Monday, January 16, 2012

Women's Hockey - at Dartmouth & Harvard (13/14 Jan)

The road trip to Dartmouth and Harvard is never an easy one and this year proved no different for RPI, with the Engineers falling 4-2 in Hanover before letting a 3-0 advantage slip away the following afternoon, allowing five straight goals in a 5-3 loss to Harvard.



Le Donne/Walsh


An early Engineer lead lasted just seven minutes before Dartmouth took control of the game and never looked back, besting RPI 4-2 at Thompson Arena on Friday night.

Amanda Castignetti put the Engineers on the board at 11:47 of the opening frame with a long-range slapshot on the power play, which deflected off a Dartmouth defenseman and past goalie Lindsay Holdcroft.

The Big Green answered just eleven seconds into a power play of their own, after controlling the puck off the faceoff and feeding it to Camille Dumais behind the net. Seeing a pass through the crease coming, Kelly O'Brien slid laterally to prevent the one-timer, but the pass was deflected off an RPI defenseman and straight to senior Kelly Foley who put it home to tie the game at one.

Dumais would pick up Dartmouth's second goal late in the second period, with Jordan Smelker off on a tripping penalty. Dumais rushed down ice with Jenna Hobeika on a two-on-one which the Big Green converted for a 2-1 lead.

Dartmouth would hold the lead for the rest of the contest, making it 3-1 at 2:55 of the third period as Reagan Fischer scored on a delayed penalty against RPI. The Engineers drew back to within one at 15:56 when Jordan Smelker deflected a shot by Sierra Vadner past Holdcroft to make it 3-2.

With Taylor Horton in the box late for tripping, O'Brien went to the bench to allow RPI some 5-on-5 time with the extra attacker, but Dartmouth controlled the puck and just Erica Dobos hit the empty net for the final 4-2 score.



Le Donne/Vadner


It hasn't been often that RPI has jumped out to a large or early lead this season, so it must have been a little surprising when the Engineers found themselves up 3-0 on Harvard just past the midpoint of the second period. Surprised or not, the lead did not last as RPI allowed two goals in a minute and a half to close out the second, two goals in two minutes near the middle of the third, and an empty netter en route to a tough 5-3 loss to Harvard thanks in large part to a hat trick by Gina McDonald.

The Engineers picked up the lone tally of the first period when Laura Guillemette scored on the power play at 4:38 to make it 1-0. They would go on to extend that lead to 3-0 in the span of just over a minute in the second period, with Sierra Vadner roofing a shot past Laura Bellamy at 12:05 before Jill Vandegrift made it 3-0 at 13:07.

Before the period ended, Harvard closed the lead to 3-2 behind a goal from Jillian Dempsey at 16:31 and a 5-on-3 tally for McDonald at 17:57. The Crimson outshot the Engineers 15-5 in the frame, turning the tables and setting up a third period which saw just three RPI shots on goal in what quickly became a Harvard-dominated affair.

Kelly Armstrong tied the game at three just 7:35 into the third period. Given a little too much room to work in the slot, Armstrong had time to tee up a shot and beat Brianna Piper top shelf with a nice shot.

Less than two minutes later, McDonald scored her second of the night on a close-range rebound opportunity in front of Piper to put the Crimson ahead 4-3. McDonald capped off Harvard's first hat trick of the season at 18:56 with an empty net goal.

With a very large gap starting to open up between seventh place St. Lawrence (15 points), eighth place Brown/Colgate (7 points) and the Engineers (6 points) it's becoming a 3-way race to capture the eighth and final playoff spot for the Engineers. No games may be more important in realizing that goal then next two weekends when the Engineers take on Yale and Brown at home before a home and home with Union. With four games against bottom-four teams ahead, now would be the ideal time for RPI to put together a string of wins, rack up some points and catapult themselves into that final playoff position - especially since the remaining RPI schedule gets much tougher, including second games against Cornell, Harvard, and Dartmouth.


RPI at Dartmouth
ECAC Hockey Game – Thompson Arena (Hanover, NH)
1/13/12 – 7:00pm
Dartmouth 4, RPI 2



RECORD: 5-14-4 (2-7-2 ECAC)


RPI at Harvard
ECAC Hockey Game – Bright Hockey Center (Boston, MA)
1/14/12 – 4:00pm
Harvard 5, RPI 3



RECORD: 5-15-4 (2-8-2 ECAC)


ECAC Standings
                GP    Pts     Conf    All
Cornell 12 22 11-1 15-2
Quinnipiac 16 22 10-4-2 14-9-2
Harvard 12 17 8-3-1 11-5-1
Clarkson 12 17 8-3-1 14-6-4
Dartmouth 12 16 7-3-2 11-5-2
Princeton 16 16 7-7-2 8-10-4
St. Lawrence 12 15 7-4-1 13-7-3
Brown 11 7 2-6-3 5-7-6
Colgate 12 7 3-8-1 8-14-1
Rensselaer 12 6 2-8-2 5-15-4
Union 12 3 1-10-1 3-18-3
Yale 11 2 1-10 1-17

Upcoming Games

Jan. 20 - Yale (7pm)
Jan. 21 - Brown (4pm)
Jan. 27 - at Union (3pm)
Jan. 28 - Union (3pm)
Feb. 3 - at Cornell (7pm)
Feb. 4 - at Colgate (4pm)

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