rossli Chace from Hampton
Falls, NH, Allysen Weidner from Wichita, KS, and Allison
Wright from Oakville, Ontario join nine returning forwards.
Laura Gersten from nearby Queensbury, NY, Whitney Naslund
from Bloomington, MN, and Jodi Yaworski from Calgary, Alberta
join four returning defensemen. Emily Ford and Ashley Mayr
return for their sophomore season in net.
Coming off of an 8-2 season and a ECAC Northwest Bowl championship,
the Engineers look to continue their winning ways this season.
The Engineers will be led on offense by seniors Jon Branche,
a D3football.com All-American at TE and Jay Bernardo, a D3football.com
All-Region First Team selection at RB. Piloting the offense
will be sophomore Jimmy Robertson at QB, the Liberty League
Rookie of the Year from 2005. Returning their top 6 rushers
and top 6 receivers from last year, expect the offense to
provide plenty of offensive fireworks this season. The offensive
line will be anchored by Terrence Bynum, a senior and D3football.com
Second Team All Region Lineman.
On the defensive side, the Engineers will be considerably
younger. One key loss will be that of linebacker Grant
Cochran, the last in the long line of Cochran boys to
at RPI. Fifteen defensive recruits look to bolster an RPI
defense that gave up an average of 300 yards, but only
19 points, per game to opposing offenses last year. Leading
the defense this year will be senior defensive lineman
Perreault, who tied for the team lead in sacks last year
with 6, and junior linebacker Tom Rayhill, who was fourth
on the team in tackles and led them in forced fumbles.
Returnees on special teams include Drew Taranto, who was
4-5 on field goals last season, and John Engstrom, who
did not attempt a punt in 2005. Looking for playing time
will be kickers Randy Platter and Eric Vandeventer and
punter/kicker Peter Nilson.
The team will be coached by
Joe King, starting his 18th year on the sidelines at RPI.
The schedule initially looks
to RPI, as rivalry games with both WPI and traditional
power Union will be held on the '86 Field this year.
to the Engineers, and Let's Go Red!
- Music Alumni Weekend
With all the excitement
this off season, we hope that people are just as excited
about PBAN4! This year we'll be holding our events in conjunction
with RPI's first ever Music Alumni Weekend - taking place
October 13th through 15th.. This event is part of a new
university initiative towards reunions
based on interest and activities rather than by class year.
Their first attempt at this was the Athletic Alumni Weekend
around the same time last year. While much of the schedule
is still up in the air, we do know that all music groups
are being included, with potentially performances of the
Anthems and Alma Matter.
And not to worry, we will still be holding our student/alumni
mixer, with the exact time and location still to be determined.
Peter Pedone of the alumni house is coordinating this event.
As many of you may know, Peter is incredibly enthusiastic,
a huge fan of the hockey program, and was instrumental in
helping Chris and Terry get RPI Pep Band Alumni (and Friends)
off the ground. With Peter's involvement we have no doubts
that this will be an entertaining weekend, and we look forward
to seeing exactly what he has in store.
We'll be sending out e-mails as more details become available.
In the meantime, be sure to RSVP no later than October 1st.
News from Reunion - Straight From the Horse's Mouth
The all class dinner at Reunion Weekend brought some interesting
news for pep band and hockey fans alike. Athletic Director
Ken Ralph and Head Coach Seth Appert made an appearance at
the event. After a brief discussion about their goals for
the program, which include a more creative and up tempo style
of play, the floor was opened up for questions. The first
question came from a member of the class of '81 (or was it
'86?). Her question: "Just so you know, Clarkson still
This got a laugh out of Coach Appert, along with a story.
Apparently when watching game footage, Coach turned to one
of the video guys and asked what it was the crowd was chanting.
The video guy of course said, "One minute, and Clarkson still
sucks." At this point, Coach "started to wonder if RPI students
were really as bright as he'd been led to believe" given
that the game he was watching was against Brown.
Also, during the dinner, Ken Ralph was at the same table
as RPIPBA(aF) co-founder Terry Farrar '96. Given the situation,
Terry took the opportunity to ask Ken some questions about
their plans for the Fieldhouse, and specifically the various
rumors about the future of the stage. Ken was quick to dismiss
the rumor that the stage would be going away, and provided
this tidbit of information: RPI is working to raise the stage
5-10 feet so that the band would be playing above the glass.
The only holdup - figuring out how to make the stage handicap
accessible. As part of the process, they would also be addressing
some of the safety concerns about the current stage.
While it is unclear as to when the new stage will be in
place, it could happen as early as this season.
again, and we hope that your summer has been going swimmingly.
Although the '06/'07 season is young (if not entirely there
yet), there have been a few goings-on since the last newsletter,
and a very important event in the near future.
First of all, we decided to spend some money on updating
and maintaining our percussion equipment. So now we have
some new drum heads for the quints and bass drum, new sticks,
and a BRAND NEW candy apple red bass drum, complete with
case and stand. It is specifically designed as an indoor
drum, so it should be extra-loud inside of the Field House.
We have also created new music sets, keeping most of the "standards" that
we play a lot, and adding a few that weren't previously
in the set, such as #79 'Get It On' and #23 'Free Ride'.
Also, this allowed us to make sure that each set is complete,
so there are no longer any missing parts in any set. The
songs included in the updated set can be found here.
Finally, and most pertinently, on July 20-21, the band
will be playing at two different SOs to continue our recruiting
effort for the upcoming seasons. As per usual in the summer,
the expected turnout is going to be small (10-15 people,
with no guaranteed percussionists yet), so we need your
help. On Thursday July 20th we will be playing outside
of the Commons from 5:15-7:30pm, and on Friday July 21st
we will also be playing outside Commons, but this time
we will be playing from 12:15-1:45pm. These will be our
first performances in our new summer band t-shirts, which
were designed by AJ Macey and Gary. They are red and feature
the Pep Band bullet on the front and a sousa player on
If anyone is going to be in the Troy area on those dates
and wants to join us, please shoot us an email ahead of
time so we can get an accurate head count and try to balance
the band the best we can. We will also be holding a barbeque
on Thursday night, if you need any more incentive to come
join us. We look forward to seeing some of you there!
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions,
feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and
enjoy the rest of your summers!
Gary & Chris
So, to recap:
issue: Hockey season starts! PBAN4, planning for Freakout,
- PBAN4 will
be held as part of Music Alumni Weekend (October 13-15).
Please RSVP no later than October 1st!
- Freakout will be early this year, taking place 1/20/07.
Make your plans now and look for details to come out at
the start of hockey season!
- The alumni house is organizing a trip to Denver for the
men's hockey games. Several pep band alums are planning
on going. If interested, let Peter Pedone know
- Electronic schedules for both hockey teams and the football
team can be found in the files section
of the Yahoo Group.
- Recent hockey alum Brian Pothier signed a multi-year
deal with the Washington Capitals after a breakout season
in Ottawa, Brad Tapper returns to the US after signing
with the Flyers, and Matt Murley returns from surgery to
sign with the Avalanche.
- A reminder that if your e-mail address will be changing,
be sure to update your Yahoo profile!
- Be sure to take a look at the Message
Boards and Photo
Gallery! Both can be
accessed using the same account. To sign up, check out
the instructions in
the files section of the Yahoo Group.
- Speaking of
photos, we have no photos from the 2000 and 1999 Freakouts!
If you have any, please post them to the Photo Gallery.
- If you're in
the area, go check out the Pep Band at Student Orientation
on 7/20 and 7/21.
- Please send
any other ideas/comments/suggestions/whatever to Chris
and Terry at email@example.com.