Sunday, January 30, 2011

Women's Hockey - at Colgate & Cornell (28/29 Jan)

After suffering a sweep at the hands of Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend, RPI took to the road again looking to get back on track and at least manage two points at Colgate and Cornell. Instead, RPI suffered two more losses, falling 3-0 to Colgate (a team currently below the playoff cutoff), before becoming Cornell’s 22nd win on the season in a 6-0 blowout on Saturday afternoon. With the two additional shutouts, RPI has now gone over 190 minutes of game time without scoring a goal, and the Engineers have quickly fallen from the hunt for home ice to a battle just to make the playoffs.



Le Donne/Daniels

Van der Bliek

The Engineers and Raiders took to the ice in front of over 1,000 fans and a regional TV audience on Friday as Colgate held the “Light Up Starr Rink Blue” event – a fundraiser to raise autism awareness. The home crowd did not leave disappointed as Colgate netminder Kimberly Sass picked up her fourth career shutout win in a 22-save effort.

RPI came out of the gate strong, outshooting the Raiders and applying good pressure in the opening minutes, but Colgate turned the tables as the period wore on. The Raiders took a 1-0 lead at the 12:42 mark when Amanda Kirwan received a pass from Jenna Klynstra and beat Sonja van der Bliek top shelf for the goal.

The second period saw Colgate pick up the majority of the scoring chances, but van der Bliek turned away twelve shots in the frame to keep Colgate’s lead to one. A pair of Engineer penalties late in the second set up a 5-on-3 opportunity for Colgate as Taylor Horton and Jill Vandegrift found themselves in the box. The 5-on-3 carried over into the third and it took Colgate just 29 seconds on fresh ice to double their lead to 2-0. Jessi Waters put a pass through the crease which Klynstra put past van der Bliek.

An RPI comeback attempt sparked by three consecutive Colgate penalties fell short, and hope of evening things up evaporated when Jordan Smelker took a penalty with 1:13 left in regulation. The Engineers ended up unable to manage a goal on 21 shots, marking the fifth time they were shutout on the season and second game in a row.




Van der Bliek

After a tough loss on Friday, the Engineers were treated to a rematch with the #2 Cornell Big Red, and Cornell wasted no time whatsoever in reminding the Engineers of the dominant performance they experienced just two weeks earlier. Cornell scored on four of their first six shots in the game, putting the Engineers in a 4-goal hole just past the midpoint of the first and killing any hopes of a competitive game for RPI before they even started.

Cornell’s first goal came shorthanded as Brianne Jenner broke in shorthanded and beat van der Bliek for the early lead at 6:04. Catherine White made it 2-0 at 9:45 as she converted a 2-on-1 opportunity. Just over a minute later, Jenner notched her second goal of the game, and Hayley Hughes capped off the disastrous 5:50 by taking a pass on a 3-on-2 and shooting it past a sprawling van der Bliek for the four-goal lead.

A minute of 5-on-3 power play time at the end of the period did little to bolster the Engineer offense, which managed just four shots on the period. An even paltrier two shots followed for the Engineers in the second period, however van der Bliek turned away 11 shots in the frame to keep the Cornell lead to 4-0.

The Big Red tacked on two more goals in the third period, as Karlee Overguard tipped in a shot on the power play to make it 5-0 before Hughes closed out the scoring with Cornell’s sixth goal, poking in a rebound off a Chelsea Karpenko wraparound bid.

The pair of losses dropped RPI into seventh place, just one point up on eighth-place SLU and two points on ninth-place Colgate. The Engineers now find themselves watching their backs as the teams behind look to make up ground and earn a spot in the playoffs with just three weekends remaining. The Engineers face a must-win game against a Brown squad which stole two points earlier in the season, and still have games against #10 Quinnipiac, Clarkson, and SLU on the schedule. RPI will look to get healthy in the meantime after playing with a depleted roster this weekend, and will need a strong push through the final six games in order to solidify a spot in the playoffs. With Cornell all but guaranteed to finish in first, RPI will need to finish in seventh place or better to avoid a near-guaranteed quick exit in the playoff quarterfinals.

Next weekend’s home games against Brown (7pm Friday) and Yale (4pm Saturday) will not be carried by WRPI, however live stats and video (pay-per-view) will be available via the Athletics website as usual.


RPI at Colgate
ECAC Hockey Game – Starr Rink (Hamilton, NY)
1/28/11 – 7:00pm
Colgate 2, RPI 0

RECORD: 9-11-6 (7-7-1 ECAC)


RPI at Cornell
ECAC Hockey Game – Lynah Rink (Ithaca, NY)
1/29/11 – 4:00pm
Cornell 6, RPI 0

RECORD: 9-12-6 (7-8-1 ECAC)


ECAC Standings (by points, swap Quinnipiac and Clarkson to correct ranking by win percentage)
               GP     Pts      ECAC     All
Cornell 16 32 16-0 22-1
Harvard 16 24 11-3-2 12-7-2
Dartmouth 16 20 10-6 14-8
Quinnipiac 16 18 9-7 17-9-1
Clarkson 15 17 8-6-1 11-13-3
Princeton 16 17 8-7-1 11-11-1
Rensselaer 16 15 7-8-1 9-12-6
St. Lawrence 15 14 7-8 12-13-2
Colgate 16 13 6-9-1 9-16-2
Yale 14 9 4-9-1 5-14-2
Brown 14 5 1-10-3 3-16-3
Union 16 2 0-14-2 1-24-3

Upcoming Games

Feb. 4 – Brown (7pm)
Feb. 5 – Yale (4pm)
Feb. 11 – Quinnipiac (7pm)
Feb. 12 – Princeton (4pm)
Feb. 18 – Clarkson (7pm)
Feb. 19 – SLU (4pm) (Senior Night)

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