Saturday, November 21, 2009

Women's Hockey - at #4 New Hampshire

RPI traveled to Durham, NH today for the first ever meeting between the Engineers and the New Hampshire Wildcats. Ranked fourth in the nation in the latest USCHO.com poll, UNH promised to be a tough challenge for an Engineer team that has been hot and cold at intervals this season. Coming off a 3-point ECAC weekend where Saturday's tie against 10th place Brown left a sour taste in fans' and players' mouths alike, RPI entered the Whittemore Center looking for a big non-conference win to get things back on track heading into a weekend series at Robert Morris before getting back into the remainder of the ECAC schedule. It was not the Engineers' lucky night however, as despite a strong performance and three goals, they were bested by the Wildcats 4-3.

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New Hampshire

Horton/O'Keefe/Weidner
Wright/Harrison/Vandegrift
Dunlop/Naslund/Vadner
Padmore/Jakubowski/Stapleton

Le Donne/Gersten
Castignetti/Haller
Chace/Daniels

Van der Bliek

UNH opened up the scoring midway through the first with a power play goal by Kelly Paton, who led Hockey East in scoring entering the game with 22 points in 13 games. After a few penalties were exchanged, Allison Wright tied it at one with a shorthanded goal just after a 4-on-4 ended and UNH got a player back. Wright's goal was RPI's second shorty of the season. This tied RPI with SLU, Quinnipiac, and Clarkson in the ECAC for shorthanded goals. From there it was all RPI for the next 15 minutes.

The teams entered the locker room tied at one, but the first half of the next period found RPI dominating UNH, with the Wildcats unable to clear the puck from their zone for much of that time. The Engineers cashed in on their pressure as Alisa Harrison netted two goals at 1:28 and 6:53 of the second to give RPI a 3-1 lead. UNH answered back with pressure of their own in the latter half of the period, throwing a ton of rubber at Sonja van der Bliek, and Kelly Paton picked up her second of the game on a delayed penalty at 15:05, to send the teams to the locker room with RPI holding onto the lead, 3-2.

UNH continued the pressure in the third as RPI looked like they were settling back a bit and trying to protect the lead. As we've learned from RPI teams the past several seasons, this rarely works and UNH made the Engineers pay for it with a power play goal by Kristina Lavoie followed very quickly by another goal by Kelly Paton to give her the hat trick midway through the period. RPI had a chance to recover with a power play opportunity shortly after, but UNH held up on the kill and kept RPI out of the net despite a couple of good Engineer chances. RPI took a penalty of their own with 4:36 left in the game, putting themselves down by retaliating on an uncalled cross-check by UNH. The Engineers pressured UNH on the kill and kept them from setting up on the power play, escaping the man advantage without giving up a goal. Despite nearly a minute and a half with the net empty and some strong pressure in the UNH zone, RPI was unable to find the equalizer and the game went in the books 4-3 in UNH's favor. Overall, the Engineers looked very strong and the came could easily have gone either way.

RPI is on the road again next weekend with a pair of games against Robert Morris, the only team from the CHA the Engineers have yet to play this season. Game times are 2:05pm Friday and Saturday. The Engineers then have a home-and-home with Union before taking a month off for winter break.

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ECAC Standings (as of 11/21/09, with ECAC play complete for the weekend)
               GP   Pts     ECAC      All
Cornell 8 13 6-1-1 6-3-1
Clarkson 7 12 6-1-0 12-2-1
Princeton 8 11 5-2-1 6-3-1
Quinnipiac 8 11 4-1-3 6-4-4
Harvard 8 10 5-3-0 5-3-1
Dartmouth 8 9 4-3-1 4-3-1
St. Lawrence 7 7 3-3-1 6-5-4
RPI 6 6 2-2-2 4-7-4
Colgate 8 5 1-4-3 2-9-3
Brown 8 3 0-5-3 1-6-3
Yale 8 2 1-7-0 1-7-1
Union 6 1 0-5-1 2-9-1
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RPI @ #4 New Hampshire
Non-conference Game - Whittemore Center (Durham, NH)
11/21/09 - 5:00pm
UNH 4, RPI 3

BOX SCORES:
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/0910/boxes/wrenunh1.n21

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2009/11/21/WICE_1121091255.aspx
UNH: http://unhwildcats.com/sports/wice/2009-10/releases/20091121i8pfdu
ECAC: http://www.ecachockey.com/women/2009-10/Game_Stories/20092111_RPI_UNH

RECORD: 4-7-4 (2-2-2 ECAC Hockey, 6 points)

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Upcoming Games

Nov. 27 - @ Robert Morris
Nov. 28 - @ Robert Morris
Dec. 5 - @ Union
Dec. 6 - Union

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