Sunday, January 9, 2011

Women's Hockey - Dartmouth & Harvard (7/8 Jan)

RPI ended its month-long layoff at home this weekend against two of the better teams in the ECAC thus far, Dartmouth and Harvard. Coming into the weekend with an unprecedented four-game winning streak over the Big Green and Crimson, RPI extended that streak to six with a 5-2 victory over Dartmouth Friday before following it up with a 2-1 win over Harvard in a Saturday matinee.

Dartmouth

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

Le Donne/Vadner
Castignetti/Marzario
Daniels

van der Bliek

The Engineers got off to a rough start Friday afternoon when Dartmouth’s Erica Dobos tipped a Geneva Kliman shot past Sonja van der Bliek for a 1-0 lead on the power play just 1:06 into the game. Jordan Smelker roofed a shot just under the crossbar only 1:20 later to tie the game at one, and RPI capitalized on its next power play late in the first as Alisa Harrison poked home a loose puck in the crease to give the Engineers the lead for good at 15:39.

RPI extended their lead with a three-goal second period, with Clare Padmore putting home the rebound of a Kristen Jakubowski shot, Taylor Horton broke in all alone and beat Dartmouth netminder Lindsay Holdcroft, and Kendra Dunlop fed a streaking Jill Vandegrift for another goal from the slot. Dartmouth tallied a single goal in the period as Camille Dumais notched the Big Green’s second power play goal of the afternoon.

The teams left the second period with RPI holding a 5-2 lead, and that score held up through the final frame despite a plethora of penalty calls against both teams. All told, 12 of the 19 Engineers playing recorded a point on the night, and a balanced offensive effort proved too much for Dartmouth to overcome. Van der Bliek make 30 saves on 32 shots in the winning effort, and Taylor Horton had the only multi-point game for the Engineers, picking up a goal and an assist along with a +2 rating on the night.

Harvard

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

Le Donne/Vadner
Castignetti/Marzario
Daniels

van der Bliek

RPI had to weather another difficult start on Saturday afternoon as Harvard flew out of the gate, controlling play for nearly the entire opening half of the first period, capping the dominant stretch off with a goal at 11:05 for a 1-0 lead. Crimson center Katharine Chute fired a pass to winger Ashley Wheeler who tipped it under van der Bliek’s skate for the lead.

The momentum shifted in RPI’s favor after the Harvard goal, as a pair of power plays finally gave the Engineers an opportunity to record a few shots on goal after being held without a shot during the opening Harvard flurry. The Engineers outworked the Crimson in the second period, peppering goalie Laura Bellamy with 12 shots and tying the game at 13:41 of the frame. Taylor Horton notched the tying goal for the Engineers, her seventh of the season from Andie Le Donne.

Another pair of penalties to Harvard late in the second, including over a minute of 5-on-3 time, kept the Crimson from mounting any kind of offensive effort, and they left the period with just four shots on goal to show for their 20 minutes. The Crimson came back out of the intermission flying once again, but RPI weathered the storm early before bouncing back in the middle of the frame. Just past the midpoint of the third, Andie Le Donne fired a rocket slapshot from the blue line while rushing down ice and beat Bellamy for a 2-1 lead, which the Engineers clung to through the remainder of the game. Over a minute of extra attacker time didn’t give Harvard the equalizer, and the Engineers skated off the ice with a hard-fought and well-deserved four points on the weekend.

The victory was RPI’s fourth straight against the Crimson, with the Engineers now holding 4-1-1 record over Harvard in the past three seasons. The four-point weekend moved RPI into fourth place, but with four games in hand over second-place Quinnipiac and third-place Princeton, RPI finds itself in second place behind Cornell if the standings are adjusted for winning percentage to account for the disparity in games played.

It’s a good place to be for an Engineer squad with tempered expectations to start the season, however the toughest part of the schedule remains for RPI with a pair of games against a dominant Cornell squad, a road trip rematch at Harvard and Dartmouth, and games against Quinnipiac, Princeton, Clarkson, and SLU to close out the season. RPI will need to carry some momentum through the remainder of the schedule and pick up some tough wins to keep themselves high in the standings.

RPI continues its homestand next weekend as #2 Cornell and Colgate visit Houston Field House. Cornell (7pm Friday) has run roughshod over the ECAC through their first ten games, going undefeated and surrendering just four goals while scoring 38. Big Red netminder Amanda Mazotta is posting a 0.50 GAA and .976 save percentage in ECAC play, and leads the nation overall with a 0.91 GAA and .953 save percentage in 14 games.

Colgate (4pm Saturday) has struggled in the first half of the season, posting a 6-13-2 record overall and a 3-6-1 mark in the ECAC. Defense has been a struggle for the Raiders, who have been surrendering 2.9 goals per game and nearly 30 shots on goal per game. Saturday’s game against Colgate will be broadcast by WRPI at 91.5FM and www.wrpi.org, and both games will have streaming video available for purchase through B2/America One.

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RPI vs. Dartmouth
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
1/7/11 – 3:00pm
RPI 5, Dartmouth 2

BOX SCORES:
RECAPS:
RECORD: 7-7-6 (5-3-1 ECAC)

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RPI vs. Harvard
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
1/8/11 – 3:00pm
RPI 2, Harvard 1

BOX SCORES:
RECAPS:
RECORD: 8-7-6 (6-3-1 ECAC)

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ECAC Standings (by points)
               GP     Pts      ECAC     All
Cornell 10 20 10-0 15-1
Quinnipiac 14 16 8-6 15-7-1
Princeton 14 15 7-6-1 10-10-1
Rensselaer 10 13 6-3-1 8-7-6
Dartmouth 10 12 6-4 9-6
Harvard 10 12 5-3-2 6-7-2
Yale 10 9 4-5-1 5-10-2
St. Lawrence 9 8 4-5 9-10-2
Clarkson 9 7 3-5-1 6-12-3
Colgate 10 7 3-6-1 6-13-2
Brown 10 5 1-6-3 2-10-3
Union 10 2 0-8-2 1-18-3
ECAC Standings (by winning percentage)
               GP     ECAC     Win%
Cornell 10 10-0 1.000
Rensselaer 10 6-3-1 .650
Dartmouth 10 6-4 .600
Harvard 10 5-3-2 .600
Quinnipiac 14 8-6 .571
Princeton 14 7-6-1 .536
Yale 10 4-5-1 .450
St. Lawrence 9 4-5 .444
Clarkson 9 3-5-1 .389
Colgate 10 3-6-1 .350
Brown 10 1-6-3 .250
Union 10 0-8-2 .100
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Upcoming Games

Jan. 14 – Cornell (7pm)
Jan. 15 – Colgate (4pm)
Jan. 21 – at Harvard (7pm)
Jan. 22 – at Dartmouth (4pm)
Jan. 28 – at Colgate (7pm)
Jan. 29 – at Cornell (4pm)

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