RPI Pep Band (and Friends) Alumni Newsletter
Volume 5, Issue 4








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In This Issue:


Let the Games Begin! All three teams have kicked into action since our last quarterly update. Strong showings in the opening days give us hope of good things to come. Throw in preparation for PBAN5 and Freakout!, and there are exciting times ahead.

Men's Hockey: Engineers Start Strong, Ready for Conference Play

The Engineers have started off the 2006-07 season with quite a bang, kicking things off with a 5-2-0 record, their only losses coming against two Top 5 teams in Minnesota and Boston College, losses in which the team played very well.

The season kicked off at home on a Tuesday night against Bentley College, not one of the more exciting teams in college hockey, but Jordan Alford shut them down as the Engineers earned a 4-0 win. After that, it was off to Minnesota for the Icebreaker, where they led the Gophers of the University of Minnesota 3-0 in the second period before ultimately falling 4-3, with the assistance of some questionable calls in the third. The next night, the team went toe-to-toe with then-second ranked Boston College before running out of steam late.

Returning home, RPI defeated a very game Army club 3-1, and followed up with a gritty if generally lackluster 1-0 overtime win over Sacred Heart. The following weekend saw the Engineers retain the Governor’s Cup in Albany with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Union and a 2-0 shutout of Colgate.

The big stories over the first seven games have been the emergence of freshmen such as Tyler Helfrich, who is among the national leaders in rookie scoring, and a solid defense led by Minnesota natives Bryan Brutlag and Jeff Foss.

Other outstanding names so far include senior Jordan Alford, whose three shutouts is second in the nation, junior Andrei Uryadov, who has shown an early knack for putting the puck in the net, and sophomore Peter Merth, who is quickly becoming the most dangerous two-way player on the team.

The biggest concern for RPI is an abysmal power play, which is easily the worst in college hockey statistically with one goal in 33 tries – 3%, where the median is somewhere near 14%. But if that power play kicks into gear… who knows what the Engineers could be capable of.

With such a difficult schedule, including two games hosting the team that will likely take the #1 ranking into November, Miami, the Engineers are in the peculiar position of not being considered out of the running for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but such prospects are still quite difficult to imagine. Thus, the important games are the next to get underway, those being the ECAC Hockey league games which will determine playoff positioning and give the Engineers the best chance they have at going far in March – making it to Albany and getting a shot for the ECAC title.

Engineer Leaders


  • Andrei Uryadov, jr. – 4 (tied for 9th nationally)
  • Matt Angers-Goulet, jr. – 3
  • Tyler Helfrich, fr. – 2
  • Andrew Lord, sr. – 2
  • Jonathan Ornelas, sr. – 2


  • Tyler Helfrich, fr. – 4 (tied for 23rd nationally)
  • Andrew Lord, sr. – 3
  • Jake Morissette, sr. – 3
  • Christian Jensen, so. – 3

Points (National Rank)

  • T26 – Tyler Helfrich, 6
  • T26 – Andrei Uryadov, 6



  • Jordan Alford, sr. – 0.99 (4th nationally)
  • Mathias Lange, jr. – 2.34 (33rd nationally)


Save Percentage

  • Jordan Alford, sr. – .964 (4th nationally)
  • Mathias Lange, jr. – .929

Women's Hockey: Ladies Racking Up Wins

The women's hockey team came out of the gates flying through their first 5 games, compiling a 4-1 record. The only loss came in the season opener when the Engineers lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in overtime to seventh ranked Boston College. In the four victories over North Dakota and Maine, RPI found it's scoring touch, tallying 18 goals while only allowing four. The defensive pair of Melanie Guillemette and Kelly Barbera have lead the way for the ladies with eight points a piece. Guillemette leads the team with four goals and Barbera has a team high seven assists.

The goaltending tandem of Ashley Mayr and Sonja van der Bliek have backstopped the defense for the Engineers stopping 109 of 115 shots this season. In both of her games so far this season, van der Bliek has been less than two minutes from her first collegiate shutout.

RPI begins conference play this weekend with a home showdown with Yale and Brown before resuming it's non-conference schedule with home games against Connecticut and Northeastern.


Football: Engineers Unbeaten To Start The Season

It's bye week time here in the world of the RPI Engineers football team, and things couldn't be better. An unblemished start at 5-0, and a national ranking of 18th in the AFCA poll has everyone feeling great. The story of the season was expected to be the offense, specifically quarterback Jimmy Robertson and wide receiver Brendan McGowan. They have both shined, but the surprise has been the two-headed rushing attack of Isaac Williams and Bob Munier. The ground game has averaged over 150 yards a game, which has made it impossible for opposing defenses to key on the Engineer aerial attack, allowing ample opportunities for Robertson to find any one of his numerous threats.

This year had the potential to be a rebuilding year on defense, but the coaching staff and the players would have none of that. The Engineer defense has played a key role in all of the wins this season, spearheaded by Anthony Casale and Tom Rayhill. The defense is fifth in the nation in rushing defense, and 21st in scoring defense, allowing only 51 yards/game and 13 points/game respectively.

This season started for the Engineers against Endicott on the '86 Field. Led by the arm of Robertson, RPI routed the Gulls 34-10, opening the season on a high note. Next, we stayed at home to host Utica, usually a tough opponent. This year, though, the Engineers rode their defense to a 24-0 whitewashing of the Pioneers.

Tom Rayhill was the defensive star of the game, leading the team in tackles and recovering a fumble. Going on the road for the first time in the season, the Engineers traveled to league foe Hobart for what proved to be their toughest task to date. Robertson led the Engineers on a 67-yard touchdown drive in only 48 seconds, a drive capped off by Isaac Williams 1-yard plunge. This perfectly executed drive allowed the Engineers to steal away with a 4-point victory over the Statesmen.

The last two games of the first half followed similar scripts. Against both Susquehanna and St. Lawrence, the defense held firm, giving up only 14 and 10 points respectively. The offense provided enough to give the Engineers comfortable wins in both games, although they made it interesting against the Saints by not getting into a rhythm until the fourth quarter. In any case, the stout defense any explosive offensive led the team to a 5-0 start to the season.

Now the team heads into the meat of their league schedule, with a league championship, the Dutchmen Shoes, the Transit trophy, and a possible NCAA playoff position up for grabs. The Engineers return to the field to host the Merchant Marine Academy, then the Transit Trophy game against WPI, a date with the Rochester Yellowjackets at home, and finishing up at crosstown rival Union for "the Shoes". If they can run that gauntlet, a NCAA bid will be assured, and a home game in the playoffs a distinct possibility. Go Red!


PBAN5: Better Late Than Never

So first off an appology for getting the PBAN5 details out to the group so late this year. As stated in the last newsletter, PBAN will return to the day after Black Friday as it was for PBAN1-3. That means this year's PBAN will take place on 11/3 vs. Brown. Don't ask me how Brown always gets the short end of the stick with these events, but at least they're easy targets.

Here's the details:

  • To RSVP: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RPI_Pep_Band_Alumni/surveys?id=2287484
    This is our usual RSVP procedures. Be sure to indicate number of guests, if you'll need an instrument, etc...
  • Rehearsal: I don't see one listed on the Pep Band Calendar, and given their busy weekend I would assume that even if there is one it'll be short. I'm still working to confirm this and will send out an update e-mail this week.
  • The game! Beat the Fieldhouse at 6:30pm for RPI vs Brown!
  • The mixer! The 5th Student/Alumni Mixer will take place at Mike Joseph's '08, '12 appartment at 2218 16th street. From the HFH, coming down Peoples, make a right onto Burdett heading towards Samaritan Hospital. Make a left on Eagle Street behind the hospital. Pass over 17th St, and make the left onto 16th St. The apartment is on 16th between Eagle and Jacob. Parking will be possible on the street on 16th between Eagle and Hutton, plus cars an also be parked on Eagle. Donations will be accepted but are not required.

So that's the scoop. Hope to see you all there.


Freakout! Mark Your calendars!

FREAKOUT is coming! FREAKOUT is coming!

The 31st Annual Freakout will take place on 2/2/08 vs. Princeton. We're still working out details for the weekend, but make sure you mark your calendars now. We'll be looking to do group tickets again, along with the traditional pre-game dinner and after-party.

If you're interrested in helping out this year, please let us know by e-mailing Chris at farrar@azhrei.net. Also, if you have any suggestions or new ideas to help us improve this season's events, drop those off to us as well.


From The Managers

Hello Alumni!

Another academic year is well underway, and with it comes the start of our athletic seasons! Already we've played at several football and hockey games, as well as a pep rally, hockey line, and a tailgate prior to the men's season opener against Bentley! Student orientations over the summer went well, and combined with our second year of programming during Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond, we have one of the largest incoming classes in the band in quite some time.

It'll be pretty busy between now and winter break, with numerous home games in the coming weeks and the second annual Governor's Cup taking place in Albany on the weekend of 10/26-10/27. Black Friday and Pep Band Alumni Night occupy the following weekend, followed by a road trip to Clarkson and St. Lawrence for women's hockey the weekend after.

We haven't discussed yet whether we'll be playing at the holiday tournament this year, but we'll be getting there pretty soon - and the weekend after that we're on the road again to Quinnipiac on 12/1. Two weekends of women's and men's hockey at home round out the rest of the semester before we go on

If you didn't notice, the Clarkson/St. Lawrence trip falls on the weekend of football @ Union - we're planning to put two groups together so some of those not going on the road can go play at Union. We're still pushing for a new stage at the Field House as part of the upcoming renovations, but it's up in the air as to exactly what's going to happen. We'll keep you up-to-date as it gets closer to construction time and the athletic department comes to a better conclusion of what's going on inside.

As always, feel free to contact us at pepband@union.rpi.edu if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

-Natalie & Gary

The Managers


Final Notes

So, to recap:

Next issue: FREAKOUT! More hockey, football recap, and more!