Monday, February 22, 2010

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.

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Friday

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

Castignetti/Gersten
Le Donne/Vadner
Gaylord/Daniels

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.

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Saturday

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

Castignetti/Gersten
Le Donne/Vadner
Gaylord/Daniels

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.

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

BOX SCORES:
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/0910/boxes/wcorren1.f19
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/?date=20100219&vis=rpi&home=cor&gender=w

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2010/2/19/WICE_0219103850.aspx
Cornell: http://cornellbigred.com/news/2010/2/19/WICE_0219105210.aspx

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

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

BOX SCORES:
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/0910/boxes/wclgren1.f20
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/?date=20100220&vis=rpi&home=col&gender=w

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2010/2/20/WICE_0220104530.aspx
Colgate: http://gocolgateraiders.com/news/2010/2/20/WHOCKEY_0220105557.aspx

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

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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 v.top 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
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Upcoming Games

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

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WOMEN’S HOCKEY

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 http://www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17500&KEY=&SPID=10457&SPSID=87926 and the games will be broadcast on the air courtesy of WRPI radio on 91.5 FM or log on to www.wrpi.org and click on sports.

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WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM SET FOR ECACH PLAYOFFS

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 www.wrpi.org. Live stats for this weekend’s games are expected to be available at http://www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/.

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