Sunday, December 4, 2011

Women's Hockey - at Clarkson & St. Lawrence (2/3 Dec)

RPI needed a strong showing in the North Country to help get their season back on track prior to a long holiday layoff, but they certainly didn't get it this weekend in a pair of dismal losses, getting thrashed 10-0 by Clarkson on Friday night before watching a comeback attempt fall far short in a 6-3 loss to St. Lawrence on Saturday.

Clarkson

Mahoney/Harrison/Vandegrift
Smelker/Cox/Horton
Sanders/Guillemette/Svoboda
Letuligaseona/Mankey

Castignetti/Vadner
Le Donne/Schilter
Marzario

O'Brien/Piper

A hat trick by Jamie Lee Rattray and a 5-goal first period were among the highlights for the Golden Knights as they dominated the Engineers in a manner that even the top teams in the country have not historically been able to do. Even in their 8-2 loss to #1 Wisconsin, RPI managed 29 shots compared to just 11 against Clarkson. The 10-0 win for Clarkson is the second largest margin in the program's history, behind an 11-0 victory over Sacred Heart, in the Pioneers' first Division I season.

While Clarkson didn't open the scoring until near the midpoint of the first period, they had racked up a five goal lead by the first intermission, with Juana Baribeau opening the scoring by putting home her own rebound. Rattray notched the next two goals, less than two minutes apart, before Vanessa Gagnon picked up another just over a minute later when she deflected a puck past Kelly O'Brien to make it 4-0.

With Piper sent in to relieve O'Brien, the Engineers took their first penalty of the game, and Clarkson capitalized on the opportunity with Katelyn Ptolemy fired one in from the point for a power play goal and the 5-0 lead.

O'Brien returned to the net for the second period, which saw the Golden Knights notch another two tallies. Danielle Skirrow redirected a slapshot from Jennifer Shields at 8:13 to make it 6-0, and Rattray completed her first career hat trick, carrying the puck to the net and putting it past O'Brien for a 7-0 lead.

Christine Lambert picked up another power play goal early in the third, and the Golden Knights added a shorthanded marker at 10:03 by Baribeau along with one more goal by Brittany Styner at 15:29 to close out the scoring with a 10-goal advantage.

At the final buzzer, the Engineers had been outshot 37-11, and the 10-0 margin was the Engineers' worst defeat since an 11-0 loss at Harvard in October 2006. There was really nothing positive at all to take from this one, rather one can only hope that this was the definitive low point of the season and there is nowhere to go but up.

St. Lawrence

Smelker/Cox/Horton
Mahoney/Harrison/Vandegrift
Sanders/Guillemette/Svoboda
Letuligaseona/Mankey

Castignetti/Vadner
Le Donne/Schilter
Marzario

Piper

While the Engineers put forth a much stronger effort on Saturday than they did the night before, it wasn't enough to stop the offensive output of St. Lawrence, who doubled up RPI in a 6-3 victory despite a 24-24 tally in shots on goal.

The Saints dominated the opening frame much the same as Clarkson had the day before, jumping out to a 3-0 lead behind a 10-3 edge in shots. Rylee Smith scored unassisted on a breakaway at 7:50 for the game's first goal, while Kelly Sabatine and Mel Desrochers added a pair of goals just over two minutes apart in the tail end of the first period to make it 3-0 heading into the locker room.

A SLU penalty just 10 seconds into the second period gave RPI a chance to get on the board, and Andie Le Donne scored the Engineers' first goal on the weekend just 24 seconds later, with a slap shot that beat goalie Carmen MacDonald to cut the Saints' lead to 3-1.

SLU opened that lead back up later in the second period as Sabatine and Michelle Ng notched a pair of goals to make it 5-1. RPI held the edge in shots, 11-6 in the period, but was outscored 2-1 in the period as they couldn't catch a break on the weekend.

RPI tried desperately to get back into the game in the third period, picking up a pair of goals in the first five minutes from Jill Vandegrift and Alisa Harrison, with Vandegrift putting home a rebound and Harrison scoring on a breakaway to cut the Saints' lead to 5-3.

Just 18 seconds after pulling Piper in favor of the extra attacker late in the third, the Saints got an empty netter from Smith to make it 6-3, a score that held up through the final buzzer. The Engineers again outshot the Saints, 10-8 in the third, but the effort was not enough to recover from falling in the hole early.

With the pair of losses on the weekend, the Engineers fall to 4-12-4 on the season, and 1-5-2 in ECAC play, leaving them in 10th place as most of the league breaks for the holidays. All is not lost for the Engineers, who are just a point behind 8th place Colgate and Brown, but play will absolutely need to pick up after the new year to salvage a shot at making the playoffs - a potentially tall order given the Engineers have six games to be played against Cornell, Harvard, and Dartmouth among the remaining league schedule. It's possible nothing will be more important than the four games against Yale, Brown, and Union (twice), which will truly be must-win affairs to be able to push ahead of the rest of the pack in the fight to reach eighth place and secure a playoff spot.

RPI returns to action just over a month from now, with a home series against Colgate and Cornell on January 6th and 7th of the new year. Both games will be at 3pm as the men will also be home facing Dartmouth and Harvard at 7pm each evening.

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RPI at Clarkson
ECAC Hockey Game – Cheel Arena (Potsdam, NY)
12/2/11 – 7:00pm
Clarkson 10, RPI 0

BOX SCORES:

RECAPS:

RECORD: 4-11-4 (1-4-2 ECAC)

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RPI at St. Lawrence
ECAC Hockey Game – Appleton Arena (Canton, NY)
12/3/11 – 4:00pm
SLU 6, RPI 3

BOX SCORES:

RECAPS:

RECORD: 4-12-4 (1-5-2 ECAC)

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ECAC Standings
                GP    Pts     Conf    All
Quinnipiac 10 15 7-2-1 11-7-1
Clarkson 10 13 6-3-1 10-4-4
Cornell 7 12 6-1 10-2
Harvard 8 12 6-2 6-4
St. Lawrence 10 11 5-4-1 8-7-3
Princeton 10 11 5-4-1 6-7-1
Dartmouth 8 9 4-3-1 5-5-1
Colgate 7 5 2-4-1 6-10-1
Brown 8 5 1-4-3 3-5-5
RPI 8 4 1-5-2 4-12-4
Union 8 3 1-6-1 3-13-1
Yale 8 2 1-7 1-14
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Upcoming Games

Jan. 6 - Colgate (3pm)
Jan. 7 - Cornell (3pm)
Jan. 13 - at Dartmouth (7pm)
Jan. 14 - at Harvard (4pm)
Jan. 20 - Yale (7pm)
Jan. 21 - Brown (4pm)

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