Monday, December 3, 2012

Women's Hockey - at Quinnipiac & Princeton (30 Nov/1 Dec)


After a case of "more of the same" on Friday evening where the Engineers were thoroughly outworked by Quinnipac in a 4-1 loss, RPI bounced back Saturday afternoon in New Jersey to take a 3-0 lead and hold on for an eventual 4-3 victory over Princeton - earning their first ECAC points of the season.

Quinnipiac

Smelker/Mahoney/Horton
Sanders/Gruschow/Svoboda
Wash/Cox/Mari Mankey
Letuligasenoa/Walsh

Godin/Marzario
Daniels/Banks
Le Donne/Schilter

O'Brien

RPI has had a problem in recent weeks getting outshot, outworked, and ultimately defeated in games, and that recipe was once again followed on Friday night as the Engineers were flat out beat by Quinnipiac, 4-1, and outshot 45-16. RPI managed just three shots on goal in the third period, one of which was their only goal of the game.

The Engineers were strongest in the first period, managing to throw eight shots at QU netminder Victoria Vigilanti, but it would be the Bobcats who picked up the period's only goal, taking a feed from Kelly Babstock and slipping it past Kelly O'Brien to take a 1-0 lead.

O'Brien held the Bobcats at bay for most of the second period, turning away 16 shots, but a Brittany Lyons shot got past her in the period's final minute, giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead going into the third period.

Mari Mankey drew the Engineers back to within one at 2:06 of the third period, taking a centering pass from Eleeza Cox and beating Vigilanti to make it a 2-1 game. That would be the end of the Engineers' offense as consecutive penalties shifted the momentum right back to QU who held onto it for the remainder of the game.

Babstock added two more goals, at 13:04 and 17:31 of the third, to put the game away with a final score of 4-1.

Princeton

Smelker/Mahoney/Horton
Sanders/Gruschow/Svoboda
Wash/Cox/Mari Mankey
Walsh

Daniels/Le Donne
Banks/Schilter
Godin/Marzario

O'Brien

After a poor showing on Friday, RPI rebounded dramatically on Saturday to capture a 4-3 victory over Princeton. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead, and despite soundly outshooting the Tigers, the Engineers struggled to hold on, with Princeton coming back to 3-2 and 4-3 over the course of the afternoon.

Taylor Horton scored an unlikely first goal for the Engineers, giving RPI a 1-0 lead with nine seconds left in the first period - while shorthanded. Less than a minute into the second, Eleeza Cox (who had been serving the penalty on which Horton scored shorthanded) extended the RPI lead to 2-0 after getting out of the box.

Jordan Smelker made it 3-0 at 5:09 and it looked like the Engineers were running away with the game, but three consecutive penalties slowed RPI's momentum late in the second period into the early third. Despite being shorthanded for much of the latter half of the period, the Engineers outshot the Tigers 13-3 in the middle frame.

What should have been a good opportunity to get momentum back in the third period went quite wrong as Princeton scored two shorthanded goals on the same RPI power play early in the third, quickly turning a 3-0 game into a 3-2 game.

Smelker picked up the game winning goal at 8:16, giving RPI a 4-2 lead. Kelly Cooke scored for Princeton with 2:15 left in regulation and the extra attacker on the ice, but RPI limited Princeton to six shots in the third and denied them the tying goal in the final minutes.

The win ended a seven-game winless streak for the Engineers and gave them their much-needed first two points in ECAC play. Those points move them into a 4-way tie for 9th place with Union, Yale, and Brown. All four of those 9th place teams will play each other next weekend (the only ECAC games on the weekend), offering the potential for any of the teams to move ahead of the bottom of the pack and into a tie for 7th - ahead of the tied group, Colgate and Princeton are two and four points ahead but each has played four more games than each of the tied teams.

Next weekend may be an early make or break weekend for the Engineers' season, as the games against Yale, Brown, and Union become must wins if RPI wants to finish the season in playoff contention. Spotting any of those teams point leads would make it tough to climb back up the standings, knowing that competition only gets tougher from there.

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RPI at Quinnipiac
ECAC Hockey Game – TD Bank Sports Center (Hamden, CT)
11/30/12 - 7pm
Quinnipiac 4, RPI 1

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2012/11/30/rensselaer-vs-quinnipiac/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wquiren1.n30

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2012/11/30/WICE_1130125839.aspx
QU: http://www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/sports/wice/2012-13/releases/201211307u50aj
Full Game Video: http://athleticsmedia.quinnipiac.edu/athletics/Podcasts/womensicehockey/RPI-2012.mp4
RECORD: 2-11-2 (0-5-0 ECAC)

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RPI at Princeton
ECAC Hockey Game – Hobey Baker Rink (Princeton, NJ)
12/1/12 - 4pm
RPI 4, Princeton 3

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2012/12/01/rensselaer-vs-princeton/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wprnren1.d01

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2012/12/1/WICE_1201124511.aspx
PU: http://www.goprincetontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205819224
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/recaps/2012/12/01/smelker-scores-twice-as-rensselaer-holds-off-princeton/

RECORD: 3-11-2 (1-5-0 ECAC)

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ECAC Standings

1. Cornell - 16 points (8-2-0)
2t. Harvard - 12 points (7-0-0)
2t. Clarkson - 12 points (7-1-0)
4. Quinnipiac - 13 points (6-3-1)
5. St. Lawrence - 12 points (6-2-0)
6. Dartmouth - 7 points (3-3-1)
7. Princeton - 6 points (2-6-2)
8. Colgate - 4 points (1-7-2)
9t. Union - 2 points (0-4-2)
9t. RPI - 2 points (1-5-0)
9t. Brown - 2 points (1-5-0)
9t. Yale - 2 points (1-5-0)

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Upcoming Games

Dec. 7 - Brown (7pm)
Dec. 8 - Yale (4pm)
Jan. 4 - Dartmouth (7pm)
Jan. 5 - Harvard (4pm)

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