RPI Hockey

Background
Timeline

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Background

The RPI Engineers are a hockey program with a long history, dating back over one hundred years, and have reached the pinnacle of college hockey twice, with national titles in 1954 and 1985. Unfortunately for the players, school and fans, long-term success has been difficult to achieve. RPI has endured significant stretches of average play over the years and is currently in its longest streak of not appearing in its conference's final four. But there is always hope that the Engineers are close to putting all the pieces together for another championship run.

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Timeline

SEASON EVENT(S)
1901-02 RPI played its first hockey game, a loss to Williams 4-1 in Cohoes.
1903-04 First win in school history, 6-2 over Union in Albany.
1911-12 A loss to the Massachusetts Agricultural College in Troy was the first home game played in Troy. Prior to this most home contests were in Albany. Institute Rink (or the Avenue B Rink) was built each year on what is now Anderson Field.
1919-20 Largest win in school history, 23-0, over State College (now the University at Albany). Richard Cook '21 scored seven goals in the game, setting a school record.
1920-21 Last season the school played seven-per-side hockey and the first it played six-per-side.
1936-37 RPI played its only game at home on what was '86 Field in the center of campus.
1937-38 Final season of the outdoor version of the hockey program. The obvious issues in maintaining natural ice made it difficult to keep the program active.
1949-50 The completion of the RPI Field House allowed Ned Harkness to restart hockey on campus. The team started out the season with three losses, then beat Champlain in Plattsburgh for their first win before returning home to defeat St. Michael's 8-4 in Troy for their first win in the new field house.
1950-51 RPI joined the newly formed Tri-State League with Clarkson, Colgate, Middlebury, St. Lawrence and Williams and finished fifth in the league's first season.
1951-52 The RPI Invitational Tournament founded as an eight-team tournament. Subsequent editions would feature four teams.
1952-53 RPI selected for the NCAA Tournament for the first time. They ultimately finished third after losing to Minnesota in the semifinals.
1953-54 The first national championship for the school, as RPI defeated Minnesota 5-4 in overtime in Colorado Springs to win the title.
1960-61 RPI's third appearance in the NCAA tournament. A loss to fellow Tri-State League member St. Lawrence in the semifinal, followed by a loss to Minnesota, landed RPI in fourth place.
1961-62 First season for the ECAC hockey conference. RPI remained a member of the Tri-State League, later the ICAC, until it stopped sponsoring hockey in 1972.
1962-63 Last season under head coach Ned Harkness. He achieved success in the next decade at Cornell while RPI soon entered a lean period for the program.
1963-64 Under head coach Rube Bjorkman RPI returned to the NCAA Tournament and finished third. Bjorkman left suddenly after the end of the season, which caused major problems for the program.
1964-65 Garry Kearns '58 took over as head coach. Lack of recruiting during Bjorkman's tenure contributed to several poor seasons. Kearns only coached the team to a winning record in his fifth and final season.
1969-70 Leon Abbott hired as the new head coach. He left for Boston University after three years without much success in Troy.
1972-73 The fifth head coach of the modern era, Jim Salfi, took over and returned RPI to the ECAC semifinals in 1974 for the first time since 1964. That was the only post-season success under his seven-year leadership.
1979-80 Mike Addesa took over as head coach. RPI soon began offering scholarships, which would pay dividends in a few seasons.
1983-84 RPI won its first ECAC Tournament championship and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in twenty years, falling in the first round.
1984-85 RPI won its second NCAA Championship in Detroit, a 2-1 win over Providence. They also repeated as ECAC Tournament champions.
1989-90 After Mike Addesa was forced to resign after the previous season, Buddy Powers took over as head coach. During his five years the team would only miss the ECAC semifinals once, finishing second twice.
1993-94 RPI's seventh NCAA Tournament appearance saw them lose to New Hampshire in Albany.
1994-95 RPI won their third ECAC Tournament championship under new head coach Dan Fridgen. In the NCAA Tournament, Minnesota knocks the Engineers out in the first round.
2006-07 Seth Appert became the new head coach after Dan Fridgen's twelve seasons.
2010-11 The most recent season RPI reached the NCAA Tournament, but another first round loss, this time to North Dakota. This was also the last, and sixtieth, season for the RPI Invitational Tournament
2017-18 Dave Smith became the most recent head coach at RPI.
2019-20 COVID-19 halted the season during the ECAC Tournament. RPI had finished fourth in the regular season and received a first-round bye, but never played a tournament game as the cancelation occurred between the first two rounds.
2020-21 Season canceled due to COVID-19.