Sunday, February 6, 2011

Women's Hockey - Brown & Yale (4/5 Feb)

Coming into the weekend having been shutout in three straight games, RPI fell into an early hole against the second-worst team in the ECAC, before exploding for four unanswered goals to top Brown 4-2. A 2-0 lead against Yale evaporated in the span of 39 seconds in the third period on Saturday, forcing the Engineers to settle for a 2-2 tie and three points on the weekend. The weekend results get RPI back on playoff trajectory, but with Yale and Colgate still within striking distance of the 8th spot, RPI isn’t out of the woods yet.

Brown

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

Daniels/Vadner
Castignetti/Marzario

Van der Bliek

Things did not look good for the Engineers when they surrendered the opening goal to Brown just 2:54 into the game. With Kendra Dunlop off on a hooking call and Brown set up in the RPI zone, the puck came out to Alana Polenska on the blue line who wound up a big slapshot through traffic to beat Sonja van der Bliek. A pair of Brown penalties followed near the middle of the frame to give RPI nearly a minute and a half of 5-on-3 time, but the Engineers were unable to capitalize.

The Bears found the twine on another power play opportunity in the second period, as Kristen Jakubowski was off the ice on an interference call. With a crowd in front of van der Bliek, the puck found its way to Erica Kromm who snuck a shot in while falling to the ice to make it 2-0.

What looked to be an RPI goal in the first half of the third period was waved off after the officials determined it had been kicked in. With the Engineers passing 240 minutes without a goal, the waved off goal gave the team a spark and the dam finally broke at 11:29 of the third period, with four RPI goals following. Three of those came in a span of just over three minutes. Jordan Smelker collected a loose puck in the slot and fired it past Brown netminder Katie Jamieson to get the Engineers on the board at 11:29 and cut the lead to 2-1. Kristen Jakubowski tied the game at two just 2:30 later as she tipped a shot from the point on the power play.

RPI took the lead 39 seconds later as Taylor Horton took a cross ice pass while skating across the slot and snuck a shot across her body to beat Jamieson on the opposite side. An empty netter with 16 seconds left would seal the game as a 4-2 victory for the Engineers. The shutout streak of 243:01 the Engineers faced was the longest in the program’s history, but the four unanswered goals set the team up with momentum for the next day’s game against Yale.

Yale

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

Daniels/Vadner
Castignetti/Marzario

Van der Bliek

The Engineers wasted no time on Saturday in exercising their newly reacquired scoring touch, as Toni Sanders notched her fourth goal of the season just 1:31 into the game. Kendra Dunlop won a puck battle behind the Yale net and fed it into the crease, where Sanders and Sydney O’Keefe batted at the puck several times before Sanders poked it home.

O’Keefe doubled the Engineers’ lead just past the midpoint of the period as a Yale turnover in the defensive zone was quickly fed from Dunlop to O’Keefe who snuck a shot past goalie Jackee Snikeris for RPI’s second tally. The first period was a dominant one for the Engineers, who outshot the Bulldogs by a 10-3 margin and continued a trend of offensive pressure that had built throughout the Brown game the night before.

Yale locked things down in the second period and neither team could find the back of the net, with just 13 shots taken between both teams. RPI was whistled for a pair of penalties in the second but Yale had no success on the power play.

Early in the third period, things fell apart for the Engineers as they surrendered two quick goals in the span of just 39 seconds. The first came at 4:13 of the frame as Yale’s Alyssa Zupon won a faceoff back to Heather Grant at the point. Grant slid between the faceoff dots and fired a rocket past van der Bliek to cut the RPI lead to 2-1.

The tying goal came shortly after another faceoff in the RPI zone, as van der Bliek made a save on a Patricia McGauley shot but Jenna Ciotti was there to poke home a rebound past the sprawling van der Bliek.

After the tying goal, RPI and Yale traded power play opportunities, but neither team could break the deadlock through regulation or the five-minute overtime, and it went in the books as a 2-2 tie, with each team taking a point.

The three point weekend moved the Engineers into 7th place, one point behind Clarkson and Princeton for 5th, and two points ahead of SLU in 8th. Yale and Colgate are four points back from the Engineers, with five and four games remaining respectively.

A tough weekend lies ahead for the Engineers, who will travel to Quinnipiac (7pm Friday) and Princeton (4pm Saturday). Earlier in the season the Engineers suffered a 2-1 loss to Princeton before picking up a hard-fought 2-0 win (with the second goal into an empty net) against Quinnipiac. Both will present a tough challenge for the Engineers. As is the case for most away games, pay-per-view video and live stats will be available with links on the RPI Athletics site on game day.

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RPI vs. Brown
ECAC Hockey Game –Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
2/4/11 – 7:00pm
RPI 4, Brown 2

BOX SCORES:
RECAPS:
RECORD: 10-12-6 (8-8-1 ECAC)

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RPI vs. Yale
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
2/5/11 – 4:00pm
RPI 3, Yale 3 (OT)

BOX SCORES:
RECAPS:
RECORD: 10-12-7 (8-8-2 ECAC)

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ECAC Standings (by points, swap Quinnipiac and Clarkson to correct ranking by win percentage)
               GP     Pts      ECAC     All
Cornell 18 35 17-0-1 23-1-1
Harvard 18 26 12-4-2 13-8-2
Dartmouth 18 22 11-7 15-9
Quinnipiac 18 20 10-8 18-10-1
Clarkson 17 19 8-6-3 11-13-5
Princeton 18 19 9-8-1 12-12-1
Rensselaer 18 18 8-8-2 10-12-7
St. Lawrence 17 16 8-9 13-14-2
Yale 17 14 6-9-2 7-14-3
Colgate 18 14 6-10-2 9-17-3
Brown 17 5 1-13-3 2-19-3
Union 18 4 1-15-2 2-25-3
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Upcoming Games

Feb. 11 – at Quinnipiac (7pm)
Feb. 12 – at Princeton (4pm)
Feb. 18 – Clarkson (7pm)
Feb. 19 – SLU (4pm) (Senior Night)
Feb. 25-27 – ECAC Quarterfinals (teams )
Mar. 3 – ECAC Semifinals
Mar. 5 – ECAC Finals

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