More than 7,100 fans watched as junior goaltender Scott Diebold made 28 saves to lead the Rensselaer men’s hockey team to a 2-1 victory over third-ranked Union College, in the second annual Mayor’s Cup game, at the Times Union Center Jan. 25. With the win, the Engineers improved to 10-10-4 overall, while the Dutchmen dropped to 16-5-3. Prior to the game, men’s head hockey coach Seth Appert gave an update on the men’s hockey program to more than 200 fans at a pre-game alumni reception.
“I want to thank everyone for their superb efforts that helped make the second annual Mayor’s Cup an incredible success,” said Jim Knowlton, director of athletics. “The alumni events, student representation, Vice President Tim Sams’ puck-drop, face painting, the Mayor’s trophy presentation (to RPI!), and the between-period entertainment…everything was superb and my hat is off to everyone at RPI, the Times Union Center, and Aramark for the team effort that made this possible.
“The mayors were thrilled with the event, attendance was up in a big way, and the crowd was treated to a game for the ages,” Knowlton continued. “This is what the Mayor’s Cup was meant to be and I appreciate everyone’s efforts that helped make everything come together so smoothly.”
Sophomore Mike Zalewski broke a 1-1 tie at 16:22 of the third period, taking a feed from senior Brock Higgs and sticking the puck past Union junior netminder Colin Stevens. The tally, which was Zalewski’s fifth of the season, was also assisted by junior Ryan Haggerty.
Diebold made a number of big stops down the stretch, including a glove save on a wrist shot by junior Max Novak, with under a minute to play.
Stevens stopped 18 shots for the Dutchmen, who were 0 for 4 on the power-play, including a 39-second 5-on-3 advantage. RPI was 0 for 3 on the man-advantage. Diebold stopped a combined 20 shots in the second and third periods.
At the end of the game, a fight broke out on the ice. Following the final whistle, the teams combined for 125 minutes in penalties and four players were disqualified.—Kevin Beattie