Sunday, October 30, 2011

Women's Hockey - Quinnipiac & Princeton (28/29 Oct)

With the bulk of non-conference play behind them, it was time for RPI to open up the ECAC schedule with a weekend at home against Quinnipiac and Princeton. Solid play by the Engineers was not reflected on the score sheet as RPI fell 2-0 to the Bobcats on Friday afternoon, before a well-executed game on Saturday resulted in just a 1-1 tie against the Tigers.

Quinnipiac

Cox/Harrison/Vandegrift
Smelker/Guillemette/Horton
Sanders/Mahoney/Svoboda
Letuligasenoa

Castignetti/Vadner
Le Donne/Walsh
Schilter/Marzario

O'Brien

It was about as physical a game as you could imagine as RPI and Quinnipiac faced off for an early game Friday afternoon, with tenacious forechecking by both teams, play that hovered (for much of the game) on the border of being penalty-worthy, and in more than one instance crossed that border.

Despite a relatively high number of penalties, they wouldn't factor significantly into the outcome of the game, with both teams being held off the board on the power play.

Quinnipiac struck first in the opening frame, when Kelly Babstock put her own rebound past RPI's Kelly O'Brien at 9:11. The Bobcats outshot the Engineers 8-2 leading up to the goal, but RPI turned things around afterward, racking up a 6-0 shot advantage in the minutes following the goal. The teams traded power plays but the 1-0 score held into the intermission with QU outshooting RPI 11-8.

The second period was both scoreless and relatively uneventful, with no scoring and only a pair of penalties. Some of the physical play noted above was evident in the first half of the period as Quinnipiac took some liberties knocking down RPI skaters in the crease with little repercussion. Quinnipiac mounted some pressure late in the period but couldn't muster many scoring chances, with RPI holding a 10-5 shot edge in the frame.

An early third period power play gave the Engineers a few good looks, but it was Quinnipiac who turned around after the penalty and doubled their lead to 2-0. Jordan Elkins ripped a slapshot from the point through traffic, beating O'Brien.

RPI killed off a 5-on-3 in the middle of the third, and wWith nearly three minutes of extra attacker time at the end of regulation, RPI desperately tried to get on the board, but sent more than a few shots wide, and had several blocked by the QU defense. The 2-0 score held up, handing the Engineers a shutout loss in their ECAC opener.

Princeton

Cox/Harrison/Vandegrift
Smelker/Guillemette/Horton
Sanders/Mahoney/Svoboda
Letuligasenoa

Castignetti/Vadner
Le Donne/Marzario
Schilter/Walsh

Piper

After a 2-0 shutout loss on Friday in which the Engineers didn't play particularly poorly, there was promise as RPI was set to face off against an arguably weaker Princeton team on Saturday afternoon. Once again the Engineers found themselves unable to cash in on opportunities for most of the game, but they managed to put one home late in the third to force a 1-1 tie.

Princeton opened up the scoring early, taking a 1-0 lead just 3:42 into play as Kelly Cooke beat Brianna Piper on a rebound off a Corey Stearns shot.

The teams traded power play opportunities several times throughout the second period but once again both were unable to capitalize on their opportunities, with a scoreless second period going by in a hurry, RPI holding an 11-7 shot advantage in the frame.

Getting close to another shutout loss, RPI increased the pressure as the end of regulation drew nearer, until a fortunate flurry of chances with just over two minutes left saw the Engineers draw even.

Eleeza Cox fired a shot from the faceoff circle which Princeton's Rachel Weber turned away, but the rebound slid to Jill Vandegrift who was close to the crease. Vandegrift was also stopped by Weber, but the goalie couldn't control the rebound again, and after several close range shots by Alisa Harrison, RPI's captain finally forced the puck past Weber for the tying goal.

Both teams had several opportunities in overtime, but the 1-1 score held up, and the Engineers were able to salvage a point out of what was an otherwise disappointing end to a pretty well-played weekend.

The Engineers remain home next weekend, hosting the North Country duo of St. Lawrence (7pm Friday) and Clarkson (4pm Saturday). As usual, live stats and video will be available via the RPI Athletics website, with live updates coming via @without_a_peer on Twitter.

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RPI vs. Quinnipiac
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
10/28/11 – 3:00pm
QU 2, RPI 0

BOX SCORES:

RECAPS:

RECORD: 2-5-2 (0-1 ECAC)

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RPI vs. Princeton
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
10/29/11 – 3:00pm
RPI 1, Princeton 1 (OT)

BOX SCORES:

RECAPS:

RECORD: 2-5-3 (0-1-1 ECAC)

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Upcoming Games

Nov. 4 - St. Lawrence (7pm)
Nov. 5 - Clarkson (4pm)
Nov. 11 - at Brown (7pm)
Nov. 12 - at Yale (4pm)
Nov. 18 - Wisconsin (7pm)
Nov. 19 - Wisconsin (4pm)

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