Monday, February 1, 2010

Women's Hockey - Quinnipiac & Princeton (1/29, 1/30)

This weekend promised to be a big one for RPI, as they entered tied for fourth place with Princeton and Quinnipiac, the very two teams they would be facing at Houston Field House. A sweep would put the Engineers 2 points ahead of both, in lone possession of a home ice playoff spot with 6 games left.

While the Engineers didn't pick up the sweep, they did net 3 out of 4 points with a 1-0 shutout of Quinnipiac and a 1-1 tie against Princeton, good enough to move RPI into a 3-way tie for 3rd place in the ECAC, with Harvard and Princeton. The shutout against Quinnipiac was Sonja van der Bliek's 6th of the season (4th in ECAC play).

Monday morning saw van der Bliek named the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week posting a 0.48 GAA and .978 save percentage on the weekend, while Kendra Dunlop was named to the weekly honor roll for scoring both of RPI's goals on the weekend. It is van der Bliek's first GotW honor this season, and the fourth in her career.

Finally, senior captain Allison was nominated for the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Competition with takes place on the off-day of the Frozen Four weekend in April. There is an online voting component, which can be found at http://www.ncaa.com/frozenfourskillschallenge/. Please cast your vote for Allison if you have an opportunity.

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Friday

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

Castignetti/Gersten
Daniels/Vadner
Gaylord

Van der Bliek

The one thing those of us at this game took home was an overwhelming question of how RPI could have possible been beaten 6-1 by this Quinnipiac team earlier in the season. The Bobcats had no puck control, no pressure, minimal shots on goal, and hooked, held, and hit their way around the ice as a result. There was no comparing the two teams, even if the final score would indicate a very close game.

After a scoreless first period and a half which saw Quinnipiac take four straight penalties, the officials decided it was time to swallow the whistles and they did not call another penalty in the remainder of the game - despite Quinnipiac playing the exact same way that left them shorthanded four times early.

Early in the third, RPI would score the lone goal that would hold up for the win. Laura Gersten connected with Kendra Dunlop who skated in alone and snuck a shot five-hole on Quinnipiac's Victoria Vigilanti to give the Engineers the 1-0 lead. A Quinnipiac timeout and empty net late in the period didn't help the Bobcats recover from the goal and the shutout stood for van der Bliek.

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Saturday

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

Castignetti/Gersten
Le Donne/Vadner
Daniels/Gaylord

Van der Bliek

There were no worries of seeing nearly an entire scoreless game on Saturday, as Princeton took a 1-0 lead over RPI just 2:06 into the game on a real fluky goal. Princeton's Alex Kinney threw a soft shot toward the RPI net which tipped off Andie Le Donne's stick and bounced high, over van der Bliek's head and behind her into the net. From her response it looked like she expected the puck to go out of play, not behind her into the net.

The lead did not last long as Dunlop scored her second of the weekend, again from Laura Gersten. Gersten threw the puck on net on an RPI rush and Princeton goalie Rachel Weber gave up a rebound which Dunlop slammed home to tie the game at one.

Three straight Princeton penalties in the second gave RPI a chance to take the lead but they couldn't get anything going, managing just four shots in the frame despite nearly five minutes of power play time. The Engineers turned up the pressure in a fast-paced third, throwing 13 shots on net and taking just one penalty, with very few other stoppages, but again, no goals. In all, the second and third period of the game elapsed in just over the time Coach Appert spent talking to supporters at the pregame reception in New Haven before the men's game.

Overtime saw two RPI shots to one for Princeton, and an RPI penalty with 21 seconds remaining, but the game was destined to go down as a tie, giving the Engineers and Tigers a point each and moving them both ahead of Quinnipiac and into a tie with Harvard for third place.

Clarkson looks to be pretty safe in first place with 27 points, while Cornell is in second with 23 before we hit the RPI/Harvard/Princeton tie for third with 20 points. Quinnipiac is one back with 19, followed by SLU with 17. The rest drops off from there, with Yale in 8th place with 13 points. Colgate and Dartmouth are still in the hunt for playoff berths, while Brown and Union will certainly be done at the end of the regular season. With a game remaining against each of the three teams ahead of them, RPI has a chance to make up some ground and make a real run at playoff home ice for the first time since joining the ECAC. Perhaps the biggest test of all will come next Friday night as the Engineers travel to Potsdam to take on the #3 nationally-ranked Golden Knights. Game time is 7pm.

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RPI vs. Quinnipiac
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
1/29/10 - 7:00pm
RPI 1, Quinnipiac 0

BOX SCORES:
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/0910/boxes/wquiren1.j29
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/?date=20100129&vis=qu&home=rpi&gender=w

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2010/1/29/WICE_0129104210.aspx
QU: http://www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=17500&ATCLID=204877284

RECORD: 11-10-5 (8-4-3 ECAC Hockey, 19 points)

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RPI vs. Princeton
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
1/30/10 – 4:00pm
RPI 1, Princeton 1

BOX SCORES:
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/0910/boxes/wprnren1.j30
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/?date=20100130&vis=pri&home=rpi&gender=w

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2010/1/30/WICE_0130104523.aspx
Princeton: http://www.goprincetontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=10600&ATCLID=204877789

RECORD: 11-10-6 (8-4-4 ECAC Hockey, 20 points)

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ECAC Standings (as of 1/31/10):
            GP    Pts    ECAC      All
Clarkson 15 27 13-1-1 19-5-3
Cornell 16 23 9-2-5 10-8-5
Harvard 16 20 9-5-2 12-5-4
Princeton 16 20 8-4-4 10-9-4
RPI 16 20 8-4-4 11-10-6
Quinnipiac 16 19 7-4-5 14-8-6
SLU 15 17 7-5-3 11-9-7
Yale 16 15 7-8-1 9-11-3
Colgate 16 12 4-8-4 8-16-4
Dartmouth 16 11 5-10-1 8-12-2
Brown 16 3 0-13-3 2-16-4
Union 16 3 1-14-1 5-22-1
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Upcoming Games

Feb. 5 – at Clarkson
Feb. 6 – at St. Lawrence
Feb. 12 - Harvard
Feb. 13 - Dartmouth

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WOMEN'S HOCKEY

The Engineers went 1-0-1 last week, topping Quinnipiac on Friday (1-0), before tying Princeton in overtime (1-1) on Saturday. Junior Sonja van der Bliek (Toronto, ON) stopped 45 of 46 shots she faced on the weekend, including 17 stops in RPI’s shutout of the Bobcats.

Rensselaer (11-10-6; 8-4-4 ECACH) is back in action this weekend, when it visits North Country-rivals Clarkson and St. Lawrence. Live stats for Friday’s match-up with the third-ranked Golden Knights can be found at http://www.ecachockey.com/livestats/clarkson/landing. Live stats for Saturday’s game will be available at http://www.ecachockey.com/livestats/stlawrence/landing. Live video will also be available for both games on a pay-per-view basis through the B2 Networks at http://www.b2livetv.com/upcoming_events.asp?q=v&value=ecac.

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