Schoeppler Pitches Shutout Against RPI, WPU Wins 2-0; Advances To SECHL Finals

WPU knock off RPI in SECHL semifinals thanks to defense and goaltending.


Courtesy of @wpuhockey Twitter. RPI and WPU get ready to take the faceoff in RPI’s defensive zone.

John Fiorino, Entertainment Editor

The William Paterson Pioneers men’s ice hockey team defeated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2-0 Saturday Feb. 18, in a close, defensive game at Floyd Hall Arena in Little Falls, N.J.

William Paterson goaltender senior, Gary Schoeppler, pitched his first shutout of the season and it could not have come at a better time. The shutout was close to being over a few times throughout the game on odd-man rushes, RPI power plays and more. However, Schoeppler held his ground with big pad saves in the third period, and the Pioneers defense came out with their best effort. This was the team’s third shutout of the season. Head Coach Joe Ballance had praise for Schoeppler and his strong performance.

“That is what to expect from him as he has been a solid goaltender for years,” Ballance said.

Other than two William Paterson goals from senior forwards Edmund Coxe and William Kapp, there was not much to be shown from either side on the score sheet. However one cannot blame the lack of scoring on the forwards. It was the goaltenders that stole the show on this one. Schoeppler for William Paterson and Dustin Egri for RPI were both fantastic in net. Although Schoeppler was relieved to come up big when the team needed him, in his mind, the team always comes first. Schoeppler made sure to give them most of the credit in a postgame interview with

“They really helped me get the shutout, I owe it to them more than anything,” Schoeppler said.

With the Pioneers buzzing around in the offensive zone, Egri had to make quick saves on the rush and ones on set plays. Furthermore, Egri had to come up large several times for RPI in the second period especially. The middle frame was crucial as the Pioneers controlled the majority of the play and put in two goals despite the strong play from Egri. Coxe’s deflection goal came on a powerplay, and Kapp’s goal came only 1:32 after Coxe’s tally.

Though this win is big for the Pioneers, they are not done yet. The SECHL finals take place on Sunday Feb. 19, at 12 p.m. at the same location of Floyd Hall Arena in Little Falls, N.J. Schoeppler comments that while the team is excited about this victory, the team is now looking forward to their finals matchup against New York University.

“We’ll talk about it for 10-15 minutes in the locker room but after that, this game is over and we’re moving on,” Schoeppler said.

Both teams know each other well, and are familiar with each style of play. Each team is 1-1 this season against each other where William Paterson took the first game early in the season by a score of 6-2. At the end of the year, and NYU’s last game of the season, NYU shutout William Paterson by a score of 4-2. For the finals, Ballance pointed out that the team should play their hardest and never turn back.

“We just need to have fun, work hard and leave everything on the ice,” Ballance said. “We can’t hold back and we can’t have any regrets when it’s all over.”