Heading out to Central New York for the weekend, the Engineers got the results most would have expected, earning a 4-1 victory at Colgate Friday night before suffering a 3-1 loss at the hands of #5 Cornell.
With six games remaining in the season, RPI continues to hold seventh place in the ECAC, five points ahead of Princeton in eighth, and six ahead of Colgate, the first team out if the playoffs were to start today.
It was Autism Awareness Night in Hamilton Friday and the event saw nearly 1,000 fans fill Starr Rink to see the Raiders take on the Engineers. Unfortunately for the home crowd, RPI took it to Colgate, outshooting the Raiders 23-10 in a 4-1 victory.
Colgate picked up the opening goal in the game but couldn't get another, and after the Engineers answered minutes later, they never looked back, scoring four unanswered.
The Raiders' goal came at 8:42 of the first as Jenna Klynstra put one past Kelly O'Brien on the power play for a 1-0 lead.
Eleeza Cox scored what would be the first of three on the weekend at 14:03 to knot the score at one, tipping a shot by Alexa Gruschow past Ashlynne Rando for the goal.
Cox gave RPI the lead 4:23 into the middle frame with a power play goal set up by Jordan Smelker and Jenn Godin.
Toni Sanders made the lead 3-1 just over 10 minutes after Cox's second goal, taking a drop pass from Marianna Walsh and putting it past Rando for the tally.
Godin added an insurance goal for the Engineers 24 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1, after Colgate's Klynstra took a hooking call just five seconds in. Cox fed Godin from behind the net and the defenseman was able to sneak through traffic preventing Rando from making the save.
The teams traded penalties late in the period and Colgate opted for the extra attacker for over two minutes late in the period but the Engineer defense held the Raiders to just three shots in each of the latter two periods and O'Brien kept those out for the 4-1 victory.
Nobody expected Saturday afternoon's affair to go anywhere near as smoothly for the Engineers as Friday's and that proved out as the #5-ranked Cornell Big Red picked up a solid 3-1 victory over the Engineers. The Big Red outshot the Engineers by a margin of 38-18 on the afternoon.
Eleeza Cox scored her third of the weekend early in the second period to draw within one of Cornell but Jessica Campbell's goal at 6:29 of the third made it a 3-1 game and despite several power play opportunities late in the game, the Engineers couldn't put another one home.
The Big Red jumped out to an early lead, with Brianne Jenner scoring just 1:30 into the first period before three consecutive RPI penalties set up Cassandra Poudrier for a power play goal at 13:25.
Jordan Smelker was assessed a 10-minute misconduct to go with a high sticking penalty with 3:12 remaining in the game.
The Engineers face Clarkson and St. Lawrence at the Field House next weekend as the march to the end of the season continues. Easily the toughest weekend overall remaining on the schedule, RPI can expect quite the challenge from the league's third and fourth-place teams.
While the Engineers have by no means locked up the 7th spot in the league standings, it shouldn't take much more to accomplish that task as the teams trailing them (Princeton, Colgate, Yale) each have similarly difficult schedules in the final three weeks of the season.
After the North Country teams come to visit, the Engineers will travel to Yale and Brown before returning home to end the regular season against Cornell and Colgate. With three of those games solidly in the "winnable" category, going .500 for the remainder of the schedule would all but guarantee a 7th place finish. An upset win for RPI or an upset loss for Dartmouth could result in the possibility for a 6th place tie - a tie which the Engineers would win thanks to a 1-0-1 record against the Big Green.
RPI at Colgate
ECAC Hockey Game – Starr Rink (Hamilton, NY)
2/1/13 - 7pm
RPI 4, Colgate 1
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wclgren1.f01
RECORD: 9-15-3 (7-7-1 ECAC)
RPI at Cornell
ECAC Hockey Game – Lynah Rink Ithaca, NY)
2/2/13 - 4pm
Cornell 3, RPI 1
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wcorren1.f02
RECORD: 9-16-3 (7-8-1 ECAC)
1. Harvard - 29 points (14-1-1)
2. Cornell - 28 points (14-2-0)
3. Clarkson - 26 points (13-3-0)
4. St. Lawrence - 21 points (10-5-1)
5. Quinnipiac - 20 points (9-5-2)
6. Dartmouth - 17 points (7-6-3)
7. RPI - 15 points (7-8-1)
8. Princeton - 10 points (4-10-2)
9. Colgate - 9 points (3-10-3)
10. Yale - 8 points (3-12-2)
11. Brown - 6 points (3-13-0)
12. Union - 3 points (0-13-3)
Feb. 8 - Clarkson (7pm)
Feb. 9 - St. Lawrence (4pm)
Feb. 15 - at Yale (7pm)
Feb. 16 - at Brown (4pm)