Sunday, February 13, 2011

Women's Hockey - at Quinnipiac & Princeton (11/12 Feb)

RPI’s playoff aspirations were thrown back into doubt this weekend as the Engineers suffered another weekend sweep on the road at Quinnipiac and Princeton. The Bobcats came out of the gate strong on Friday night, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looking back en route to a 5-1 victory, while a back-and-forth affair at Princeton on Saturday ultimately saw the Tigers come out on top by a 4-2 margin.



Le Donne

Van der Bliek

RPI and Quinnipiac have shared what many would call a budding rivalry ever since their 3-game marathon playoff series in last year’s ECAC Quarterfinals. The games have been hard-fought and evenly matched, and brought out the best in both teams. That wasn’t the case on Friday as the Bobcats laid a 5-1 drubbing on the Engineers in Hamden.

Led by a five-point effort from freshman Kelly Babstock, Quinnipiac picked up an early lead and kept the pedal to the floor , outshooting the Engineers by more than 2-to-1. Jordan Elkins put the Bobcats on the board first, converting on a power play opportunity just 4:32 into the game with a slapshot from the point. Amanda Colin notched the game winner just past the midpoint of the period with a backhand shot in close to the net to beat Sonja van der Bliek.

The Engineers’ second penalty of the period was quickly turned into Quinnipiac’s second power play goal, as it took just 26 seconds after Katie Daniels’ body checking penalty for Babstock to find her own rebound and poke it home for a 3-0 lead. RPI was outshot 13-2 in the period.

RPI improved play in the second, but couldn’t find the back of the net, instead falling another goal behind when Babstock snuck a shot between van der Bliek’s pads and the post to make it 4-0.

The Bobcats made it an even more commanding 5-0 lead 2:55 into the final frame, as Brittany Lyons, coming out of the penalty box, broke in 2-on-1 with Babstock. Babstock fed a last-second pass to Lyons, who put it top shelf to beat van der Bliek.

RPI avoided the shutout with a goal by Jordan Smelker in the eighth minute of the third, as Alisa Harrison fed a pass through the front of the crease for a quick tip and easy goal for Smelker.

The Engineers went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Quinnipiac went 2-for-2. Quinnipiac has held their opponents scoreless on 27 straight power play opportunities, spanning seven games.




Van der Bliek

Senior Sasha Sherry made the most of her senior night at Princeton on Saturday as her hat trick launched the Tigers to a 4-2 victory over RPI. An Engineer penalty again led to the game’s first goal on Saturday, as Sherry fired a shot from the blue line to beat van der Bliek for a 1-0 lead at 7:25.

Unlike the night before, things did not get out of hand for the Engineers in the early going, as Katie Daniels answered with a power play goal of her own at 11:26 to tie the game at one. Caroline Park reestablished the Tigers’ lead with 47 seconds remaining in the first period.

A Princeton penalty with 7 seconds left in the first set RPI up with a long power play on fresh ice to start the second, and Taylor Horton capitalized, beating Princeton goalie Rachel Weber at 0:52 of the middle frame to tie the game at two.

Unfortunately for the Engineers, that would be all the scoring they’d see, as Sherry scored twice more for the Tigers in the second to close out the scoring. All three of Sherry’s goals on the night would come from rockets off the blue line.

With the pair of losses, the Engineers are thrown into a perilous position in the playoff race. They find themselves in a tie with Colgate for 7th place, with St. Lawrence and Yale two and four points behind respectively, each with a game in hand over the Engineers. With SLU essentially guaranteed two points over Union next weekend, RPI faces a critical game against the Saints to secure a playoff position. We’ll have more later in the week on next weekend’s games and their playoff implications, but it’s pretty critical that RPI win both games next weekend in an attempt to finish above eighth place, as the league’s final playoff team is set to be the sacrificial lamb to a Cornell powerhouse likely to be playing in the Frozen Four in several weeks.

Next weekend the Engineers return home for the final weekend of the regular season, taking on Clarkson (7pm Friday) and SLU (4pm Saturday, Senior Night) at the Field House. Saturday’s game against SLU will be carried live on WRPI, while both games will have streaming video available for purchase as usual, along with live stats via the RPI Athletics website.


RPI at Quinnipiac
ECAC Hockey Game –TD Bank Sports Center (Hamden, CT)
2/11/11 – 7:00pm
QU 5, RPI 1



RECORD: 10-13-7 (8-9-2 ECAC)


RPI at Princeton
ECAC Hockey Game – Baker Rink (Princeton, NJ)
2/12/11 – 4:00pm
Princeton 4, RPI 2



RECORD: 10-14-7 (8-10-2 ECAC)


ECAC Standings
               GP     Pts      ECAC     All
Cornell 20 39 19-0-1 25-1-1
Harvard 20 29 13-4-3 14-8-4
Dartmouth 20 26 13-7 17-9
Quinnipiac 20 24 12-8 20-10-2
Princeton 20 23 11-8-1 14-12-1
Clarkson 19 20 8-7-4 11-14-6
Rensselaer 20 18 8-10-2 10-14-7
Colgate 20 18 8-10-2 11-17-3
St. Lawrence 19 16 8-11 13-16-2
Yale 19 14 6-11-2 7-16-3
Brown 19 5 1-15-3 2-21-3
Union 20 4 1-17-2 2-27-3

Upcoming Games

Feb. 18 – Clarkson (7pm)
Feb. 19 – SLU (4pm) (Senior Night)
Feb. 25-27 – ECAC Quarterfinals (teams TBD)
Mar. 3 – ECAC Semifinals
Mar. 5 – ECAC Finals

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