RPI Pep Band (and Friends) Alumni Newsletter
Volume 6, Issue 2








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Summer time, and the livin is easy. Welcome to the quiet time of the year (least as far as RPI stuff goes). Summer is a great opportunity to look to the future, and you'll see that theme at various points in the Q2 Newsletter.

Men's Hockey: Season Ends In Heartbreaker, Future is Bright

Another tough season is in the books, but the light is shining brighter at the end of the tunnel. This season, especially late as they became accustomed to the college game, we saw the freshmen, Appert's first full recruiting class, take on leading roles throughout the team on the ice. Some of the top players on the team next season will be guys like Helfrich, Polacek (an ECAC All-Rookie team selection), Brutlag, and Halpern. Those names will have some company in next year's class, which on its surface is not quite as exciting as last year's class, it's still quite the addition to the team as it evolves into Appert's style – and the class entering in 2009 is already quite exciting. This upcoming season may not be the full breakthrough, but expect more next year, and even more the year after.

G Allen York (Camrose Kodiaks, AJHL) – The discussion of next year's recruits has got to begin with York. One of the top goalies in one of the best leagues in Canada, York is a 2007 draftee of the Columbus Blue Jackets and was sought after by some of the top programs in the nation, including locations known for landing top goaltending talent like Wisconsin, Maine, and Denver. One of the reasons Denver was known for getting good goalies was Seth Appert – so the expectations are high for York, being Appert's first goalie recruit at the Institute. He should come in and compete for the top spot against senior Mathias Lange right away. Previews have breathlessly compared York to Daren Puppa, perhaps the greatest goaltender that has ever played at RPI.

D Mike Bergin (Smiths Falls Bears, CJHL) – Bergin is expected to come in and pretty much be an immediate contributor for the Engineers as the blueliners continue to evolve into an experienced group with a good handle on the way Appert plays hockey. Next to York, he is probably the most eagerly anticipated recruit coming to the team next season. Like York, Bergin is expected to come in and be a solid, and potentially major, contributor right off the bat. He had 14 goals and 27 assists this year.

LW Patrick Cullen (Indiana Ice, USHL) – Cullen hasn't had loads of success in the USHL – easily the top junior league in the United States – but the experience should be invaluable as he starts playing Division I hockey. He was outstanding in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League, a lesser competitive league, last season, but has struggled a little more in the top flight USHL. He had only 8 goals and 18 assists in 58 games. It is hoped that Cullen will come in and make some solid contributions, and it is definitely hoped that his time in the USHL will at least help his transition a little bit – many of this year's recruits took some time to adjust, especially Foss, Polacek, and Halpern, and to a lesser extent Brutlag, because they had a pretty big gap to cover from where they were to Division I. Cullen at least has that high-caliber experience now.

F Alex Angers-Goulet (Langley Chiefs, BCHL) – The name should be familiar for good reason. He looks an awful lot like his brother, but the word is that he's faster and has mad skills. While Matt was a Fridgen recruit, "AAG" (as he is becoming known as in RPI circles on the Web) is supposedly a prototype Appert recruit, possibly similar to Tyler Helfrich. Being compared to Tyler Helfrich is certainly a good thing. He had 12 goals and 28 assists in 44 games this season for a talented Chiefs squad, but turned it on in the playoffs, scoring 7 goals and 8 assists in 12 games.

LW Christian Morissette (Green Bay Gamblers, USHL) – The name should be familiar… but he's not related to the outgoing captain. I'm not sure what to make of Morissette quite yet. I get the feeling he's going to be a little raw and that's probably OK. He might see some limited time during his freshman year but hopefully he can become a solid contributor as time goes by. He's not big, but not too small, just right.

RW Jordan Watts (Aurora Tigers, OPJHL) – Watts is a smaller player at 5-10 but has done a good job scoring goals this season in the OPJHL, which is a Tier II league. Like AAG, Watts is a good skater with Chase Polacek-like features. If those features play out he can definitely be a big part of this team's future success. He won the Royal Bank Cup (the Canadian national junior championship) last season and had a good year for the Tigers this season.

RW Justin Smith (Langley Chiefs, BCHL) – One of the best things about Smith is the size factor that he brings. He's 6-3 and listed at 205, which is pretty big. Hopefully he can bring a physical aspect to the game that the team seems to have lacked last season. Scoring-wise, he's a bit like Cullen. He did OK in a lesser league but struggled a bit more moving up to a top-flight junior league. With any luck, Kevin Beauregard, who didn't play at all this year, will get some playing time along with Smith – they would prove a mighty duo.

D Mark Zarbo (Bentley College, AHA) – Zarbo is technically already on the team as he finished his redshirt season this year. As has been mentioned, he performed well in the Red/White game last year and should boost the defense a bit even if only in numbers. This year's corps had a hard time partially because there were only seven of them on the roster filling six spots every game. Now with Zarbo and Bergin coming aboard, that helps out big time – and Zarbo's probably going to be more than adequate at his job, too, which is even better.

Also, a third-string goalie is needed, but he probably won't be known until the Red/White game.

Plus, a sneak peek at 2009's first three recruits…

C Jacob Laliberté (Hawkesbury Hawks, CJHL) – Prepare to be blown away. Laliberté lit up the CJHL this season (52 goals in 71 games) and will likely play in Alberta or BC next season to prepare for advancement to RPI. He is small at 5-9, but he plays the game a lot like a guy I saw in St. Cloud this year, Ryan Lasch, who is 5-7 (barely) and was a Hobey Baker finalist this year.

LW Matt Tinordi (Washington Jr. Nationals, Atlantic JHL) – Tinordi is the son of long-time NHL veteran Mark Tinordi. While he's pretty good in his own right, he may eventually be the Bryan to Brad or the Eric to Marc (you know of whom I am talking about, you long-term alums) when it comes time for his brother Jarred to commit. Even still, Matt has size at 6-1 and is projected to be a late-round NHL pick this season, so he's awesome enough.

RW C.J. Lee (Green Bay Gamblers, USHL) – A Staten Island native, I really don't know much about Lee except that he's not big sizewise. I do know that Appert has been looking at him since last year, so he's probably pretty big on him.

Finishing up around the ECAC…
Princeton won the ECAC title, knocking off Harvard in the title game. It was the first title game in 19 years that did not include Clarkson, Cornell, or the Engineers. Princeton lost to Frozen Four competitor North Dakota in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.

Clarkson lived up to their reputation, winning the regular-season crown only to fall in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to Colgate. They still made the national tournament, and as I predicted drew St. Cloud State in the first round. I thought the Huskies would further embarrass the Kniggits, but they played a flat game and Clarkson snuck by. They were then soundly dispatched by Michigan the next night.

That's it for me – I'm off to the sandbox next season. Gary Russinko will be taking over in my stead as the men's hockey correspondent until I return. I'm sure he'll do a bang-up job.

Let's go Red

(Editor's Note - Take care Tom, and come back in one piece)


Women's Hockey: Another Season in the Books

After starting the 2008 portion of their season with a 4-0-2 record, the women's hockey team ended their 2007-2008 season in disappointing fashion, going 2-6-1 in their final nine games to finish in ninth place in the ECAC, one place out of the playoffs. Despite the poor finish RPI wasn't eliminated from the playoffs until the final game of the season, when they fell 3-2 to Yale. The Engineers finished the season with a 13-15-5 record overall, 6-12-4 in the ECAC, three points out of eighth.

On the bright side, the ladies seem to be closing the gap on one of the big three (Harvard, St. Lawrence, and Dartmouth) in the conference. RPI played two tough games against Dartmouth this year, falling at home 6-4, despite being up 3-0 and 4-3. Then during that slide at the end season, they were able to go into Hanover and come out with an important 1-1 tie. At the time, the tie kept RPI in the hunt for the final playoff spot.

With the end of the season, the Engineers say goodbye to four seniors, co-captains Brooke Thompson and Kelly Barbera, defenseman Ellen McNamara, and fifth-year forward Julie Aho. In 114 career games, Thompson scored 32 goals and had 32 assists for 64 points. Barbera and Aho both played in 119 career games, tallying seven and 49 goals respectively. Barbera added 36 assists for 43 points while Aho contributed 36 assists for 85 points. McNamara played in a school record 121 career games, accumulating six goals and 22 assists for 28 points.

RPI should return their nine top scoring players next season. Sophomore Whitney Naslund led the team this year with eight goals and a team high 14 assists for 22 points. Juniors Melanie Guillemette and Nicole McDonald, and freshman Kendra Dunlop led the team in goals with 10 each. Guillemette contributed 10 assists while McDonald and Dunlop tallied five assists each. Sophomore Laura Gersten rounded out the top five in scoring with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points.

In goal, junior Ashley Mayr and freshman Sonja van der Bliek split time for the majority of the season, playing in 19 and 15 games respectively. van der Bliek led the way between the two, finishing with a 9-4-2 record, allowing only 20 goals and had a .939 save percentage. Mayr ended the season with a 4-11-3 record, allowing 50 goals and had a .897 save percentage.

At the year ending banquet, four awards were given out. Junior Melissa Boik earned the Most Valuable Player award. The Most Improved Player award went to Dunlop, who finished 11th overall in points per game by a freshman. Mayr received the Robert Conway Scholar-Athlete Award, which is presented to the player with the highest cumulative grade point average over a minimum of three semesters. The final award was the Bill Cahill Memorial Award and the recipient was Ellen McNamara.

So far seven recruits have unofficially committed to RPI for next year. At forward, Laura Guillemette (Athol Murray College of Notre Dame Hounds, SFMAAAHL), Alisa Harrison (Washington Pride, JWHL), and Jill Vandegrift (Minnesota Thoroughbreds, MWEHL) enter with the class of 2012. Amanda Castignetti (Shattuck-St Mary's), Katie Daniels (Chicago Mission, MWEHL), Kristen Jakubowski (Northwood School, NAPHA and Syracuse Stars U19), and Sierra Vadner (Minnesota Thoroughbreds, MWEHL) will join the Engineer defensive corp next season.


Upcoming Events

With the 2008-2009 Hockey schedule released (subject to change), we can start looking forward to next season's alumni events. Baring any changes, be sure to mark the following dates on your calendar:

Pep Band Alumni Night 6: Saturday, November 8th vs. Dartmouth
Big Red Freakout 2009: Saturday, February 14th vs. Yale

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for either of next season's events, please let us know!


Life Updates

Some end-of-semester life updates this time. First such update comes from Mark Ghoetz. Mark's just finishing up his first year of grad school at Michigan, and will be coming back east this summer for an internship at Harvard. Also, ex-manager Erica Baer writes to us from Fresno, CA. Erica is also coming back east, but with her doctorate in hand. No word on the job hunt yet, so for the time being Erica will be back in NJ.

Final life update for this quarter comes from our very own Football Coordinator and ex-Conductor Mike "Can Fly" Brown. On April 19th, Mike popped the question to long-time girlfriend Becky. Of course she said yes, though a date has not been decided on. Congrats go to the happy couple.

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


From The Managers

Hello Alumni!

Hockey season has drawn to a close once again, but surprisingly we still have quite a few events left for the band! But first, let’s talk about the most recent event - elections!

Elections were held on Saturday, March 29, and here are the results: Steve Malinski won the conductor race over Leah Glover and Curtis Sheu, and Bonnie Domigan and Kevin Schildhorn won the race for managers over…a chair. They’ll be writing the column from here on out, but first, some introductions from the new managers:

Hello, I'm Kevin Schildhorn and I'm going to be a junior next year. I hope to get as many events in the year as possible and I would like the band to become friends with as many pep bands possible (except Clarkson obviously).

Hi, I'm Bonnie Domigan. I'm studying Chemical Engineering and am going to be a sophomore here next year. I am really excited about pep band next year and I hope that we have great football and hockey seasons to play for!

Congrats to everyone!

The band has traveled a few times since the last newsletter. We made a short trip to Union in January for the Men’s hockey game, and traveled to Harvard a few weeks later for the Women’s game. We also traveled to Colgate-Cornell on an overnight for the Men’s games. This year we finished out the RPI hockey season in Yale, in a weekend that included the eighth longest game in ECAC history, and the longest game ever played at Ingalls Rink. We also heard from many Yale fans how much they enjoyed listening to our band!

The band was also asked to help out Colgate’s band during ECAC Championship weekend, since most of their band was on break. And just as we thought the season was done for us, we were hired by Niagara University to play for a pep rally at their hotel in Albany, and then their NCAA tournament first round game against Michigan.

In other news, Accepted Students Day is coming up, and the pep band will be playing in the morning, as well as manning a table for the club fair as we have in the past. Hopefully we’ll be able to recruit quite a few people at this, since attendees for Accepted Students day have increased greatly in the last few years.

A few weekends later, we’ll be playing for the kickoff for Relay for Life, and we’ll have a team walking all night as well! We’ve also been asked to tentatively play “Hail” around 7:30am the next morning at Relay, as an energizer for the morning. That second day of Relay, April 26, is our annual Troy Savings Bank Music Hall concert at 3pm. We’re currently preparing for the concert, looking through some of our more technically difficult music from both the active set and the rest of the library. Last year was a success and we look forward to continuing the concert series!

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

-Gary & Natalie
The (Ex) Managers


Final Notes

So, to recap:

  • Another big thank you goes out to Sarah and Brenden for their Freakout efforts.
  • Welcome Gary Russinko as the new Men's Hockey Coordinator
  • RPI Pep Band Alumni and Friends would like to thank Tom Reale for his efforts as Men's Hockey Coordinator for the last two seasons, and looks forward to his return for the 2009-20010 season.
  • RPI Pep Band Alumni and Friends is looking for a new Women's Hockey Coordinator. Due to personal commitments, Yuri Koester will be stepping down once a replacement can be found. Interested candidates should reach out to Yuri or Chris.
  • APB Wiki wants your stories and updates. If you have something to share please be sure to post it at apbwiki.rpipepbandalumni.org
  • Congratulations to new Pep Band Managers Kevin Schildhorn and Bonnie Domigan!
  • Congratulations to new conductor Steve Malinski!
  • 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: Summer time blues, football previews, PBAN6.