Sunday, October 10, 2010

Women's Hockey - Vermont (8/9 Oct)

The Engineers returned to the familiar confines of Houston Field House this weekend for a pair of games against the Catamounts of the University of Vermont. The series marked the first time the teams have played since January 2006 (in RPI’s first Division I season), a game which UVM won 4-3. This weekend, despite outplaying UVM much of the time, penalty troubles and defensive lapses forced the Engineers to walk away with a pair of ties, 3-3 on Friday and 1-1 on Saturday.

Friday

Padmore/Dunlop/Horton
Smelker/Vandegrift/Harrison
Sanders/Jakubowski/O’Keefe
Letuligasenoa/Guillemette/Mankey/Stapleton

Castignetti/Marzario
Le Donne/Daniels
Vadner

Van der Bliek

The Engineers got off to a strong start on Friday, controlling play through most of the early game, however it was Vermont who would strike first, taking a 1-0 lead as a defensive lapse allowed Teddy Fortin to break in on Sonja van der Bliek and put the puck in the back of the net. The lead didn’t stand for long as a body checking call on UVM’s Kelly Dineen gave RPI the chance it needed for the equalizer, and Kendra Dunlop forced home a rebound to knot the score at one at 14:27 of the first.

It looked like the score would stand through the end of the period, with the teams playing a lot of back and forth hockey without great chances either way, but another defensive breakdown let UVM’s Celeste Doucet in all alone against van der Bliek, and just like that UVM took a 2-1 advantage into the locker room.

Three straight Vermont penalties in the early second period gave RPI the chance to knot the score, but the Engineers couldn’t find the tying goal despite holding a 13-6 shot advantage in the frame. Instead, it was UVM who found the net again, opening up a 3-1 lead on a controversial goal. Breanne Sundquist sent a shot in on net which looked to roll along the crossbar and back out without entering the net. The goal judge and fans believed the puck never went in, however the referee ruled it a goal and the Catamounts took a 3-1 lead into the third period.

Jill Vandegrift gave the Engineers just the spark they needed in the third period, firing a slapshot past goalie Roxanne Douville from the faceoff dot just 12 seconds into the frame to close the gap to 3-2. A hooking call against UVM’s Kailey Nash at 6:21 handed RPI a chance to tie the game, and they made short work of it. Just eight seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Katie Daniels fired a rocket slapshot from the point which beat Douville to tie the game at three. A period of back-and-forth penalties gave both teams chances to take the lead – the Engineers pressured UVM relentlessly but couldn’t get the game winner through the rest of the third or the five-minute overtime. Shots on goal in the game were a lopsided 39-20 in favor of RPI, with a couple of defensive lapses costing the Engineers what could otherwise have been a solid home win.

Saturday

Padmore/Dunlop/Horton
Smelker/Vandegrift/Harrison
Sanders/Jakubowski/O’Keefe
Letuligasenoa/Guillemette/Stapleton/Mankey

Le Donne/Daniels
Castignetti/Marzario
Vadner

Ramelot

If possible for there to be a more lopsided tie game than happened Friday, Saturday saw the Engineers have an even stronger advantage throughout the game, while still skating away with the same end result. The Engineers piled on a whopping 41 shots on goal to UVM’s 19, but the Engineers got in penalty trouble to allow Vermont its only goal. Laura Guillemette was sent off for tripping late in the first period, and Celeste Doucet scored her second goal of the weekend to give the Catamounts a 1-0 lead at 16:36.

With RPI holding an advantage through much of the second period, UVM coach Tim Bothwell called his timeout with 3:37 left in the second after an icing call, to regroup and give his players a rest as they were not allowed to change on the icing. The timeout did not have the intended effect, as RPI controlled play for the next 30 seconds after the ensuing faceoff before Vadner took a slapshot from the point and Jordan Smelker smacked home the rebound to tie the score at one.

Vermont appeared to take the lead around the midpoint of the third period as the puck rolled, in seeming slow-motion, past Shannon Ramelot into the RPI net. Ramelot immediately jumped up and started shaking her glove at the officials, Coach Burke called them over for discussion, and after the officials conferred with one another the goal was ruled to have gone in the net off a Vermont player’s hand, and was thus waved off.

RPI had chances on the power play late in the third period as well as with a minute left in overtime, but once again they could not put the puck home, and the game went in the books as a 1-1 tie. All in all it had to be a disappointing weekend for RPI, who played well enough to win both games but simply couldn’t bury enough chances to pull out the wins. Jordan Smelker had another good weekend with a strong physical presence and Saturday’s only RPI goal, while Kristen Jakubowski, who spent most of last season filling in for other players, has started to come into her own light making several very good plays over the course of the weekend. Jill Vandegrift was also very noticeable against Vermont, creating space and scoring opportunities for herself, even when outnumbered by two or three Vermont defenders. As a whole, there were a lot of positives to be taken from the weekend’s games; if RPI can find the back of the net with some more of their shots, things should get a lot easier for them.

RPI hosts #8 New Hampshire on Friday night at 7pm in their only game on the weekend. The game will not be carried on WRPI as the men will be playing at Northeastern, but live video should be available via the RPI Athletics website.

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RPI vs. Vermont
Non-Conference Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
10/8/10 – 7:00pm
RPI 3, UVM 3 (OT)

BOX SCORES:
RECAPS:
RECORD: 0-2-1 (0-0-0 ECAC)

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RPI vs. Vermont
Non-Conference Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
10/9/10 – 4:00pm
RPI 1, UVM 1 (OT)

BOX SCORES:
RECAPS:

RECORD: 0-2-2 (0-0-0 ECAC)

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Upcoming Games

Oct. 15 – New Hampshire (7pm)
Oct. 22 – at Providence (7pm)
Oct. 24 – at Northeastern (1pm)
Oct. 29 – at SLU (7pm)
Oct. 30 – at Clarkson (4pm)

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