Preview: RPI at Bowling Green
The Engineers start the second half of their season in the Midwest
RPI have made the trek out to western Ohio to faceoff against the Falcons in a set of back-to-back games starting this evening. It’s the last non-ECAC opponent of the regular season (and last set of non-conference games besides the Mayor’s Cup), so it’s one more chance to fine tune before the games have big playoff implications.
Bowling Green sit in fourth place (but only two points off first - it’s all very tight in the top four) in the CCHA - a league that is generally a step below the ECAC in terms of average team quality, but one that still always has some really strong teams.
In the Pairwise, Bowling Green sit four spots above RPI in 41st place, so in theory, this should be a fairly even matchup. It really makes it a good preparation game for the second half of the season because a lot of the remaining ECAC games will be against other “evenly-matched” teams and RPI will need to win a good chunk of those games to climb back up in the standings.
I think this breakdown of Pairwise Rankings by Conference posted on the College Hockey Subreddit by redsoxfan2194 shows this pretty well - Bowling Green sits in a similar tier to more than half of the ECAC:
Here’s who to watch out for from the Falcons:
Austen Swankler (C, #12) leads the team in goals (12) and assists (11) and is one of the better players in the nation. He is their first-line center and will be a consistent threat all game. Expecting Muzzatti and Beaton (if healthy) to matchup against him as often as possible.
Chase Gresock (RW, #27) and Ryan O’Hara (LW, #20) are the other two members of the Falcon’s top line alongside Swankler. They are second and third on the team in points, respectively. Gresock is a fifth-year player with tons of experience (over 100 games played across three colleges).
A Side Note
Perry will be on the call for both games, so I think it’s worth picking up a quick subscription to FloHockey to tune in. I’ve really enjoyed Dan and Fridge on the broadcasts this season, but I think a little cameo from Perry in these two games will be a nice throwback.
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