Sunday, February 28, 2010

Women's Hockey - ECAC Quarterfinals (Game 2)

Game 1 between RPI and Quinnipiac was a defense-first goaltender's duel that had to go to double overtime to find a winner. If anyone expected a different type of game on Saturday they were surely disappointed, as it was one power play goal for RPI that stood as the game's only and game-winner. RPI took down Quinnipiac 1-0 in front of a decent home crowd to knot the best-of-three series at one game each and force a winner-takes-all game three on Sunday


Game 2


Le Donne/Vadner

van der Bliek

RPI played a strong first period, outshooting Quinnipiac 7-2. Quinnipiac's only good opportunity of the frame came as they broke in on a 3-on-1, but the lone RPI defender broke up the play to avoid a Quinnipiac scoring opportunity. Andie Le Donne took a body checking penalty late in the period which carried over into the second, but RPI killed the penalty with little diffifulty.

The penalty kill for RPI was strong, but only tested three times over the course of the game. It was the Engineer power play that had a chance to shine in the second period when Quinnipiac's Janine Duffy went off on an interference call. Amanda Castignetti took a shot from the point on the ensuing power play, and Taylor Horton got the rebound over to Alisa Harrison who backhanded it home to give RPI the 1-0 lead.

Whitney Naslund took a penalty right off the following faceoff, but the Engineers successfully killed the opportunity. Quinnipiac's only real opportunities came in the second, where they outshot the Engineers 13-10 only to be outscored 1-0. RPI picked up the pace again in the third and had a dominant 7-1 shot advantage and kept Quinnipiac from any real opportunities despite nearly a minute of extra attacker time to end regulation.

With the win, the Engineers knotted the best-of-three series at one game apiece. The deciding game will begin 2pm Sunday, covered on WRPI 91.5FM or Video is available at cost from and we will have live tweets from TD Bank Sports Center at


#4 RPI at #5 Quinnipiac
ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals Game 2 – TD Bank Sports Center (Hamden, CT)
2/27/10 - 2:00pm
RPI 1, Quinnipiac 0 - Best of 3 series tied 1-1

College Hockey Stats:


RECORD: 15-14-6 (1-1 playoffs, 1-1 quarterfinals)


Playoff Standings (after game 2):

#1 Cornell vs. #8 Colgate - 2-0 Cornell (2-1, 5-0) - Cornell advances
#2 Clarkson vs. #7 SLU - 1-1 (5-0 Clarkson, 2-1 SLU)
#3 Harvard vs. #6 Princeton - 2-0 Harvard (5-1, 4-1) - Harvard advances
#4 Quinnipiac vs. #5 RPI - 1-1 (2-1 QU 2OT, 1-0 RPI)


Upcoming Games

Feb. 28 - ECAC Quarterfinals @ Quinnipiac (2pm)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Flush it Down

The Engineers tied Cornell 1-1 tonight to earn a total of 5 points against the top two teams in the ECAC... and yet they finish as the 6th seed after tying St. Lawrence for fifth place (and, as we've repeatedly mentioned, the Saints won the season series and thus the tiebreaker.

So here's what we've got.

#12 Clarkson at #5 St. Lawrence
#11 Brown at #6 RPI
#10 Dartmouth at #7 Quinnipiac
#9 Harvard at #8 Princeton

If the Engineers advance past Brown, they would play at #3 Union unless Clarkson defeats St. Lawrence. Then they would travel to #4 Colgate.

The potential matchups in the 2nd round are as follows.
Princeton/Harvard/Dartmouth/Brown/Clarkson at #1 Yale
Quinnipiac/Princeton/Harvard/Dartmouth/Brown at #2 Cornell
RPI/Quinnipiac/Princeton/Harvard/Dartmouth at #3 Union
St. Lawrence/RPI/Quinnipiac/Princeton/Harvard at #4 Colgate

It's do or die next week at the Field House as "Flying" Harry Zolnierczyk and the Brown Bears return for an encore performance. Stay tuned this week as we break down the bears.

Women's Hockey - ECAC Quarterfinals (Game 1)

RPI fell to Quinnipiac 2-1 in double overtime this afternoon, giving the Bobcats a 1-0 lead in the best of 3 series. RPI will have an uphill battle to take the series as they will have to win 2 in a row against a goalie they’ve only managed to score on three times in three games.

The games are all being covered by WRPI, 91.5FM in the Capital District or online. A video stream is also available at cost from Quinnipiac at We will continue to have live tweets from Hamden at @without_a_peer.


Game 1


Le Donne/Vadner

van der Bliek

Laura Guillemette did not play on Friday, leaving the Engineers down a player in a game that would end up testing both teams' endurance, running 88:46 compared to the regulation 60:00. The story of the game was goaltending, however, as Sonja van der Bliek and Quinnipiac's Victoria Vigilante had a goaltender's duel going on, stopping 33 and 40 out of 35 and 41 respectively.

After an uneventful and slightly slow-paced first period which saw one penalty on each team, no goals, and only 11 shots between the two teams, RPI got on the board first on a late power play in the second period as RPI senior Allison Wright collected a beautiful pass across the crease from Taylor Horton and put the puck into a wide open net as Vigilante tried to slide over to make the save. Almost exactly 20:00 later, late in the third period, Sierra Vadner took an ill-advised hooking penalty, and off the ensuing faceoff Quinnipiac senior Kallie Flor took a shot and got her own rebound, putting it past van der Bliek to tie the game at one.

The first overtime saw a tough back-and-forth game between two teams that had locked down defensively. Amanda Castignetti took a holding penalty at 5:55 of the frame and it looked like that might be the opportunity Quinnipiac needed to ice the game, but the RPI penalty kill stood tall and held the Bobcats off the board for the duration of the penalty. The first overtime drew to a close and the Quinnipiac crowd started to swell as the fans arriving for the QPac/Brown men's game started to fill the stands and give the Bobcats a bit of a boost.

It was 8:46 into the second overtime when Quinnipiac's Chelsea Illchuk broke in 2-on-1 against Amanda Castignetti. Castignetti tried to take away the passing lane, leaving Illchuk open to fire a shot at van der Bliek which slid through her pads and into the back of the net, giving Quinnipiac their first ever ECAC playoff win.


#4 RPI at #5 Quinnipiac
ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals Game 1 – TD Bank Sports Center (Hamden, CT)
2/26/10 - 4:00pm
Quinnipiac 2, RPI 1 (2OT) - Quinnipiac leads best of 3 series 1-0

College Hockey Stats:


RECORD: 14-14-6 (0-1 playoffs, 0-1 quarterfinals)


Playoff Standings (after game 1):

#1 Cornell vs. #8 Colgate - 1-0 Cornell (2-1)
#2 Clarkson vs. #7 SLU - 1-0 Clarkson (5-0)
#3 Harvard vs. #6 Princeton - 1-0 Harvard (5-1)
#4 Quinnipiac vs. #5 RPI - 1-0 Quinnipiac (2-1 2OT)


Upcoming Games

Feb. 27 - ECAC Quarterfinals @ Quinnipiac (2pm)
Feb. 28 - ECAC Quarterfinals @ Quinnipiac (2pm) (if necessary)

Friday, February 26, 2010

With One Game Left

The Engineers lost 3-2 to Colgate on Friday night. Coupled with St. Lawrence's 3-2 loss to Dartmouth, Colgate has clinched 4th place and the final first round bye due to the Raiders winning the tiebreaker with RPI with the season sweep.

Each team has one game remaining.

RPI sits in 5th place with 22 points, one point ahead of St. Lawrence. They will finish in either 5th place or 6th place, depending on the results of Saturday night's games.

RPI can clinch 5th place with a win OR a tie and a St. Lawrence loss or tie OR a St. Lawrence loss.

RPI could still take 5th place with the same number of points as SLU (as mentioned in a prior reset) if it becomes a three-way tie with Quinnipiac. This would only happen with an RPI loss, a St. Lawrence tie, and a Quinnipiac win.

If the Engineers finish in 5th, they will host Clarkson next weekend and would travel to Colgate for a potential second round matchup.

If the Engineers finish in 6th, they will host one of Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, or Princeton next weekend and would travel to either Colgate or Union for a potential second round matchup.

Yale is in 1st place with 32 points. They have clinched the #1 overall seed by virtue of their season sweep over Cornell.

Cornell is in 2nd place with 30 points. They have clinched the #2 overall seed by virtue of their season series win over Union.

Union will be the #3 seed, Colgate will be the #4 seed.

RPI, St. Lawrence, and Quinnipiac will be at home in the first round next weekend. As mentioned, RPI will finish in 5th or 6th. St. Lawrence can finish between 5th and 7th. Quinnipiac will finish in 6th or 7th.

Harvard (17 points), Brown, Dartmouth, or Princeton (all 16 points) will vie for 8th place and the final home ice berth for the first round. Harvard can clinch it with a win over St. Lawrence.

Clarkson will finish 12th and will travel to either RPI or St. Lawrence.

The Engineers cannot face Yale, Cornell, or the winner of Saturday's Brown-Princeton game in the first two rounds of the ECAC playoffs.

Yale, Cornell, Union, Colgate, and Clarkson have nothing to play for in terms of the ECAC standings on Saturday.

What it boils down to is this - RPI must beat or tie Cornell and hope Harvard beats or ties St. Lawrence.

It's the Final Countdown

It's the last weekend of the regular season. Let's get pumped up!

Oh... my bad. That's the Cornell pumpup. Sorry about that.

Yes, yes we do (Don't watch that for more than about 30 seconds, you'll possibly go insane).

Let's jump back to 1986 for this week's jam. Tonight is the game to end all games for the men, as a victory gives them the inside edge for the bye, while a loss puts them on the outside looking in.

And of course, it's playoff week for the women. Another road series win would be the second in two seasons, and would send them into the semifinals with an outstanding opportunity to play spoiler for the second year running.

Don't forget, the men's game is being shown live tonight at 7pm on the NHL network, and it fits nicely in-between the USA/Finland game and the Canada/Slovakia game. You've really got no excuse not to be watching - unless, of course, you don't get Herr Bettman's propaganda channel. Then you're SOL.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

ECAC Playoffs: The Elite Eight

It's playoff time in the women's ECAC. With Dartmouth's long fall from grace from league champions to 9th place, a new champion will be crowned. Of the eight teams vying for the ECAC title, only Harvard (2004-06, 2008) has ever won this tournament.

Dartmouth's failure to make the playoffs and the pack of seven different potential first time champions highlights the growing parity within the ECAC. The traditional top teams are no longer guaranteed their lofty heights - consider not only Dartmouth, but Brown (who has won 3 ECAC titles, played in the championship game as recently as 2006, and played in the national championship game in 2002) and their season series loss to lowly Union. Consider Cornell, who won a regular season championship while putting together their first winning season in over a decade.

With parity comes increased competition. RPI may have been a harbinger last season when they went on the road and took out Princeton before shocking Harvard on their own ice to reach the ECAC title game. This year, the way the brackets have shaken out, it seems as though anything is possible in a wide open race for the tiara and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that comes with it.

#8 Colgate at #1 Cornell
(Cornell won season series, 3-3 in Hamilton on 1/22, 6-0 in Ithaca on 1/23)

The Big Red (15-8-6, 14-2-6 ECAC) may have actually done themselves a disservice in winning the regular season and the #1 seed. While it puts them in as the favorites to become the new queens of the ECAC, it gives them a less than favorable matchup in terms of national placement - and the top seed in the tournament may well require an ECAC title in order to advance to the NCAAs.

Cornell sits in 11th in the Pairwise Rankings (ironically, tied with Hockey East's regular season champions, Providence, who are in the same pickle) and if the season was over today, they'd be on the outside looking in without the automatic bid that comes with winning the ECAC tournament. The problem is their lackluster record against other teams under consideration (TUCs), having put together a record of just 5-8-4 against Mercyhurst, Harvard, RPI, Clarkson, SLU, Quinnipiac, Niagara, Syracuse, and Providence.

Unfortunately, Cornell's games against Colgate (12-18-4, 8-10-4 ECAC) are not going to help them in this respect, as Colgate is not a TUC. That will give the Big Red a maximum of one more TUC win (in a potential semifinal matchup with anyone but Princeton) without earning the auto bid anyway. So in essence, they must win the ECAC title to play in the NCAA tournament. If they'd taken the #2 seed in the tournament, however, they would have been paired with St. Lawrence, a TUC, and a series win there could have given them hope for an at-large bid.

In terms of competition, this one, as would normally be expected in a top seed vs. bottom seed matchup, is probably the least compelling. Colgate had to fight tooth and nail just to make it into the tournament, just squeezing in on the last day. The Big Red lost only once at home to ECAC competition this season, and the Raiders would have to double that number to advance. It's not outside the realm of possibility that Colgate could steal a win, but Cornell is too strong of a team and in too desperate a situation for their season to end here.

Prediction: Cornell in two

#7 St. Lawrence at #2 Clarkson
(Season series split, 4-1 Clarkson in Potsdam on 10/27, 4-2 SLU in Canton on 2/2)

The North Country battle has always been fierce on the men's side, and it has taken a newly fierce turn on the women's side as well. St. Lawrence is one of the traditional powers of the ECAC, but this season their dominance on New York's Rooftop has been dislodged by a surging Clarkson team that has put together its finest season yet. But the Saints are no slouch, and that's part of what makes this an exciting series.

The Golden Knights (20-9-5, 14-5-3 ECAC) were far and away the class of the league for much of the season, but they stumbled down the stretch and could be in for a disappointing end to a very promising year if they can't find a way to turn things around this weekend. Clarkson managed only one win in seven games (1-4-2) to date in the month of February - at home against last place Union. No team wants to go into the playoffs like that.

The Saints (15-12-7, 11-8-3 ECAC) really weren't much better in their last seven, going 4-3 including a three-game slide that dropped them out of the hunt for home ice, but one of those 4 wins was a win over Clarkson, and SLU also took wins over RPI and Dartmouth, two teams the Knights couldn't put away.

Clarkson is presently in 6th place in the Pairwise, which would put them into the tournament (barely) if the season ended today. A series win over St. Lawrence (who, as we mentioned before, is a TUC) would probably punch the Knights' ticket for the national tournament, but completing the late season swoon with a loss to their arch-rivals would put their chances in serious jeopardy. The Saints, meanwhile, are 15th in the Pairwise and won't make the tournament without the ECAC championship.

This may be the first 2/7 matchup in recent memory in which a victory by the #7 team wouldn't be considered a massive upset. Still, look for Clarkson to right the ship enough at home to advance in a hard fought battle.

Prediction: Clarkson in three

#6 Princeton at #3 Harvard
(Princeton won season series, 2-1 in Boston on 11/14, 3-3 in Princeton on 1/8)

If not for the Engineers, the Crimson (18-6-5, 13-6-3 ECAC) would be riding an unbeaten streak that would reach back all the way to mid-January. Not counting the two losses to RPI, Harvard is 10-0-2 since January 15, and have only 3 losses total since dropping a home game to Princeton in the middle of November (the other one being a 1-0 loss at Quinnipiac). With their unbeaten non-conference record, including an impressive 3-point weekend against Minnesota, the Crimson are essentially the only lock in the league for the NCAA tournament without the autobid, even if they manage to lose this series against the Tigers.

Contrary to Cornell's lamentable draw against a team that isn't a TUC, Harvard probably doesn't mind facing a non-TUC in Princeton (although they would become one with a win). In the sometimes strange logic of the Pairwise, losing to non-TUCs is usually better than losing to TUCs, especially if you're protecting a solid record against TUCs as Harvard is.

Princeton (13-12-4, 11-7-4 ECAC) is tougher to draw a bead on. Two weekends ago, they swept Clarkson and St. Lawrence, a significant achievement. Last weekend, they managed to lose to then-last place Brown at home. The Tigers have been all over the map this season, one of four teams to win the season series against Harvard (along with Cornell, Clarkson, and RPI), they also managed to merely split the season series with two teams which did not make the playoffs (Dartmouth and Brown).

After being upset at home by RPI in last year's playoffs, Princeton will certainly be looking for a little bit of redemption. There's a little bit of hope in the fact that the Tigers were able to take 3 points from Harvard this season, but there's a big difference between a regular season game and a playoff series. Harvard remains one of the best teams in the country, and they should be able to take care of business at home.

Prediction: Harvard in two

#5 RPI at #4 Quinnipiac
(Season series split, 6-1 QU in Hamden on 10/31, 1-0 RPI in Troy on 1/29)

After six seasons with fewer than 10 wins in the program's first eight campaigns, Rick Seeley's magic tough has lifted Quinnipiac to its first ever winning season and within striking distance of the NCAA Tournament.

Seeley, who previously started now successful programs at D-III Manhattanville and at Clarkson, came to Hamden last season, when the Bobcats (18-8-8, 11-4-7 ECAC) suffered through one of their toughest seasons to date, winning only 3 games all season. This year, Quinnipiac has proven tough to beat, especially at home where they boast a 10-2-4 record, including an unbeaten 7-0-4 in ECAC play.

The Bobcats' meteoric rise is reflected in the Pairwise Rankings, where they sit in 9th place, just on the outside of the bubble. While Quinnipiac still probably will need to win the ECAC title in order to play in the NCAA Tournament, they aren't nearly in the bind that Cornell is in, as they sit very close to some of their nearest competitors like UConn and Northeastern. A sweep and a loss in the championship game could be enough to sneak the Bobcats into the tournament, but it wouldn't necessarily be a sure thing.

RPI, meanwhile, is a TUC, but is at the bottom of the Pairwise and must win the ECAC title in order to play in the national tournament. Like Princeton, the Engineers (14-13-6, 11-7-4 ECAC) have been all over the map this season, completing the only full season sweep of Harvard in the league and taking 3 points from Clarkson, but giving up 2 points to Yale and 1 to Brown. They were in the driver's seat for home ice heading into the final weekend, but collapsed after a hard-fought 2-1 loss to Cornell and then a 3-2 loss to a desperate Colgate team that they'd thoroughly trounced earlier in the season, 10-4.

The Engineers have shown that they have the ability to run with anyone in the league this season, but so have the Bobcats, who managed to take points from every single team in the ECAC this season, something only Cornell and Clarkson can also claim. Expect a hard fought battle.

Prediction: Quinnipiac in three

So there you have it. Yes, we did just predict a home sweep after announcing the narrowing of the parity gap, but we'd fail to be shocked by pretty much any result short of Colgate taking down Cornell. If there's one thing the last month or so of the ECAC schedule has taught us, it's that nothing is truly predictable. We're expecting all out wars in Potsdam and Hamden especially this weekend.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

He's Only a Man In a Funny Red Sheet

We've got a healthy respect for Seth Appert here at Without a Peer. While there have been some who have complained about the difficult first three years of the Appert regime, we've always known there was a larger purpose, and we're starting to see the grand plan start to bear fruit. As a wise man once said, "the night is always darkest just before the dawn."

As a player, Seth Appert worked for four years under the tutelage of Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels - who has his team on the brink of an NCAA appearance this year - and as an assistant coach spent seven years learning from Denver's George Gwozdecky. That's over a decade of guidance from some of the best in the game, and he's now applying what he's learned in Troy. It's now apparent - Freakout definitely notwithstanding, as he very plainly explained himself - that the Engineer Renaissance is well underway.

We got the chance to ask the man with the best hair in college hockey a few questions we're sure Ed Weaver and Ken Schott would never ask. We're not as sure about Tim Wilkin. Some of his questions might be more outrageous than ours.

Without A Peer: What happened on Saturday?

Seth Appert: Certainly we're disappointed, and we're embarrassed by the score, but I've got to look at things rationally here. You never want to base your feelings and reactions on the result, you need to focus on the process. Our offense wasn't as miserably bad as the score indicates. The key indicators in terms of mental readiness for the game are how the team plays in the first period and your faceoff intensity. When your faceoff numbers are low it shows a poor level of mental readiness, but our faceoff numbers were extremely strong, especially in the first period, which we dominated from a territorial and a shot perspective. Our readiness to play and really compete were there.

As the game unfolded, especially with the bad bounce type of goals with (Princeton's) second and third goals, that's when we started taking some chances from an individualistic basis instead of continuing to play good team hockey. I'm not overly concerned about it, it's been addressed. I'm disappointed by it and I know the players are disappointed too. We'll move on and get past it.

WAP: Did the magnitude of the game play into the team not responding correctly?

SA: First and foremost, I don't believe the magnitude of the game is any larger than any other game. I just don't subscribe to that theory. I don't like the fact that some of our fans and our media have made our season out to be three or four important games and the other ones aren't as important. That's just not the case. (The Freakout) is for the fans and for the history and tradition of our program. It's exciting to have the building like that, but we want to get the building close to that every night, and we're working towards trying to do that.

The magnitude of the game helps you at the start, but it potentially hurts you if get into a bad situation. It can help you with a crowd like that at the beginning, and it did, but it would have been beneficial to score one or two in the first and really get the crowd going. Sometimes you expend a lot of emotional energy in a game like that in the first period, which doesn't leave you with a lot in the tank later in the game. It's a good learning lesson for the guys. We'll be in big games here down the stretch and into the playoffs, and hopefully into Albany and into the NCAA Regionals. It's a lesson in how to handle what are perceived to be big games.

WAP: We know you can't talk about recruits who haven't signed or that aren't on campus, but what can you tell us about Greg Burgdoerfer?

SA: We're expecting him to be a power forward. He's not a guy that is going to do the things with the puck that Chase or Brandon do, but he's going to add an element to our team that we haven't had consistently. He's 6'2", a good skater, tough and mean. Really, a lot like the way his brother plays, just at the forward position. When he was at Air Force he was with a Top 15 team in the country and played about 35 games for them. From seeing him play and talking to his coaches at Air Force, when he played like a power forward, he's an extremely effective college hockey player. Our goal for him is to keep him in the right frame of mind and to coach him in the right way to keep him playing and executing in that role on a day-to-day basis.

WAP: One of the things that was striking about the alumni weekend this year was talking to some of the former players and finding out how much respect they all had for you, specifically with your outreach to alumni. Can you tell us a little about that outreach and what you look to accomplish with those connections?

SA: I really appreciate them saying that. They said it numerous times over the weekend both privately and publicly. That means a lot to me. I guess it just seems obvious to me that that's the way you should run your program. There's no ulterior motive to it - I'm not doing it to try to get something out of it. We have alums that have done great things in hockey both at RPI and after RPI and that have done great things out of hockey. It's very important to build on the history of our program to make our players understand that, at the end of the day, while it's about the 27 guys in that locker room, there's a lot more to it than that at the college level. It's important for them to feel that. They know the history and tradition, but when today's players get to actually feel and experience it, that's critical in their development as hockey players and as a team.

Some of our alumni are very capable of helping our program with financial gifts, some are capable of helping just with their time. Frankly, I don't care which it is. I just want our alums to stay engaged in the program and come back to events, whether it's alumni weekend, or our golf event, or even if they just come by and say hello to the team. If they're living in Boston, for instance, and we're there for a game, they'll come out for the game on their own and talk to the team. Whatever role they play, it's good for the program.

WAP: Loaded question time. Better goaltender, Allen York now, or Seth Appert in his prime?

SA: Not even close. Allen York. I was a decent college goalie at best. I could have been better if I'd had more understanding and maturity at times. I probably also should have played junior hockey - I came right out of high school at 17 years old. I probably wasn't ready for what college hockey was going to throw at me. So I'm a "do as I say, not as I did" coach when it comes to goaltending, and Allen York is far superior to what I could have even dreamed of being.

WAP: Are we going to see any games against your alma mater in the near future?

SA: We've been trying for a couple of years now, and it's disappointing to me that we haven't been able to place it. We've had them on the schedule unofficially a couple of times, but because of some of the CCHA scheduling and their move to 11 teams this upcoming season, it just hasn't worked out with open weekends that we've both had. I certainly want to; I care very deeply about the Ferris program and I'd love for them to come out here and I'd love the opportunity to go back there.

WAP: Anyone who's played the game has some interesting or odd stories to tell about their playing days. Not to put you on the spot, but do you have one you can share?

SA: (chuckle) What kind of stories are you looking for?

WAP: Family friendly.

SA: Well, I don't think back about those things very often. I usually look back on my time and my career at Ferris on a whole rather than with individual stories. I couldn't have had a better experience. We had a great coaching staff that believed in us as student-athletes and treated us well on and off the ice.

One of my more memorable games was beating Miami in their rink 2-1 on a night that I had about 40 saves. In terms of excitement, we had a large crowd at home for a game that we were losing 4-0 to Illinois-Chicago when I came in as the backup, which was my normal job anyway, and we ended up winning 6-4. It was fun to be part of that and just experiencing how nuts the fans were as we rolled back into the game. From a crowd atmosphere perspective and considering how crazy that game was, it was certainly one of the most memorable.

WAP: Anything you can tell us about the schedule for next season?

SA: We don't release that officially until near the end of the year, but we've got another real good slate of non-conference games coming. Boston University will be coming to Houston Field House, we'll play at Colorado College, we play at Northeastern, so we've got a strong set of non-conference games to go along with the always strong league schedule.

WAP: We were stunned and amazed to find that you were aware of our existence. What do you think of the place?

SA: I'll have to be honest, I don't really get a chance to read it. I know of it and I've referenced it to some fans, though. I don't go on the chat rooms, I don't go on the blogs or the fan forums. Quite frankly, we're just too busy, but I have a great appreciation for what fans like you guys and other fans who have blogs or go into the chatrooms and exchange information and follow our program so passionately. It really does mean the world to me, but at the same time, we're very focused on getting our 27 young men in the right frame of mind to try and win hockey games. We're working in practice and pounding the phones and the Internet for recruiting. There's a little more time for those things as a staff during the offseason and sometimes we'll check them out then, but during the season we get pretty consumed. Quite frankly, during the season I don't get enough time for my family, and whenever I can get away from hockey it's usually spent with my wife and two daughters.

WAP: I don't know if you've seen the posters all over campus: "I Believe in Seth Appert."

SA: Oh yes.

WAP: What do you think of those?"

SA: I appreciate that. My friends get a kick out of it. I've had buddies back in Minnesota and my Ferris State teammates that call and rip on me quite a bit for that. They think it's pretty funny. I've been emailed and kind of ridiculed a bit for it, but I appreciate it all. I don't know who started it and where it came from, but it's just another sign that we have great fan support.

The support that our program, our staff, and that my family and I have received from our fans, alums, and from the community has been tremendous. That's meant a lot to me. We've had some tough times, and I knew those times were going to be there. But I also knew we'd get out of them. I understand how it works. Fans have the right to say what they want to say. There have been times that I've been taken to task and deservedly so, but I don't have a problem with that. I do appreciate the support.

WAP: Final question, it's a trivia question. Pressure's on.


WAP: Where does the name "Without A Peer" come from?

SA: I like the name, I think it's a very good name, but I do not know where it comes from.

WAP: It's from the Alma Mater. "Here's to old Rensselaer, she stands today..."

SA: "...without a peer." I guess if I'd put a little more thought into it I would have come up with that. I know the Alma Mater, but I certainly know the fight song better. We sing the fight song after victories in the locker room. That's something that we started when we came here as a coaching staff. That's something that we've started as a tradition in the last four years and our players are really into it.

WAP: That must play well into fomenting school pride.

SA: Yeah, I think it does. At the end of the day, we are just 27 young men and a coaching staff and support staff. We're the inner family of RPI hockey, but our extended family consists of our school's alums, our fans and everyone on campus from students and faculty to staff and administration. We represent all of those people, and it's important for us to understand and remember that. It's not to put additional pressure on our guys, it's just to ensure that they have an appreciation that, at RPI, with as big as hockey is here, their actions and how they conduct themselves while they represent the program reflects on more than just themselves.


Thanks to Seth for taking the time to speak to a couple of guys who amuse themselves by cutting and pasting people's heads onto other people's bodies,posting pictures of Mike Schafer done up like The Joker, and titling blog posts with song titles and lyrics.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Men's Hockey - Quinnipiac and Princeton (19/20 Feb)

It's maddening trying to figure out this team. They've come up big against top competition. They've laid big eggs against weak competition. The madness continued for Freakout weekend, as the Engineers got the job done with a solid showing against Quinnipiac, 5-3, before coming out and failing to win the Freakout for the fourth consecutive season, suffering the worst loss in the history of the game, 7-0 to 10th place Princeton.




Allen York's ankle reportedly made great strides over the course of the week, but he wasn't back to 100% by Friday and Bryce Merriam got the call. York did skate in the pre-game warmups, dressed, and sat on the bench, but would not see the ice all weekend.

Meanwhile, Tyler Helfrich was moved back to the top line with Jerry D'Amigo and Chase Polacek, and Bryan Brutlag was paired with Joel Malchuk, who has centered the fourth line all season long.

The first period was a wide open affair, as the referees allowed both teams to play, calling no penalties. This was equal parts enjoyable and frustrating, as they literally let quite a bit go.

Brandon Pirri got things going about 4 minutes in with his 10th goal of the season, from Marty O'Grady and Paul Kerins. About three minutes later, Quinnipiac got it back on a somewhat controversial goal as Scott Zurevinski put it past Merriam on what looked to be a high stick. The goal was allowed to stand, and it was 1-1.

10 minutes later, Chase Polacek got the fans pumped big time with an amazing putback of a Jerry D'Amigo shot taken from his knees. The "Hobey Baker" chant started ringing loud and clear throughout the Field House.

The 2-1 score held past the midway point of the 2nd period, when Brandon Pirri responded to a high stick in the face from Mike Dalhuisen with a slash. The referees called both players for penalties, ignoring Dalhuisen as he flailed around on the ice feigning injury. The matching minors created a long 4-on-4 opportunity, and the Engineers were the sole beneficiaries. D'Amigo would notch his 10th goal of the season 35 seconds later, and just under a minute after that, Alex Angers-Goulet would put in his 5th goal of the year, making it 4-1 RPI.

Merriam was strong for most of the game, but he allowed a goal on the power play late in the 2nd that was pretty soft as Quinnipiac captain Jean-Marc Beaudoin put one in from basically behind the net to make it 4-2 at the 2nd intermission.

Consecutive penalties to Dalhuisen - his second and third minors of the game - could not be capitalized on by the Engineers, but Zurevinski would get his second of the game with Pirri in the box on a poorly advised cross-check, making it 4-3 and instilling doubt in the RPI faithful still smarting from a lost lead in the previous game against Dartmouth.

The RPI D held firm, killing a penalty to Bryan Brutlag before getting a reprieve with Dalhuisen's fourth penalty of the night (his second slash), but the RPI power play could not convert.

A questionable cross-checking call against Polacek with just under 3 minutes to play gave Quinnipiac a key power play chance. The Bobcats pulled their goaltender immediately for a 6-on-4 situation. They held the zone for a significant part of the penalty, but could not get any decent shots at Merriam - a key hold for an RPI defense much maligned for its inability to defend a two-man disadvantage.

With the goalie still out of the net, RPI got the puck down in the Quinnipiac zone and killed a little bit of time before Polacek was able to throw the puck to junior captain John Kennedy at the point, and Kennedy ripped a shot that beat a defenseman five-hole and into the empty net for Kennedy's first career goal. Polacek dutifully retrieved the puck as the Engineers celebrated as though Kennedy had just scored a game winner in overtime - certainly one of the most wild celebrations for an empty netter you'll ever see.

The win, coupled with a SLU loss and a Colgate tie, put RPI alone in 4th place for the night. With Freakout and senior night on the horizon, it was looking like the bye could well be right within reach.




There's really not much to say about this game. I really don't want to say anything about it too substantial. No, I'm not just mailing it in on this one, the game was that depressing to be at. Yes, I am ending that sentence with a preposition.

RPI had a pair of short 5x3 opportunities in the 1st period but never got anything going. Merriam got plowed on the first Princeton goal (on the power play) and the Tigers led 1-0 at the first intermission.

Things got ridiculous in the 2nd period as Princeton scored three more times, each at even strength and the last two by a couple of guys who probably wouldn't be getting much playing time if not for the fact that Princeton has been decimated by injury.

It was 5-0 early in the third period when RPI got three power plays in relative succession and still couldn't find the net. Zane Kalemba, last year's Dryden Award winner who has been beyond horrendous this season, stopped 41 shots, in total, but most of them were not good shots. It was quantity over quality all night long. The power play going 0-for-8 didn't help matters.

The 50/50 raffle was called early in the 3rd, and immediately afterwards it was a mad dash to the exits with over 10 minutes left to go. The kind of thing that makes you embarrassed to be a fan.

With 4 minutes left and the team essentially no longer trying, Appert pulled Merriam in favor of sophomore Joey Harkenrider, who got the first real game action of his career. Unfortunately, this move only caused Princeton to lick their lips in anticipation - they scored on their first two shots against him about 30 seconds apart to make it 7-0, and they continued to push for another goal. Harkenrider would make a save on their final shot, but Princeton missed a wide open net in the dying seconds.

That sent Jerry D'Amigo - who'd already had to deal with his daily regimen of getting run two or three times - over the edge, and he laid an elbow into Taylor Fedun at the final whistle, precipitating a scrum right next to the RPI bench which saw 28 penalty minutes doled out, including 7 for Mike Bergin, who went after Rob Kleebaum. Not much else to say other than that it was good to see the team showing a little bit of pride considering they'd played the last 40 minutes as a beaten team. No game DQs were dished out and hopefully the league doesn't get involved and all the players involved will be available on Friday.

It was the worst loss in Freakout history, and gave Princeton a total goal edge of 12-0 in their last two Freakouts. The senior class, which was honored after the game, sadly, in front of a mostly empty Houston Field House, became the first group of seniors to never win a Freakout (they tied one), as the four-game winless streak is the longest in the history of the game and three consecutive losses ties for the longest in Freakout history, as the Engineers also dropped the 1980-82 Freakouts and the 1988-90 Freakouts. Those three streaks comprise 9 of the 10 all-time Freakout losses. Not good all around.

Fortunately, St. Lawrence bailed out the Engineers by tying Brown, but Colgate's victory moved them into a tie for 4th. They do still control their own destiny for the bye, but they absolutely must win on Friday in Hamilton or it's pretty much over. They can even clinch the bye on Friday if they win and Dartmouth beats SLU.

Colgate has all of 2 victories this season against teams with a better than .500 - RIT, who got there by beating up on their weak little league, and RPI, who in that game played their worst game of the season prior to Saturday. They win the tiebreaker with RPI in the event of a loss (which is why RPI would be eliminated for the bye if they lose), or a tie (which would necessitate points against Cornell the next night and hope for a Union win). RPI wins the tiebreaker if they win (which would eliminate Colgate for the bye, and would cause the Engineers to be worried only about SLU on Saturday).

There's a good chance that Cornell won't have anything to play for on Saturday (other than for positioning in the national tournament), so that's good. But we can't count on it. The Friday game is of paramount importance now. To be able to bounce back from such a horrible game with a big win would put this team right where they want to be.

Other junk - Who knew that getting blown out by Princeton at home would be looked down upon by the voters? Well... yeah. No votes for the Engineers this week. Ranked ECAC teams are #5 Yale (no change after sweeping SLU/Clarkson), #9 Cornell (up one after beating Harvard and losing to Dartmouth... yeah, I don't know either), and #15 Union (up one after sweeping QU/Princeton). Colgate got 2 votes after tying Dartmouth and beating Harvard, and SLU somehow still got 1 vote despite their third consecutive 1-point weekend.

Ranked non-conference opponents: #11 New Hampshire (up two), #12 Michigan State (no change), #17 Alaska (up three), and #20 Boston University (down one). Michigan and UMass dropped out of the rankings and got 10 and 7 votes respectively, while Sacred Heart took 7 votes.

The power play seems to have gone missing again. RPI was 0-for-12 on the weekend and is 0-for their last 16.

Chase Polacek still leads the nation in scoring with 49 points, but after getting shutout on Saturday shares the lead with Maine's Gustav Nyquist. He was passed by Sacred Heart's Nick Johnson for the goal scoring lead, is tied for 2nd with 24 along with UNH's Bobby Butler and Yale's Broc Little.

Brandon Pirri is the first freshman in the nation to reach 40 points, he leads Merrimack's Stephane Da Costa by two for the national lead.

Allen York is, at present, expected to play this weekend. He may have been healthy enough to play on Saturday, but if he was, Appert didn't want to risk his health with a huge weekend and the playoffs forthcoming.

Friday's gigantic game at Colgate will be airing live on the NHL Network. If you don't have it, demand it. The stakes are pretty high, you'll want to be watching.

ECAC Standings
1. Yale - 30 pts
2. Cornell - 28 pts (wins tiebreaker with Union)
3. Union - 28 pts
4. Colgate - 22 pts (wins tiebreaker with RPI)
5. RPI - 22 pts
6. St. Lawrence - 21 pts
7. Quinnipiac - 18 pts
8. Harvard - 17 pts
9. Princeton - 16 pts (wins tiebreaker with Brown)
10. Brown - 16 pts
11. Dartmouth - 14 pts
12. Clarkson - 8 pts

Quinnipiac at RPI
ECAC Game - Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
2/19/10 - 7:00 pm
RESULT: RPI 5, Quinnipiac 3

RECORD: 17-13-3 (10-7-2 ECAC, 22 pts)

Reale Deals
1. F Chase Polacek, 1 G, 2 A
2. F Jerry D'Amigo, 1 G, 2 A
3. D John Kennedy, 1 G

Princeton at RPI
ECAC Game - Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
2/20/10 - 7:00 pm
RESULT: Princeton 7, RPI 0

RECORD: 17-14-3 (10-8-2 ECAC, 22 pts)

Reale Deals
1. F Jerry D'Amigo
2. D Mike Bergin
3. G Joey Harkenrider

Upcoming Games
26 Feb - at Colgate
27 Feb - at #9 Cornell
05 Mar - ECAC First Round Game 1
06 Mar - ECAC First Round Game 2
07 Mar - ECAC First Round Game 3 (if necessary)

Rensselaer went 1-1-0 last week, topping Quinnipiac (5-3) on Friday night, before dropping the 33rd Annual Bank of America Big Red Freakout! to Princeton (7-0) on Saturday. Two players recorded three-point games against the Bobcats, including junior Chase Polacek (Edina, MN), who notched a goal and two assists. RPI (17-14-3; 10-8-2 ECAC Hockey) concludes its regular season schedule this weekend, when they visit Colgate (7pm) and 10th-ranked Cornell (7pm) on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Friday's match-up with Colgate will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable (Channel 3) as well as nationally on the NHL Network. Live stats for Friday’s contest will be available at Live stats for Saturday’s contest will be available at and live video will be available at As is the case will all RPI men’s hockey games, both contests will be broadcast on the air courtesy of WRPI radio on 91.5 FM or log on to and click on sports.

Women's Hockey - at Cornell & Colgate (2/19-2/20)

RPI had control of its destiny entering the weekend, with the ability to guarantee home ice by taking 3 out of 4 points on the weekend. Cornell and Colgate had other plans for the Engineers, as the #10 Big Red defeated the Engineers 2-1 on a 3rd period goal, while Colgate (fighting for the 8th and final playoff spot) took down RPI 3-2 with the game winner again coming in the final frame.

The two RPI losses, combined with the other results from the weekend, dropped the Engineers into a tie for fifth place with Princeton, a tie which the Engineers won by virtue of the third tiebreaker (wins vs. top 4). They will travel to #4 Quinnipiac next weekend for a best of 3 quarterfinal playoff series. Game times are 4pm Friday, 2pm Saturday, and 2pm Sunday if necessary.




Le Donne/Vadner

van der Bliek

It was a defensive-minded first period at Lynah, in front of a sizeable crowd of 450. With only 8 total shots in the period (5-3 Cornell), it was perhaps a disappointing start for the Engineers to see Cornell score first at 15:47 of the first. Karlee Overguard sent a pass to Hayley Hughes, who lifted her shot past van der Bliek to take the lead.

RPI would knot it up in the second frame as Laura Gersten scores the Engineers' only goal at 5:16 of the period. RPI managed 7 shots in the period, though Cornell picked up the pace as well, putting up 11 shots of their own. Van der Bliek saw another 11 shots in the third period for the Big Red, but unfortunately for RPI, one made it through. Overguard took a pass across the crease and buried it, leaving van der Bliek no chance at stopping the puck.

RPI could not mount any pressure late in the game, only managing four shots total in the final period despite pulling van der Bliek for the extra attacker in the final 30 seconds. Cornell's defense stood tall and proved why they deserved to claim the ECAC crown, and the #10 ranking they entered the weekend with.




Le Donne/Vadner

van der Bliek

It was a bit of bad luck that RPI had to end its season against a team fighting for its life in the playoffs. With Colgate depending on a win to make the playoffs, one had to expect they would prove a tough out for the Engineers, and it was indeed the case. Once again outshot in every period, RPI was unable to best the hosts in Hamilton, despite having the game tied at 1-1 and 2-2.

Colgate opened the scoring just 3:27 in, 16 seconds into a tripping penalty on Whitney Naslund. Taylor Horton answered just past the midpoint of the period on a goal from Alisa Harrison and Andie Le Donne. Colgate retook the lead early in the second, and it would hold for the remainder of the period, which saw Colgate hold a 15-9 shot advantage over the Engineers.

RPI got a golden opportunity to tie the game once again in the third, with 44 seconds of 5-on-3 time as two Colgate players went off for roughing. Harrison capitalized just 18 seconds into the opportunity to knot the game at 2, but RPI couldn't take the lead. A roughing call against Sierra Vadner and Colgate took the lead for good just 11 seconds into their own opportunity.

With van der Bliek on the bench for a full minute at the end of the game, RPI tried everything to get back into it but Colgate goalie Lisa Plenderleith kept the Raiders ahead and into the playoffs.

With Saturday's games complete, the playoff matchups will be as follows:

#8 Colgate @ #1 Cornell
#7 SLU @ #2 Clarkson
#6 Princeton @ #3 Harvard
#5 RPI @ #4 Quinnipiac

RPI at Quinnipiac promises to be one of the more interesting matchups, with Quinnipiac routing the Engineers in their first meeting but the Engineers grinding out a 1-0 win in Troy late in January. We'll have a preview of the series later in the week.


RPI at #10 Cornell
ECAC Hockey Game – Lynah Rink (Ithaca, NY)
2/19/10 - 7:00pm
Cornell 2, RPI 1

College Hockey Stats:


RECORD: 14-12-6 (11-6-4 ECAC Hockey, 26 points)


RPI vs. Colgate
ECAC Hockey Game – Starr Rink (Hamilton, NY)
2/20/10 – 4:00pm
Colgate 3, RPI 2

College Hockey Stats:


RECORD: 14-13-6 (11-7-4 ECAC Hockey, 26 points)


ECAC Standings (final):
Standings in parentheses are ties that have been broken using ECAC tiebreakers.
                Pts    ECAC      All
1 Cornell 34 14-2-6 15-8-6
2 Clarkson 31 14-5-3 20-9-5
(3) Harvard 29 13-6-3 18-6-5 (Harvard wins 2nd tiebreaker - wins)
(4) Quinnipiac 29 11-4-7 18-8-8
(5) RPI 26 11-7-4 14-13-6 (RPI wins 3rd tiebreaker - record 4)
(6) Princeton 26 11-7-4 13-12-4
7 SLU 25 11-8-3 15-12-7
8 Colgate 20 8-10-4 12-18-4
9 Dartmouth 19 9-12-1 12-14-2
10 Yale 17 8-13-1 10-16-3
11 Brown 5 1-18-3 3-21-4
12 Union 3 1-20-1 5-28-1

Upcoming Games

Feb. 26 - ECAC Quarterfinals @ Quinnipiac (4pm)
Feb. 27 - ECAC Quarterfinals @ Quinnipiac (2pm)
Feb. 28 - ECAC Quarterfinals @ Quinnipiac (2pm) (if necessary)



The Engineers went 0-2-0 last week, falling at 10th-ranked Cornell (2-1) on Friday and Colgate (3-2) on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Alisa Harrison (1 goal, 1 assist) picked up two points against the Raiders.

Rensselaer (14-13-6; 11-7-4 ECACH) travels to Quinnipiac for an ECAC Hockey best-of-three game Quarterfinal match-up, beginning on Friday (4pm). Game two will take place on Saturday (2pm), with a third game (if necessary) on Sunday (2pm). Live stats and video will be available at and the games will be broadcast on the air courtesy of WRPI radio on 91.5 FM or log on to and click on sports.



RPI to battle fourth-seeded Quinnipiac in a best-of-three series beginning Friday

TROY, NY – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) women’s ice hockey team will make its third appearance in the ECAC Hockey playoffs this weekend, heading to Hamden, Conn., for a best-of-three quarterfinals against Quinnipiac. The Engineers, who are in their fourth season as a member of the ECACH, enter as the fifth-seed and will play the fourth-seeded Bobcats, beginning Friday at 4pm at the TD Bank Sports Center. Game times for Saturday and Sunday’s (if necessary) contests are scheduled for 2pm.

Under the direction of seventh-year head coach John Burke, Rensselaer posted a 14-13-6 overall record and an 11-7-4 mark in ECACH play. The Engineers, who finished with a conference record above .500 for the second straight season, currently have the 12th best scoring defense in the nation (2.09 goals allowed per game) and rank 11th nationally on the penalty kill (86.9%).

Seniors Whitney Naslund (Bloomington, MN/Bloomington Jefferson) and Allison Wright (Oakville, ON/Oakville Ice) lead the Engineers in scoring through 33 games. Both have tallied 23 points on the season. Naslund, who has a team-best 14 goals and nine assists, has also posted team-highs in power play goals (6) and game-winning markers (3). An ECAC Hockey Player of the Week selection, she has eight goals and four assists in 22 league contests. The program’s all-time leader in career games played (137), Naslund recently became the first Division I player and just the seventh in program history to reach 100 career points (48-54-102).

Wright has posted 11 goals and is second on the team in assists with 12. She has scored two goals on the power play and also leads the team in game-winning tallies (3) and shorthanded goals (1). One of the team’s most consistent players, she is tied with Naslund in career games played, having played all 137 contests in her career. In 22 ECAC Hockey contests, she has eight goals and eight assists for a team-high 16 points. Wright currently ranks 16th nationally in shorthanded tallies and is 27th overall in game-winners.

In goal, junior Sonja van der Bliek (Toronto, ON/Toronto Jr. Aeros) has seen the majority of time, posting a 13-13-5 overall record with an 10-7-4 ECAC Hockey mark. A 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award nominee, she has a 1.94 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in 1822:38 minutes of action. She has 695 saves, including four games with at least 30 stops. van der Bliek is the program’s all-time career record holder in a number of categories, including games played (81), games started (80) and wins (40-30-11).

Friday’s contest marks the Engineers’ third of the season against the Bobcats, who are 18-8-8 overall, 11-4-7 in league play. In the first meeting (Oct. 31), freshman Heather Hughes tallied a hat-trick and added an assist as Quinnpiac cruised to a 6-1 win at the TD Bank Sports Center. The re-match at the Houston Field House on January 29 saw Kendra Dunlop (Granum, AB/Warner Hockey School) scored in the third period and RPI held on for a 1-0 victory.

In preparation the Engineers will practice at 4:15pm on both Monday and Wednesday and 2:15pm on Thursday at the Houston Field House. All games in the series will be broadcast live on the air courtesy of 91.5 FM, WRPI and online at Live stats for this weekend’s games are expected to be available at

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where We Stand


The Engineers are in a 4th place tie with Colgate with 22 points. Colgate technically wins the tiebreaker right now with a head-to-head victory over RPI, but the teams play each other on Friday. If Colgate wins or there is a tie, Colgate wins the tiebreaker. If the Engineers win, they would win the 3rd tiebreaker on record vs. Top 4 regardless of the outcome of their game with Cornell on Friday (Colgate posted no wins against Yale, Cornell, Union, or St. Lawrence, RPI beat Yale twice, who are guaranteed a Top 4 finish).

The Engineers can clinch a first round bye on Friday with a win AND a St. Lawrence loss to Dartmouth. They are eliminated from contention for the bye with a loss.

RPI cannot finish any higher than 4th, but cannot fall any lower than 6th. The only teams that can have an impact on the Engineers' finishing position are Colgate, St. Lawrence, and Quinnipiac.

St. Lawrence is in 6th place with 21 points, one point behind the Engineers. They win the head-to-head tiebreaker with RPI due to their 3-1 season series win, but RPI can be seeded ahead of SLU with the same number of points if they both tie Quinnipiac for 5th place thanks to the Bobcats' sweep of the Saints.

Quinnipiac is in 7th place with 18 points, four points behind the Engineers. Because of the RPI season sweep of the Bobcats, QU cannot pass RPI in the seedings, and would lose the only potential three-way tie for 5th with St. Lawrence (although they would beat the Saints in that scenario to claim the #6 seed).

Yale, Cornell, and Union have clinched first-round byes and will all finish in the Top 3. Yale currently holds the #1 seed with 30 points. If there is a winner in Friday's Cornell-Union game, that team will win the tiebreaker and secure at least second place. Cornell wins the tiebreaker on total ECAC wins in the event of a tie.

Clarkson will finish in last place for the first time in program history and will travel to Colgate, Quinnipiac, RPI, or St. Lawrence for the first round, depending on who finishes in 5th.

With a 4th place finish, the Engineers would potentially host Colgate or any team currently ranked below them in the standings with the exception of Clarkson in the 2nd round.

With a 5th place finish, the Engineers would host Clarkson in the first round and would potentially travel to either Colgate or St. Lawrence in a 2nd round matchup.

With a 6th place finish, the Engineers would potentially host Quinnipiac, Harvard, Brown, Princeton, or Dartmouth in the first round, and would potentially travel to Cornell, Union, Colgate, or St. Lawrence in a 2nd round matchup.

Yale, at this time, is the only team that RPI cannot possibly face in the playoffs until Albany at the earliest.

Full tiebreaker situations:
  • Colgate win or tie on Friday: Colgate, RPI
  • RPI win on Friday: RPI, Colgate
RPI-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, RPI

RPI-Quinnipiac: RPI, Quinnipiac

RPI-Colgate-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, (see RPI/Colgate tiebreaker)

RPI-St. Lawrence-Quinnipiac: RPI, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence


The Engineers finished in a tie for 5th place with Princeton, winning the 3rd tiebreaker with a better record against the top 4 teams (Cornell, Clarkson, Harvard, and Quinnipiac) to become the #5 seed in the ECAC playoffs. They will travel to #4 Quinnipiac next weekend.

Cornell clinched sole possession of the regular season championship with their win over Union. If they defeat #8 Colgate next weekend, the ECAC Semifinals and Championship will take place in Ithaca.

In the unlikely event of a road team sweep, the ECAC Semifinals and Championship would be held in Troy, although that may not be assured if the men's team could be hosting a playoff series that weekend.

With a series victory this weekend, there are situations where the Engineers would be matched up with any of the other six teams in the semifinals. Cornell cannot face Clarkson or Harvard until the championship game.

Playoff pairings:
#8 Colgate at #1 Cornell
#7 St. Lawrence at #2 Clarkson
#6 Princeton at #3 Harvard
#5 RPI at #4 Quinnipiac

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Epic Fail

There's really not anything else to say here - not even a stupid photoshop.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mid-weekend Reset


The Engineers defeated Quinnipiac on Friday night, 5-3. Yale defeated St. Lawrence 7-5, placing RPI alone in 4th place, the final bye position, by two points. The Engineers have regained control of their destiny for the bye with three games remaining (Saturday vs. Princeton, next Friday at Colgate, next Saturday at Cornell).

RPI has officially clinched at least home ice for the first round by virtue of their win and Princeton's 4-1 loss to Union. They can finish no lower than 8th. With a win over Princeton on Saturday, the Engineers can guarantee themselves of a finish no lower than 6th.

Cornell (defeated Harvard, 3-0) and Yale remain tied for first place with 28 points, 6 points ahead of the Engineers. Both teams would have to lose their remaining games and RPI would have to win all of their remaining games to tie either team. Each team needs only 1 point in the next three games to officially clinch byes.

Union is in 3rd place with 26 points, 4 points ahead of the Engineers. They have clinched a first roudn bye. The Engineers will not be able to catch Union if they defeat Quinnipiac on Saturday, due to the Dutchmen controlling the tiebreaker.

St. Lawrence at Colgate (tied Dartmouth, 6-6) are tied for 5th place with 20 points each. The Saints are at Brown on Saturday, while the Raiders are at Harvard.

Quinnipiac is in 7th place with 18 points. The Engineers clinched the tiebreaker with the Bobcats on Friday by completing the series sweep.

Harvard is in 8th place with 17 points.

In the best case after Saturday's games, the Engineers would sit 4 points ahead of Colgate, St. Lawrence, and Quinnipiac for 4th place, and 2 points (really, 3 points) behind Union for 3rd place.

Best case results:
RPI over Princeton
Quinnipiac over Union
Brown over St. Lawrence
Harvard over Colgates


The Engineers lost to Cornell on Friday night, 2-1. Harvard defeated St. Lawrence 2-1, and Quinnipiac defeated Yale 1-0. This places RPI in 5th place, two points behind 3rd place Harvard and one point behind 4th place Quinnipiac. The Engineers have lost control of their destiny for home ice with one game remaining (Saturday at Colgate).

RPI can finish no lower than 5th, their current position. Princeton trails the Engineers by two points, but even if RPI loses and Princeton wins on Saturday, the Engineers will win the 3rd tiebreaker with the Tigers - points against Top 4 teams, 9-8.

The Engineers can claim home ice in the playoffs with a win AND a Harvard loss (at Clarkson) OR a Quinnipiac loss or tie (vs. Brown). They can also take home ice with a tie AND a Quinnipiac loss.

A win coupled with a Harvard loss AND a Quinnipiac loss or tie would give the Engineers third place.

A win coupled with a just a Quinnipiac loss or tie would give the Engineers fourth place.

A tie coupled with a Quinnipiac loss would also give the Engineers fourth place.

Any other result leaves the Engineers in fifth place, traveling to either Harvard or Quinnipiac.

Cornell is likely to earn the regular season championship, as Clarkson fell two points behind first place after losing to Dartmouth 4-1, and the Big Red face Union tomorrow afternoon. Clarkson would win a tiebreaker with the Big Red, however, if they win and Cornell loses. (but... come on. Ed.) They will be the first and second seeds, at any rate.

Harvard, Quinnipiac, and RPI will be the third through fifth seeds, with the order being determined on Saturday.

Princeton and St. Lawrence will be the 6th and 7th seeds, with the order depending on the outcome of Saturday's games.

Yale was officially eliminated from the playoffs on Friday night. They can tie Dartmouth or Dartmouth AND Colgate for 8th, but cannot win either tiebreaker. They sit in 10th place, two points behind Dartmouth, one point behind Colgate.

Dartmouth or Colgate will be the 8th seed and will likely face Cornell next weekend. The Big Green lead the Raiders by one point. Colgate wins the head-to-head tiebreaker with Dartmouth, but loses a three-way tiebreaker with Dartmouth and Yale.

A Colgate victory over RPI tomorrow ensures that they will not finish in a tie with Yale. The Raiders would then earn the 8th seed with a Dartmouth loss or tie (at St. Lawrence). Thus, the Engineers have an opponent tomorrow with as much to play for as they do.

Best case resulst:
RPI over Colgate
Clarkson over Harvard
Brown over Quinnipiac OR Brown ties Quinnipiac

Time to Fly Now

You know what? I could have been hokey and gone with Rick James or Chic for Freakout weekend. The Olympics are on, maybe some John Williams would be in order. But homie don't roll like that.

Yes, it's Freakout weekend, and it's senior weekend, but I'm looking for something just a little more inspiring and a little less thematic.

The ladies are out in central New York this weekend looking to finish strong and hopefully be back in Troy next weekend. The men will know by the end of the weekend whether they're still in the hunt for the bye or not.

So let's go to an old standby - perhaps the original pump-up song.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chase Po-la-cek = Ho-bey Ba-ker?

The buzz surrounding junior forward Chase Polacek, of late, has been of his potential candidacy for the Hobey Baker Award, hockey's equivalent to football's Heisman Trophy. The buzz only grows louder when he has a weekend such as the one he had in eastern New England, where he put up 5 goals in 2 games, including a natural hat trick against Dartmouth.

The Hobey field, at this point, is wide open and is cause for rampant speculation. Ask two experts for 10 names, and you might get three or four that are the same. Polacek is, of course, on my list. Although I'm sure there's some blind homerism to it, I do believe there's legitimate reason for him to be considered.

My list of 10, in no particular order: F Chase Polacek, jr, RPI; D Brendan Smith, jr, Wisconsin; F Rhett Rakhshani, sr, Denver; G Marc Cheverie, jr, Denver; G Cody Reichard, so, Miami; F Bobby Butler, sr, New Hampshire; F Gustav Nyquist, so, Maine; F Cory Conacher, jr, Canisius; F Blake Geoffrion, sr, Wisconsin; F Corey Tropp, jr, Michigan State.

I'm not going to fully break down the Hobey race here for a couple of reasons. First, like I mentioned, the field is wide open. Second, there are a lot of candidates just on my list to go over, and I'm not looking to get into detail. Finally, I'm not sure Polacek has a better than average chance of actually winning the Hobey.

Why is that? History, mostly. No ECAC player has won the Hobey in over 20 years - the last one was Harvard's Lane MacDonald in 1989, the year the Crimson won the national championship.

Only three Hobey winners have played for teams that did not reach the NCAA Tournament: Minnesota-Duluth's Chris Marinucci in 1994, Bowling Green's Brian Holzinger in 1995, and Denver's Matt Carle in 2006. Of the three, only Marinucci played for a team that was not one of the best in his conference (he scored 61 points on a sub-.500 team) - in fact, Carle had played on back-to-back national championship teams prior to winning the Hobey.

I don't have to tell you - right now, the Engineers are going to need to win the ECAC Tournament to be an NCAA team.

But Polacek does have some things going for him. At present, he's the national scoring leader, and 8 of the last 10 national scoring leaders have been on the list of 10 nominees for the Hobey that comes out in March - the caveat being that one of the two who were not nominees was last year's leader also from the ECAC, Quinnipiac's Bryan Leitch. The national lead in goal scoring, which Polacek currently shares, has also garnered a nomination in 8 of the last 10 seasons. Another strong point is that Polacek seems to be one of the favorites for ECAC Player of the Year. Since 1998, only two players who were named Player of the Year of one of the "Big Four" conferences have failed to earn a Hobey Baker nomination. Both were goaltenders, one was a freshman, the other shared his league POTY nod, and neither were from the ECAC.

USCHO's Elliot Olshansky looked into what boils down to the "clutchiness" of points scored by some of the potential Hobey candidates, using a system developed for NHL analysis by The Hockey News. What it does is determine how often a player helps his team score crucial goals - the first goal of the game, a goal that produces a lead, a goal that produces the last lead, a goal that starts a comeback, and goals in overtime. Goals get a full point, assists get a half point.

Guess who, among a laundry list of candidates, is at the top in producing these "clutch" goals? Without much fanfare from Olshansky - it's Chase Polacek.

Now, that doesn't suddenly vault Polacek into #1 contender status, but it does underscore what might be some degree of separation from a player like Leitch who was not nominated for the Hobey.

I do believe Chase should be on the list of 10 nominees when all is said and done. I don't believe he's got a good chance of actually winning the award. Playing in the ECAC does put you behind the eight-ball when it comes to being recognized by the people who vote on the award (a combination of coaches and writers - don't be fooled by the fan vote, 1% means the fan vote counts less than a single vote from any of the slate of voters). Despite his very solid numbers, he'll have to be phenomenal in the next few weeks - we're talking Tournament MVP on top of taking the POTY, which would probably place RPI in the national tournament - in order to have a chance at being the first non-Crimson ECAC player to hoist the Hobey. Even that might not be enough. Remember, Adam Oates lost out to UMD's Bill Watson in 1985, and some of that has to do with regionalism with the voters.

The truth is, players like Rakhshani (who I consider the odds-on favorite) and Butler, although their numbers aren't as high as Polacek's, are going to get credit for playing on top teams and in tougher leagues. The argument will be, and perhaps rightfully so, that Rakhshani's numbers would be much higher in the ECAC, while Polacek's would probably be much lower in the WCHA. It's a fair cop - the WCHA's a much tougher league than the ECAC, and putting up the numbers that Rakhshani, Geoffrion, and Smith have done there is probably more impressive, even if they aren't the national scoring leaders (although Smith leads in national scoring for defensemen).

Let's make it even easier. Conacher is right up there with Polacek in the national scoring race, but he plays in Atlantic Hockey. Polacek is getting more attention than Conacher, partially because the ECAC is considered an advanced league from AHA. Same as the comparison of Polacek and Rakhshani.

It's fun to chant "HO-BEY BA-KER!" when Polacek does his thing out there, and he's definitely earned the praise. Actually taking the Hobey will be another thing altogether.

But still... you should go vote for him anyway.


There's another national award out there that I do think an RPI player has a shot at, and it's one that hasn't gotten much press yet since it's relatively brand new. The National Rookie of the Year Award was first handed out when this year's seniors were freshmen, so there have only been three winners - St. Cloud State forward Andreas Nodl in 2007, Colorado College goaltender Richard Bachman in 2008, and Boston University goaltender Kieran Millan in 2009.

This time I will go over the candidates, since it's a much shorter list - and I think there are fewer arguments with who comprises that list.

F Brandon Pirri, RPI
Pirri's resume is really simple. He's got the numbers. Second leading scorer in the ECAC (behind a teammate that he doesn't play on the same line with), fifth in the nation in assists per game, and he leads the nation in rookie scoring with 39 points, including a ridiculous lead of 8 in rookie assists. The only forward to win the award, Nodl, was also the national leader in rookie scoring who scored at a similar clip. If there's a knock, it's that too many of his points - 30 - come from assists, but we know from watching him that opposing teams who try to lock him down from scoring tend to open up his linemates - notably, Marty O'Grady - for putting it in the net, something which he himself can do very nicely when he's got space to operate.

F Stephane Da Costa, Merrimack
Da Costa is the best player on his team in any class. His 35 points so far this year already represents the highest scoring season for the Warriors in well over a decade. Merrimack practically always is out of the Hockey East playoff race at this point in the season, and while the Warriors don't currently sit in a playoff position, they are right within striking distance and it is largely thanks to Da Costa's addition. He has four fewer points than Pirri, but has played seven fewer games, which means he actually leads the nation in rookie points per game.

F Jordan George, Bemidji State
George's candidacy revolves around the fact that he is probably the freshman with the most contributions on a top team nationally, which, like the Hobey Baker "requirements" listed above, really can't be overlooked. He's right up there with the national rookie leaders with 30 points (as one of only three, with Pirri and Da Costa, who have reached 30 already), which puts him second, trailing only junior Matt Read's 32 points, on a Beaver team sitting 5th in the Pairwise and loaded with players who played in the Frozen Four last season. That's impressive.

F Jerry D'Amigo, RPI
Much like his ECAC Rookie of the Year candidacy, D'Amigo's appearance on this list is a function of his rock star status as one of the leaders of the World Junior Championship backed by some very solid numbers that place him among the best freshmen in the nation at the same time. Among voters, that two weeks in Saskatoon sticks out in the mind even though it really shouldn't count for a college hockey award. The knock on D'Amigo is that he's been with some quality linemates all year, practically always playing with Pirri or Polacek, and even with Derek Stepan and Danny Kristo in Canada. He's right there in the rookie scoring race, though, with 28 points.

F Andy Taranto, Alaska
The Nanooks are making noise in the CCHA this season and it is thanks in no small part to Andy Taranto, who is probably the top freshman in a top league on a solid team that leads his team in scoring, the way Nodl was when he won the award in 2007. Taranto is just ahead of D'Amigo in fourth place in rookie scoring with 29 points and figures to play a key role in Alaska's fortunes coming down the stretch as the Nanooks look to land their first ever NCAA tournament bid.

F Danny Kristo, North Dakota
My list was missing something - a WCHA rookie. Considering that 2 of the 3 NROTY winners have been from the WCHA and that it's by and large the top league in the nation (if the NCAA tournament started today, there would be 6 of 10 WCHA teams playing in it), I needed a candidate from out west and Kristo is that candidate. As mentioned, he played on the top line at the WJC with D'Amigo and he's been a solid rookie forward for the Fighting Sioux as well. He's a little behind in the rookie scoring race, but again, he plays in a tough league and he's had to be there for UND this season. His eye for the net puts him ahead of league-mates Craig Smith of Wisconsin and Rylan Schwartz of Colorado College.

No goalies? Nope. While the last two Rookies of the Year - and two of the three total - have been goaltenders, none of this year's crop are approaching the lofty standards set by Bachman or Millan during their freshman seasons. Notre Dame's Mike Johnson has some of the best save percentage and GAA numbers among freshman netminders, but nowhere near what Bachman or Millan posted - and his winning percentage is at .500. Union's Keith Kincaid is the inverse; great winning percentage, but more pedestrian numbers. CC's Joe Howe is the same way. Both of them are in front of good offensive teams.

No defensemen either? They were a bit closer. I almost added Denver's Matt Donovan and Northeastern's Jake Newton, but I'm not sure either one is on the level with the top talents listed here.

I held back from listing American International's Adam Pleskach, who leads the nation in rookie goals with 14 - two of which were against RPI. He's by far the best player on his team, but AIC is the second weakest team in the weakest conference in the nation (bailed out from their traditional role of last place by UConn). I can't, in good conscience, place him with players like those listed. Harvard's Louis Leblanc was also considered and passed on - while he has 10 goals and 10 assists, he had only 1 assist in Harvard's 7 non-conference games, all of which they lost. While he may yet be a top candidate for ECAC Rookie of the Year, he's toast for national honors.

Who is it? I've got a feeling, deep down, that George and Taranto are the favorites, but I'm definitely not counting out Pirri and Da Costa, or a star turn from D'Amigo or Kristo.


Finally, a quick look at the Patty Kazmaier Award, which is the women's version of the Hobey. Senior defenseman Laura Gersten and junior goaltender Sonja van der Bliek are, to my knowledge, the first Engineers ever nominated for the Kazmaier, but the list of nominees isn't restricted to 10 as it is for the Hobey - there are 45 total nominees this year.

Do either of them have a shot? For both, it's really just an honor to be nominated. It would be difficult to see Gersten, as a defenseman, chosen over Cornell's Laura Fortino, New Hampshire's Courtney Birchard, St. Lawrence's Britni Smith, or Minnesota's Anne Schleper.

Similarly, for van der Bliek, there's Noora Räty of Minnesota, a freshman who's got an unheard of GAA of 0.80 (16 goals allowed in 20 games) and a ridiculous save percentage of .967 (those 16 goals coming on 489 shots faced). Aside from Harvard's Christina Kessler, Sonja actually has some of the better numbers among nominated goaltenders and she's been a major part of RPI's success this season, but I'm not sure how one would be able to justify giving the Kazmaier to any goaltender but Räty.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What We Know


There are two weeks left in the regular season. Each team has four games and eight potential points remaining in their schedule.

The Engineers are in 5th place with a record of 9-7-2 for 20 points. They are tied with St. Lawrence for 4th, but lose the tiebreaker by virtue of the Saints' 3 points in head-to-head play. They can finish no lower than 10th.

As mentioned last week, the Engineers have functionally, if not mathematically, clinched home ice for at least the first round of the playoffs, but it will be official after Friday's games with a victory AND a Princeton loss to Union. They do not control their own destiny for the bye, but can change that on Friday with a win AND St. Lawrence loss or tie, OR a tie AND a St. Lawrence loss AND a Colgate loss or tie.

Cornell and Yale are tied for first place with 26 points each. Both have officially clinched at least home ice in the first round and can finish no lower than 7th, but both have functionally clinched a first-round bye. The Engineers have a game remaining against Cornell and must win it to have a chance to win the tiebreaker with the Big Red. The Engineers win the tiebreaker with Yale by virtue of their sweep of the season series.

Union is in 3rd place with 24 points, 4 points ahead of RPI. They have clinched at least home ice for the first round. The Dutchmen win the tiebreaker with RPI by virtue of their sweep of the season series.

Colgate is in 6th place with 19 points, one point behind RPI. The Engineers have a game remaining against the Raiders and must win it to have a chance to win the tiebreaker, but at present would likely lose on the 2nd tiebreaker of ECAC wins.

Quinnipiac is in 7th place with 18 points, two points behind RPI. The Engineers face the Bobcats at home on Friday and would clinch the tiebreaker with a win or a tie.

Harvard is in 8th place with 17 points, three points behind RPI. The Engineers win the tiebreaker against the Crimson by virtue of having earned 3 points in head-to-head play.

The best case scenario for RPI after this weekend would see them tied for third with Union (holding the fourth position after losing the tiebreaker), unable to fall lower than 6th with two games left.

Best case results this weekend:
RPI over Quinnipiac
Harvard over Cornell
St. Lawrence over Yale
Princeton over Union
Dartmouth over Colgate

RPI over Princeton
Dartmouth over Cornell
Clarkson over Yale
Quinnipiac over Union
Brown over St. Lawrence
Harvard over Colgate


There is one week left in the regular season. Each team has two games and four potential points remaining in their schedule.

The Engineers are in 3rd place with a record of 11-5-4 for 26 points. They are tied with Harvard, but win the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep of the Crimson. They have clinched a playoff spot and can finish no lower than 7th.

Clarkson and Cornell are tied for first place with 30 points each. The only way for RPI to reach first place is in a tie with these teams, assuming both Clarkson and Cornell are swept this weekend and the Engineers sweep. In this event, the Engineers would win the head-to-head tiebreaker and would earn the regular season title and home-ice throughout the ECAC Playoffs. If Harvard were to sweep their weekend as well, it would create a four-way tie which would also be won by the Engineers. This is the only way for RPI to earn the #1 overall seed. (This is heavily dependent on a highly unlikely Union victory over Cornell on Saturday, so don't get your hopes up - Ed.)

Individually, the Engineers win a tiebreaker with Clarkson for second place by virtue of taking three points from the Golden Knights in the head-to-head matchups, and would win a tiebreaker with Cornell by virtue of having more ECAC wins than the Big Red (not currently true, but it would be true if the teams end up tied, which is dependent on an RPI win over Cornell which would create a season series split).

Quinnipiac is in 5th place, one point behind the Engineers. RPI wins a tiebreaker with Quinnipiac by virtue of having more ECAC wins than the Bobcats, and win a three-way tiebreaker with Quinnipiac and Harvard by virtue of head-to-head points.

Princeton is in 6th place, two points behind the Engineers. The winner of this tiebreaker is unclear at this point, as the teams split the season series with two ties and have the same number of ties in ECAC play to date. The second tiebreaker would depend on how each team came to arrive at the tie - if neither team ties any of their games this weekend, the tiebreaker would move on to the 3rd criteria, record against Top 4 teams, which is also unclear at this point but the Engineers would probably have the advantage.

St. Lawrence is in 7th place, three points behind the Engineers. The Saints win the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep of RPI (the only team to accomplish the feat so far this season, although Cornell has the chance to become the second team on Friday).

Multiple tiebreaker situations are as follows.
  • Clarkson-RPI-Harvard: RPI, Clarkson, Harvard (RPI wins head-to-head, Clarkson wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • Cornell-RPI-Harvard: RPI, Cornell, Harvard (RPI wins head-to-head, Cornell wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac: RPI, Harvard, Quinnipiac (RPI wins head-to-head, Harvard wins individual tiebreak with Quinnipiac)
  • RPI-Quinnipiac-Princeton: Princeton, RPI, Quinnipiac (Princeton wins head-to-head, RPI wins individual tiebreak with Quinnipiac)
  • RPI-Quinnipiac-St. Lawrence: Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, RPI (QU/SLU tie in 3-way head-to-head, dropping RPI, QU wins individual tiebreak with SLU)
  • RPI-Harvard-Princeton: RPI, Princeton, Harvard (RPI wins head-to-head, Princeton wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • RPI-Harvard-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, RPI, Harvard (SLU wins head-to-head, RPI wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • RPI-Princeton-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, RPI/Princeton (SLU wins head-to-head, RPI/Princeton tiebreak is ambiguous as noted above)
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac-Princeton: RPI/Princeton, Harvard, Quinnipiac (RPI/PU tie in 4-way head-to-head (ambiguous individual tiebreak), HU wins individual tiebreak with QU)
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac-St. Lawrence: Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, RPI, Harvard
  • RPI-Harvard-Princeton-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, RPI, Princeton, Harvard
  • RPI-Quinnipiac-Princeton-St. Lawrence: Princeton/SLU, RPI, Quinnipiac
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac-Princeton-St. Lawrence: Princeton, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, RPI, Harvard
Brown and Union are eliminated. Dartmouth, Yale, and Colgate are still alive for the final playoff spot, the team that gets it will be the #8 seed and will travel to face the regular season champion, either Clarkson, Cornell, or RPI.

The Engineers can clinch home ice on Friday with:
  • A win over Cornell AND a Quinnipiac loss or tie with Yale AND a Princeton loss or tie with Brown.
  • A tie with Cornell AND a Quinnipiac loss to Yale AND a Princeton loss to Brown AND a St. Lawrence tie or loss to Harvard.
A loss on Friday does not eliminate RPI from home ice contention, but they can lose control of their home ice destiny with a loss, a Quinnipiac win, and a Harvard win or tie.

Best case results this weekend:
RPI over Cornell
Dartmouth over Clarkson

RPI over Colgate
Union over Cornell
Harvard over Clarkson