Monday, January 21, 2013

Women's Hockey - at Harvard & Dartmouth (18/19 Jan)

The Engineers faced what is likely the toughest weekend remaining on their schedule this weekend, hitting the road for a pair of games at Harvard and Dartmouth. The Crimson continued to run roughshod over the ECAC, defeating the Engineers 4-1, while RPI managed a comeback in the third period at Dartmouth to salvage a 2-2 tie after entering the period down 2-0.

Harvard

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

Le Donne/Daniels
Godin/Banks
Schilter/Marzario
Middlebrook

O'Brien

Harvard (#2/#3 ranked) has been dominant in ECAC play all season - still undefeated past the midpoint of the schedule - and continued that this weekend as it received scoring from three lines and two defensive pairs in a 4-1 victory over RPI.

Michelle Picard gave the Crimson an early lead with a shorthanded goal at 3:52 of the first period. On the ensuing faceoff after a Harvard penalty, Picard collected the puck and broke past the RPI defense on a breakaway, beating Kelly O'Brien for the tally.

Taylor Horton evened the score at one less than two minutes later, cashing in on a third chance after shots by Le Donne and Smelker were stopped.

Lyndsey Fry gave the lead back to Harvard just over two minutes after Horton's goal, scoring her first of two in the game after a nice move to get around the RPI defense and break in alone on O'Brien.

The second period saw Harvard stifle the Engineers, holding them to a single shot which didn't come until the final two minutes, while putting nine of their own on O'Brien. One of those shots, by Miye D'Oench, beat O'Brien from the slot to make it a 3-1 lead.

A pair of penalties on RPI's Godin and Middlebrook in the third period put Harvard on a 5-on-3 and the Crimson cashed in with Fry potting her second of the game to put the game away by its final score of 4-1.

Dartmouth

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

Daniels/Le Donne
Banks/Godin
Schilter/Marzario
Middlebrook

O'Brien

After the defeat at Harvard the night before, RPI looked to bounce back against Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon and found some success in battling back late in the third to earn a 2-2 tie and finish the season series against Dartmouth with three points - points which many of the other teams chasing the Engineers in the standings will likely not pick up. It was the first game of the season where Dartmouth did not win when leading heading into the third period.

The Big Green jumped out to an early lead, with Sasha Nanji getting one past O'Brien to make it 1-0 at 2:53 of the opening frame.

The Engineers couldn't cash in on a series of Dartmouth penalties in the first, mustering just four shots on goal in the period despite having four power play opportunities. Instead it was Dartmouth who picked up another goal just seconds before the buzzer, when Sally Komarek put one in at 19:53.

The second period passed without scoring, although the teams traded power play opportunities. Dartmouth once again held RPI to four shots, while the Engineers allowed nine on O'Brien.

RPI picked up the pressure in the third period, outshooting the Big Green 10-3 in the frame. It was well into the latter half of the period before the Engineers could get on the board however, with Eleeza Cox scoring a big power play goal at 14:01 to get RPI back into things and make it a one-goal game.

Dartmouth used their timeout at 17:48 after getting caught out on an icing, but it took just four seconds from the ensuing faceoff for Jenn Godin to tie things up at two for RPI.

The Engineers had a good chance to win it when Nanji went off for checking with less than a minute left in regulation, but RPI couldn't break through for another goal. The game went to overtime where RPI outshot Dartmouth 2-0, but the 2-2 score held up to give each team a point.

The standings are resolving themselves into a clear upper and lower half of the league, with sixth-place Dartmouth leading seventh-place RPI 16 points to 9. Brown and Princeton trail the Engineers by three points with Colgate and Yale just one point back of that. The Engineers can go a long way toward solidifying their hold on the 7th spot by picking up wins in the six games which remain against Union (2), Colgate (2), Yale and Brown - however their chances of catching Dartmouth for sixth appear slight unless the Big Green falter down the stretch.

Next weekend is RPI's home-and-home with Union, which has frequently proven to be a tough weekend regardless of how the Dutchwomen are otherwise faring in the season. Friday's game at Union is slated for 7pm, while the home game on Saturday will be at 3, presumably to leave fans of both teams enough time to make it to Albany to watch the same two teams on the men's side face off at the Times Union Center.

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RPI at #2/#3 Harvard
ECAC Hockey Game – Bright Hockey Center (Boston, MA)
1/18/13 - 7pm
Harvard 4, RPI 1

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2013/01/18/rensselaer-vs-harvard/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wharren1.j18

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2013/1/18/WICE_0118132219.aspx
Harvard: http://gocrimson.com/sports/wice/2012-13/releases/20130118dg0uwz
Video Highlights (Harvard goals and interviews only): http://youtu.be/LkZt8Hq6TIE

RECORD: 6-15-2 (4-7-0 ECAC)

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RPI at Dartmouth
ECAC Hockey Game – Thompson Arena (Hanover, NH)
1/19/13 - 4pm
RPI 2, Dartmouth 2

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2013/01/19/rensselaer-vs-dartmouth/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wdarren1.j19

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2013/1/19/WICE_0119135304.aspx
Dartmouth: http://www.dartmouthsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=48905&SPID=4726&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=206034462&DB_OEM_ID=11600

RECORD: 6-15-3 (4-7-1 ECAC)

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ECAC Standings

1. Harvard - 26 points (13-0-0)
2t. Cornell - 20 points (10-2-0)
2t. Clarkson - 20 points (10-2-0)
4t. St. Lawrence 17 points (8-3-1)
4t. Quinnipiac - 17 points (8-5-1)
6. Dartmouth - 16 points (7-4-2)
7. RPI - 9 points (4-7-1)
8t. Princeton - 6 points (2-10-2)
8t. Brown - 6 points (3-9-0)
10t. Colgate - 5 points (1-8-3)
10t. Yale - 5 points (2-9-1)
12. Union - 3 points (0-9-3)

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Upcoming Games

Jan. 25 - at Union (7pm)
Jan. 26 - Union (3pm)
Feb. 1 - at Colgate (7pm)
Feb. 2 - at Cornell (4pm)

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