RPI Pep Band (and Friends) Alumni Newsletter
Volume 6, Issue 4








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Today's the day! Fall is here, football is underway, and the men's hockey team begins their quest this very afternooon in Quebec. Lots to talk about with the teams, plus PBAN6, so let's get to it.

Men's Hockey: Gearing Up For The New Season
by Gary Russinko


With the Red & White game is behind them and the season-opener against Vermont looming large, it’s finally game time for the men’s team. There’s not a whole lot of news since the last newsletter, but here’s what we do know:

  • The captains for 2008-2009 have been announced. Matt Angers-Goulet will wear the C, while Seth Klerer and Peter Merth will each get an A. No real surprises here.

  • The preseason polls are out – the coaches have picked RPI to finish 10th while the media predicts a 9th place finish. These are not unrealistic predictions, but RPI will have the talent to surprise folks if everyone completely writes them off for a bottom 4 finish. I have to imagine the coaches are more than happy to be underestimated and taken lightly, at least early in the season.

  • The walk-on goalies were revealed at the Red & White game. Nick Loran (#1) previously played for the Canmore Eagles (Jordan Alford’s junior team), and Joey Harkenrider (#35) played for the LA Hockey Club and Mira Costa HS out in California. They did not see any ice time during the scrimmage, with the coaches preferring to test Lange and York against each other.

  • There were some distinct glimmers of hope for this season after seeing the Red & White game; several returning players have definitely picked up their game and their skating, and the freshmen made a good showing. Players – especially forwards – will be fighting for ice time this year, and it showed as the level of competition at the scrimmage appeared much higher than in years past.

  • Work on the team locker rooms is still progressing – currently the teams are using the locker rooms on the far side of the ice from the home bench and entering the same way visiting teams usually do. Hopefully this will be taken care of by the time we get into the full swing of the season.

  • Andrei Uryadov will miss an undetermined number of games to start the season due a suspension on a team rules violation. Common belief is that the suspension stems from Uryadov getting himself ejected from the second playoff game in Yale last season for berating a referee. He is not expected to return until after the home opener against Harvard on 11/4.

  • Ben Barr has left his volunteer coaching position with the Engineers to take a full-time assistant coach position at Union, replacing Billy Riga. Perhaps he’ll teach the Dutchmen a thing or two about scoring shorthanded goals. Kevin Broad will step in behind the bench as a volunteer assistant for this season.

That about wraps it up for now. Next time around we’ll have a recap of the early ECAC season, observations from the Engineers and the rest of the league, and a look toward the latter half of the season.


Women's Hockey: Season Underway
by Gary Russinko

Stepping away from men’s hockey for a moment to write a short column for the women’s team, let me first make a plug for Chris in his search for a new women’s hockey coordinator:

The sports coordinators are the pipeline of information, oftentimes the only one, between the teams we loved in school and the band’s alumni.  Even if you can’t attend many games, an hour a week is all it takes to review the various recaps and box scores online and put together a weekend review for your fellow alums.  If you’re at all interested, or on the fence, please shoot Chris an email and talk it over with him.

Now, on to the women’s team.  With two exhibition games and opening weekend under their belts, the Engineers are already off to a strong start.  They handily dispatched their two exhibition opponents – thought they may have been Canadian junior teams, it’s always good to get a little confidence booster in to start the season and shake the rust off.

Opening weekend was a mixed bag, with the Engineers falling to Northeastern in a game that should have had a different outcome.  Outshooting the Huskies 40-17, RPI still somehow lost 3-2.  All five goals were on the power play, hinting perhaps that RPI will need to work on its discipline lest it cost them goals and games.

The team bounced back, though, and shutout BU 2-0 the next afternoon.  This game as well was chock full of penalties, but they didn’t cost either team, with no power play or shorthanded goals scored.

Sonja van der Bliek and Ashley Mayr have been sharing goaltending duties, and though it’s still too early to tell what will happen between the pipes, Mayr was in net for the 3-2 loss to Northeastern while van der Bliek pitched the shutout against BU.

The freshman class has stepped in right away and looks to be meshing fairly well with the upperclassmen.  Most of the penalties so far have been on upperclassmen, so hopefully the coaches can use the freshmen to set an example for the returning players and help drop the number of bad penalties taken.

Meanwhile, RPI was chosen to finish 9th by the coaches in the preseason ECAC poll, ahead of Brown, Quinnipiac, and Union.  A fair pick, and while RPI is unlikely to finish lower than this, there is a possibility to end a few spots higher depending on just how the season plays out.  Aside from the very top and very bottom teams, the ECAC has become a very competitive conference across the board.

The first conference game of the season will take place on Halloween, 10/31 when Brown comes to Troy to take on the Engineers.

To round it up – if you have even the slightest inclination to take over writing on the women’s hockey team, please shoot Chris an email, and in the meantime keep an eye on your email for men’s recaps as they come along.


Football: Engineers Start Season 3-0
by Mike Brown

The conventional wisdom going into this season was that the defense and the passing game were going to lead the way for the Engineers this year. However, the first two weeks of the season, the defense was solid as predicted, but it was the running game leading the way for the offense.

The opening week saw RPI travel to Endicott to take on the Gulls. Led by Nick Costa and his three rushing touchdowns, the Engineersb dominated Endicott, defeating them 36-7. The defense held Endicott to 136 yards through the air and picked off the Gull quarterback twice.

Following that win, the Engineers remained on the road, traveling across I-90 to Utica to battle the Pioneers. Again, it was the defense leading the way, as they forced five turnovers, including on the last four Utica possessions, to help lead RPI to a 24-10 win. The Engineer offense was paced by the ground game, with Costa scoring his fourth touchdown of the year, to go along with a Jimmy Robertson rushing touchdown.

Returning home, RPI knew it was in for a battle as undefeated WPI would invade Troy in the battle of the Engineers for the Transit Trophy. After some initial back and forth, RPI took control in the middle stanza, scoring 21 unanswered points to take a 35-14 lead, then cruising home with a 35-21 win. The passing offense finally got rolling, as Jimmy Robertson threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns.

RPI's standout wide receiver Eren Savasli had a big game, with 174 receiving yards and three touchdowns, two from Robertson, and one on a trick play from fellow receiver Patrick McCarthy. McCarthy also caught a touchdown pass from Robertson and contributed 84 receiving yards of his own. The defense held WPI to 53 yards rushing to retain the Transit Trophy for the 12th consecutive year.

In upcoming weeks, the Engineers take on Rochester and Susquehanna, with traditional Liberty League powers Hobart and archrival Union waiting later on in the season. With the strong start, a solid finish could mean another trip to the NCAA playoffs for the Engineers. We'll have to wait to see how the season plays out, but in the meantime...



PBAN6 Update
by Chris & Terry Farrar

PBAN6 planning is well underway. We got some really good feedback regarding this year's event, and with that in mind decided to change the schedule a little bit.

For those of you who may not be aware yet, PBAN6 will take place on Saturday, November 8th. The evening will kick-off with Happy Hour at the Clubhouse Pub in the Student Union. Happy Hour will run from 4:00pm to 6:00pm and food will be available.

After we're done at The Pub, we'll make our way up to the Fieldhouse for RPI vs. Dartmouth. If you will not be joining us at the Pub, meet us at the Fieldhouse at 6:15pm.

Ex-manager Natalie Semczuk will be hosting this year's Student/Alumni mixer. Party will start 9:45ish and go 'till whenever Natalie decides to kick us out. We'll have more details, including address and directions, in a separate e-mail.

If you haven't done so already, please be sure to RSVP at the Yahoo Group. Hope to see you all there.


Life Updates
by Chris and Terry Farrar

Our first update coems from es-manager Erica Baer. After finishing her degree in Fresno, CA, Erica is back on the east coast. This past August she was hired by a trial consulting firm in NYC and works as a jruy consultant.

Additional east coast news comes from Rachel Kreppel. Rachel now resides in CT with fiancee Jim and works on international patent litigation for Purde Pharama L.P.

Finally, congratulations again to Karen and Jon Yurek on their recent marriage.

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


From The Managers
by Bonnie Domigan & Kevin Schildhorn

Hi Alumni,

This year's got a good start with new members and great events. We've gotten around twenty new members in the band and most of them are very active.

So far we've been playing at a couple of hockey and football games, however the season has only just started. We were invited to play at both the pep rally and the hockey line, although they were both canceled. We have womens and mens games about every weekend, and some football games.

The next big event is that the band is traveling to Quebec for the Men's game Columbus Day weekend. We will be cheering on the team in Quebec, then driving back to watch them play again on Sunday. On the 18th we will be playing at the heart walk in Albany. We will be playing for the American Heart Association and the many people walking for better heart health. We are also currently planning our road trips for the semester, which will be happening later in the year. We are planning on going to Quinnipiac and Princeton for Women's games. We will be going away for Men's games at a later date, because of their scheduling.

Everyone's excited for the hockey season and is ready to cheer the team.

Bonnie Domigan & Kevin Schildhorn


Final Notes

Wow, a newsletter that actually got out on time! Here's some final points: 

  • RPI Musicfest 2008 will be held on October 17th & 18th as RPI opens up EMPAC. If interested, please contact Peter Pedone in the Alumni House.
  • The Polytechnic will also be holding a reunion at homecoming. For more details please contact Ben Levinn '06.
  • PBAN6 will be held on Saturday, November 8th vs. Dartmouth. Be sure to RSVP!
  • Congrats to the Yureks!
  • RPI Pep Band Alumni and Friends is looking for a new Women's Hockey Coordinator. Please contact Chris if interested.
  • Good luck to the band this weekend in Quebec.
  • Electronic schedules are here for Football and Men's Hockey! Be sure to check out 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: PBAN recap, Freakout 2009, mid-season