Friday, February 25, 2011

Women's Hockey - ECAC Quarterfinals (Game 1)

RPI very nearly pulled off the upset of the year in game one of their best-of-three series at Cornell, leading the Big Red through the late third period and entirety of the third, but a heartbreaking game-tying goal with seven seconds left gave Cornell the chance they needed to take back the game and win just 1:28 into overtime by a final 3-2 tally.

Game 1

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

Le Donne/Daniels
Castignetti/Marzario

van der Bliek

RPI picked up a quick opportunity to start the game as Karlee Overguard went off for a hook, but the Engineers couldn’t capitalize on the early opportunity. Cornell had no such trouble when they were given their first power play, as Catherine White notched the game’s first goal on a rebound during a Kendra Dunlop checking penalty at 12:16 of the frame. RPI held Cornell scoreless in another power play opportunity later in the first, and found an opportunity to tie the game just a couple minutes after killing the penalty. Jill Vandegrift took a pass from Andie Le Donne and roofed a shot over Cornell netminder Lauren Slebodnick to knot the game at one.

RPI stunned the Big Red in the second period, outshooting the Cornell squad for the first period this season and taking the lead at 14:55 when Kendra Dunlop found a rebound and put it home to go up 2-1. That lead would nearly go the distance, but not without some controversy. Cornell had an apparent goal waved off with about a minute left in regulation, sparking a long delay while the play was reviewed by video. The decision wouldn’t be enough to save the Engineers, who would surrender the tying goal with just 6.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Those 6.7 seconds were all that separated the Engineers from a tremendous upset over the second ranked team in the nation.

Cornell wasted little time in the overtime period, throwing four shots on net in the first minute and a half, and the winner came just 1:28 into the extra frame. Karlee Overguard found a loose rebound in front of the Engineer net and slammed it past Sonja van der Bliek to give the Big Red the victory in game one.

Sonja van der Bliek was spectacular in the RPI net, making 34 saves for the Engineers, including 17 in a third period which saw the Engineers outshot 18-0.

It will be interesting to see how much the Engineers have left in the tank tomorrow for game two (4pm) after spending the entire third period bottled up in their own zone and being run down by a talented Cornell squad. Tomorrow’s game will be carried live on WRPI - although the FM transmitter was down tonight due to the weather, the web stream worked, and with any luck the FM signal will be up and running in time for tomorrow afternoon’s contest.

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#8 RPI at #1 Cornell
ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals Game 1 – Lynah Rink (Ithaca, NY)
2/25/11 – 7:00pm
Cornell 3, RPI 2 (OT) – Cornell leads best of 3 series 1-0

BOX SCORES:

RECAPS:

RECORD: 10-17-7 (0-1 playoffs, 0-1 quarterfinals)

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Playoff Standings (after game 1):

#1 Cornell vs. #8 RPI – 1-0 Cornell (3-2 OT)
#2 Harvard vs. #7 SLU – 1-0 Harvard (6-1)
#3 Dartmouth vs. #6 Clarkson – 1-0 Clarkson (4-1)
#4 Princeton vs. #5 Quinnipiac – 1-0 Quinnipiac (2-1)

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Upcoming Games:

Feb. 26 – ECAC Quarterfinals @ Cornell (4pm)
Feb. 27 – ECAC Quarterfinals @ Cornell (4pm) (if necessary)

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