RPI Pep Band (and Friends) Alumni Newsletter
Volume 6, Issue 1








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In This Issue:


Best quote from the last three months: "Is there hockey at Freakout?"
Yes friends, you read that right. Fortunately this quarter's newsletter sets the record straight. With two seasons underway, and one recently come to a close, let's take a look at how fall 2007 has gone, and get ready for the big party of the year.

Men's Hockey: Tough Schedule Proves Trying for Engineers

This has been a strangely exciting season for the 8-10-3 Engineers so far – strange in the sense that the team has actually been fairly predictable for the first time since Creation.

Here’s the quick and dirty version of the Engineers’ first half: they win games that they should win, and they go toe-to-toe with teams they should have no business running with for 40 minutes before crashing in the third period.

RPI is 0-8-0 against teams ranked in the USCHO.com poll as of January 7th – two losses to #2 Miami and #6 Notre Dame, and one each to #4 Colorado College, #12 Boston College, #15 Minnesota, and #16 Quinnipiac. The only two losses to unranked teams are Harvard and Maine.

On the flip side, the Engineers are 8-2-3 against unranked teams, meaning they are indeed defeating the teams that they should beat. In the past, while the team may have “played up” to the level of tough opponents, they could always be counted on to “play down” to the level of cupcakes. So far this season, that’s really only happened in one game – a disastrous tie with perhaps the worst program in Division I, American International.

Just finished is a run through the “gauntlet.” From the beginning of December, RPI played consecutive games with a then-ranked Harvard, two against Miami, Colorado College, Notre Dame, and Maine. They emerged with only a win over Harvard and come into the remainder of the ECAC schedule with a five game losing streak.

The Puckmen are 3-2-2 in ECAC Hockey play thus far, which puts them in striking distance for home ice and a possible first round bye if they can keep up their excellent play in league, winning games where they were unable to win them outside the conference thanks to the rough and tumble schedule they took on.

Some news and notes about the Engineers:

• Individual efforts are not among the highest in the nation. RPI has no one in the top 100 in national scoring, or national goals per game.

• Freshman Tyler Helfrich is tied for 33rd in the nation in assists per game and is 16th among rookies in scoring. He has 3 goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 21 games, which also leads the Engineers in assists and scoring overall.

• Freshman Chase Polacek is also among the national leaders in rookie scoring, tied for 28th with 5 goals and 9 assists in 21 games.

• Junior Mathias Lange is 19th in the nation in goals against average, allowing 2.16 goals per game, and 14th in save percentage at .927. Senior Jordan Alford, after a great start in which he was in the top 10 in this category, has fallen to 42nd and 52nd with a 2.72 and .902.

• Out of 59 Division I teams, RPI are 42nd in offense, 25th in defense, 16th in penalty minutes, 59th (dead last) in power play, and 32nd in penalty killing. Given the result of games, however, this team could still be quite a contender if they were to improve at all on these numbers.

• Four players are tied for the team lead in goals with 6 – seniors Jake Morissette and Jonathan Ornelas, and juniors Matt-Angers Goulet and Andrei Uryadov.

• RPI won a shootout this season against American International, boosting their all-time shootout record to 3-1.


Women's Hockey: By the Numbers

The women's hockey team finished the 2007 portion of their schedule with a 7-8-2 record overall and a 2-5-1 record in ECAC play. Here is the first half of the season:

1 - Times the Engineers have shutout their opponent so far this season (4-0 over Northeastern by freshman Sonja van der Bliek)

2 - Times the Engineers have been shutout so far this season (3-0 defeats to St Lawrence and Princeton)

3 - Losses in overtime

4 - Times the Engineers have scored 4 or more goals in a game (3 wins, 1 loss)

4 - Games the Engineers played on the road

5 - Losses in ECAC play to teams above the Engineers in the standings

6 - Times the Engineers have given up 3 or more goals a game (6 losses)

7 - Losses to teams that are ranked nationally or are receiving votes

7 - Goals by junior Nicole McDonald (team lead)

9 - Games played at home to start the season

11 - Assists by sophomore Whitney Naslund (team lead)

13 - Power Play goals scored by the Engineers (86 chances)

14 - Points by Naslund (team lead)

16 - Power Play goals allowed by the Engineers (72 chances)

37 - Number of goals the Engineers have allowed

42 - Number of goals the Engineers have scored

148 - Saves by van der Bliek

214 - Saves by junior Ashley Mayr

Looking to the 2008 portion of the schedule, RPI begins with four conference games (1 home, 3 away) before finishing off their non-conference schedule at home against Robert Morris. The Engineers finish the season with six of their final 10 conference games on the road.

Currently the Engineers sit in ninth place in the ECAC with 5 points. RPI has played every team ahead of them in the standings except Colgate and Cornell. In the six games against teams higher than them in the standings, the Engineers have only been able to muster a single point against Yale. If the Engineers hope to make the playoffs for the second straight year, they will need to continue to take care of business against the teams at the bottom of the standings and knock off some teams in the middle and top.

ECAC standings (as of Jan 1, 2008)
Team / Games Played / Points
1) Harvard / 9 / 18
2) St Lawrence / 8 / 14
2) Dartmouth / 9 / 14
4) Princeton / 11 / 11
5) Clarkson / 8 / 10
6) Cornell / 6 / 9
7) Yale / 10 / 8
8) Colgate / 6 / 7
9) RPI / 8 / 5
10) Brown / 10 / 4
11) Quinnipiac / 11 / 3
12) Union / 8 / 1


Football: Great Season, Tough Ending

The Engineers had a superb year, winning both the Shot Glass and Dutchmen shoes trophies, as well as winning the Liberty League and earning a berth to the NCAA tournament. However, the tournament ended abruptly with a first-round loss to the College of New Jersey.

RPI opened the season with two non-league games against Endicott and Utica. Defense ruled the day in both games, as the Engineers allowed a combined 10 points in home victories over the Gulls and Pioneers. The offense looked impressive in the first half of both games, jumping out to 20-0 and 14-0 leads and forcing the opposition to play catch up, which neither team proved they could do against the stout Engineer defense. These looked to be good tune-ups for the start of the Liberty League schedule.

Hobart was first up on the docket, and they proved to be a much tougher fight than either Endicott or Utica. Again, RPI was strong in the first half, taking a 21-7 lead into the break. However, the Statesmen managed to rally, taking a 31-28 lead with only 48 seconds left in the game. The Engineer offense managed to reawaken, though, as marched down the field in four plays, capped by a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Isaac Williams to take this thrilling game.

After seeing Hobart come back against the defense, they decided that they would take matters into their own hands the next three games, making things easy for the offense and providing three relatively easy wins. The Engineers dominated Susquehanna on the way to a 37-14 win, they needed a sharp performance from the offense in the fourth quarter of the St. Lawrence game to come away with a 28-10 victory, and they trounced the Merchant Marine Academy 41-3 behind two punt returns for touchdown by Tim Acker.

The meat of the Liberty League schedule would prove to define the Engineer season. First up was WPI, and the Transit Trophy, which RPI has held for the past 10 years. After this year, the streak is now 11, but not before another late game comeback provided by Jimmy Robertson and his talented receivers. This time, a game-tying drive with 1:30 left on the clock that covered 73 yards. The game went to double overtime, where the defense made RPI’s touchdown to open the overtime hold up with a game-ending stand, providing an exciting 21-14 victory.

The Engineers tried the same formula the following week at Rochester, falling behind 25-21 late before driving down the field. This time, though, the Engineers stalled out 10 yards from another come-from-behind win. This loss figured to rile up RPI, and make the game with Union that much more memorable. Also, the standings showed a three-way tie at the top of the league, and an RPI victory would make it that much easier to win the league. After allowing the opening score to Union, RPI would put up 20 unanswered points behind running back Nick Costa’s 160 yards, basically putting the game out of reach. Union scored late to close the gap, but the Engineers finished with a 20-14 win and the Liberty League title to go along with a nice pair of Shoes.

In the NCAA tournament against the College of New Jersey, RPI saw their own strategy used to perfection against them. The Engineers had a lead of 14-7 going into the fourth quarter, but saw the Lions tie the game up with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Then, the third special teams turnover of the game gave the ball back to TCNJ, and they responded by taking a 17-14 lead on a 27-yard field goal with 13 seconds left, handing RPI the first-round defeat.

All in all, a pretty rewarding season for the Engineers. They have quarterback Jimmy Robertson and WR Eren Savasli back, along with a full stable of running backs that should make for another year of exciting offense. The defense will need to replace most of the linebacking crew as well as co-captain John Tesiero in the backfield, but Coach King has proved adept at recruiting student-athletes who fit in well at RPI, both academically and on the playing field. Here’s looking forward to a great ’08!


PBAN5 Recap

Another great alumni weekend! Though the outcome of the game might not have been what we wanted, but it was still a fun time. We also discovered that Mike Joseph puts on a great party (with a little help - and beer pong table - from Yuri Koester and Tim Fill). Nice to see more of the recent alumni at this year's event too.

Have to say, the band sounded great too. And big thanks go out to co-manager Natalie and Conductor Mike for their hospitality. Here's looking forward to next year.


Freakout! 2008

After an unusually early Freakout last year, this year's event returns to February. Hope everyone has cleared 2/2/08 on their calendars, as RPI takes on Princeton

6th Annual Pre-Freakout Breakfast - Latham 76 Diner - 9:00am
Why mess with success? Despite the fact that many of us can barely keep our eyes open at 9am on a Saturday, breakfast always seems to be well attended. So with that in mind we'll continue our tradition of starting the day at Latham 76 Diner.

Pep Band Rehearsal - West Hall 326 - 10:30am
Warm-up time! This will be our opportunity to meet and greet with the current band, learn some new music, and generally relax before the rest of the day's festivities. Rehearsal normally lasts 'till 12:30pm.

Hockey Alumni Game - Houston Fieldhouse - 12:00pm
This is an annual tradition for alumni of the men's hockey team. Many old favorites will attend, as well as some of the newer alums that may not be playing professionally. It's a fun game to watch and will certainly bring back memories. This event is free to the public.

Alumni Lasagna Dinner - Conte Residence (1584 Tibbits Ave) - 3:15pm
The Conte's have again opened their home (and especially their kitchen) to RPIPBA(aF) for the Freakout lasagna dinner and after party. We'll have the traditional Freakout spread, but if there are any special needs, make sure to note those when you RSVP. As usual, there is no cover, but donations will not be turned away. Plan on heading to the field house between 5:30 and 6. For those that may not have attended these events before, directions are listed below.

Freakout 2008 vs Princeton! - Houston Fieldhouse - 6:15pm
The main event, where the band welcomes all us old-timers onto their stage to scream our heads off. RPI takes on Princeton in coach Appert's second Freakout (and hopefully his first win). Post-game on-ice festivities will most likely follow.

After Party! - Conte Residence (1584 Tibbits Ave) - 9:45pm
You know the drill. Post game = after party. Again, there is no cover, but donations will not be turned away.

Other Assorted Information

While the RSVP method is the same, we've added some of the options this year to acount for our growing/changing membership. This includes dietary needs and small children (and no those are not necessarily the same thing). This is also your place to request an instrument or request to conduct a song during the intermissions. Make sure you go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RPI_Pep_Band_Alumni/surveys?id=2300586

and RSVP by 1/24/08.

Anyone who has RSVP'd (anyone sensing a theme here?) requesting to participate in the group ticket purchase will get an e-mail from me this week confirming the number of tickets being requested. I will also follow up with anyone that RSVP's this week.

Ticket purchase will take place on Monday 1/21/08. Anyone who has not RSVP'd by 1/20/08 will need to purchase tickets on their own. More details regarding payment will be provided to those participating in the group purchase.

If you are not purchasing tickets as part of the group, a block of 75 tickets has been reserved for Pep Band Alumni through the fieldhouse. This block will be released to the general public at 5:00pm on 1/25/07. Pep Band alumni will need to contact the Houston Field House Box Office directly at (518) 276-6262 to purchase tickets. Be sure to indicate that you are a "Pep Band Alumnus." Cash and Visa or MasterCard sales will be permitted. There is a $3.00 handling fee for credit card purchases. Tickets will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and can be picked up at the Houston Field House Will Call Window or if time allows (10 days minimum) the tickets can be mailed.

Directions To The Conte Residence
Coming from the field house, take a left at the light onto Burdett Ave. Burdett will dead end into Tibbits. Take a Right onto Tibbits and it's the second house on the right (look for the blue Mini in the driveway).

If you haven't been to campus in a while, be ready for some changes (both inside and out). Between EMPAC and the East Campus renovations, RPI has a bit of a new look. Unfortunately, these changes have made parking even more of an issue, and there is alsmost none behnd the Fieldhouse.

Shuttles run from North Lot before and after each game, and if you get there early enough, there is some street parking on Burdett and nearby side roads. RPIPBA(aF) strongly recommends that if you are going to the lasagna dinner and/or after party parking near the Conte residence and walking to & from the game.

Be sure to sign up for the online Photo Gallery so you can share your Freakout pictures. This will be much easier than what was tried in the past.


Life Updates

Wow, we actually have some updates this time. First piece of news comes from Sarah Bennett and Brendan Conte '02. On Friday, December 21st, Brendan proposed (and of course Sarah said yes). The two are looking at a Spring 2008 wedding.

Next piece of news this quarter comes from Chris and Terry, who are expecting a future pep band member in late July. Little early to determine gender (or instrument) yett at least the kid will have rhythm.

Finally, we got an e-mail from ex-conductor James "Tex Tunes It Ya'll" Sattler '02:

"For starters, I just got married on 29 December. Yes, my wife is a former band nerd who played the flute. She's from Nashua, NH and we met at Hanscom AFB where I was stationed for the past 3.5 years.

"What's more is that I am no longer stationed at Hanscom. In September, I got orders to go to Texas for 3.5 months of training before going overseas to England for the next 3 years. Sooo, now that the training is complete and we're finally married, the 2 of us will be flying out next week to England for a 3 year stay. We'll be stationed at RAF Lakenheath which is about 1.5 hours NNE of London. If you drive from London to Cambridge and then keep going about 20 miles further, you'll hit Lakenheath. It's out in the countryside of England.

"Anywho, as you can see life's been pretty crazy for the past 8 months with Air Force training, proposals, wedding planning, moving/packing, and getting a new job. Oh, I forgot to mention, my job at Lakenheath will be working as an aircraft maintenance officer on F-15's. Pretty sweet deal in my humble opinion."

Thanks for the update Tex. Just remember not to insult the queen.

If you have a life update you'd like to share, please e-mail us at pepband@rpipepbandalumni.org.


From The Managers

Hello Alumni!

We've gotten deeper into hockey season and have had a great success with a new Pep Band tradition! In November we held our First Annual Pep Band Thanksgiving in the Union, asking everyone to bring a dish of their choice. We had a turnout of over 30 members and everyone had lots of fun (and food)!

We went on a roadtrip to the Clarkson/St. Lawrence women's games, as well as the Quinnipiac men's game a few weeks later. We'll be putting together a small group to play at Union for the women's game during winter break, and will be driving the short distance to the men's game at Union on 1/18.

Freakout plans are starting to get under way for the big game on 2/2 against Princeton. Judging by the turnouts we had in the band for Family Weekend and Black Friday, there should be a great crowd for Freakout! After that the band will be taking a roadtrip to the men's games at Colgate and Cornell on the weekend of 2/15-2/16. Finishing up February is the men's Senior Night game against Clarkson on 2/23. Unfortunately, the band will be missing the women's Senior Night game on 2/16 for the roadtrip. Following the end of the men's and women's regular seasons, we'll be traveling to as many playoff games as we are able.

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

-Gary & Natalie
The Managers


Final Notes

So, to recap:

  • Thanks again to Mike Joseph, Yuri Koester, and Tim Fill for their efforts in making the alumni night after-party a sucess. Thanks also to Natalie and Gary for being such gratious hosts to us on stage.
  • If you're in the area, go support the band at Union on 1/18, or at Colgate and Cornell the weekend of 2/15.
  • APB Wiki wants your stories and updates. If you have something to share please be sure to post it at apbwiki.rpipepbandalumni.org
  • Freakout 2008 is upon us! Be sure to go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RPI_Pep_Band_Alumni/surveys?id=2300586 and RSVP.
  • Welcome to the list 2008 Seniors!
  • 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.
  • Please send any other ideas/comments/suggestions/whatever to Chris and Terry at pepband@rpipepbandalumni.org.
Next issue: Freakout! recap, post-season news, and a look to the summer.