Monday, February 18, 2013

Women's Hockey - at Yale & Brown (15/16 Feb)

The final road trip of the regular season was not as kind to the Engineers as they might have hoped, and RPI took only two points from Yale and Brown - defeating the Bulldogs 4-2 on Friday night before suffering a 5-2 loss to the Bears the following afternoon.

With two points on the weekend and results elsewhere around the league, the Engineers are now locked into the seventh seed and will travel to one of Cornell, Clarkson or Harvard. With their playoff seed locked up, next weekend's games against Cornell and Colgate will be for pride and momentum heading into the playoffs.

Yale
Wash/Horton/Svoboda
Smelker/Gruschow/Mari Mankey
Letuligasenoa/Sanders/Walsh
Missy Mankey

Le Donne/Daniels
Godin/Marzario
Middlebrook/Banks

O'Brien

It took a little while to get going, but a 3-goal third period (including two from Alexa Gruschow) brought the Engineers from a 2-1 deficit to an eventual 4-2 victory over Yale in New Haven.

The Bulldogs took an early lead at 7:03 of the opening period when Kate Martini banged home a rebound on a third chance opportunity.

The score nearly held through the first intermission, but Mari Mankey tied it up for the Engineers with just 49 seconds left in the period. Mankey tipped a Katie Daniels point shot in front of the Yale net and the puck took an odd bounce past netminder Jaimie Leonoff.

The second period went by without any further scoring, with the teams trading a pair of penalties and the Engineers outshooting their hosts 9-4.

It would be Yale that broke the tie early in the third period, but it took only two and a half minutes for the Engineers to tie things back up. Danielle Moncion picked up the tally for the Bulldogs on the power play, with Gruschow evening things at 2-2 off a 2-on-2 rush down ice with Jordan Smelker.

Gruschow picked up her second of the game (twelfth of the season and eventual game-winner) at 9:06 of the third, capitalizing on a turnover on the Yale Blue line and a little give-and-go with Mari Mankey to give RPI a 3-2 lead.

Jenn Godin picked up an insurance goal for the Engineers at 14:52, banking a shot off the skate of Yale defenseman Aurora Kennedy and past Leonoff for RPI's fourth and final goal. The Engineers held Yale to just two shots on goal in the final frame.

Gruschow and Mankey were named first and second stars of the game respectively, while Yale's Kate Martini picked up the third star honors.

Brown
Wash/Horton/Svoboda
Smelker/Gruschow/Mari Mankey
Letuligasenoa/Sanders/Walsh
Missy Mankey

Le Donne/Daniels
Godin/Marzario
Middlebrook/Banks

O'Brien

After turning in a strong performance in Friday's win, Saturday would turn out not to be RPI's day as they fell to Brown by a 5-2 score. Five different players scored for the Bears, led by Alena Polenska who had three assists along with one of the five goals.

Brown notched a pair of goals on just six shots in the first period, with Samantha Woodward scoring at 8:57 before Polenska picked up her goal at 18:15.

Lauren Vella scored to make it 3-0 Brown at 4:02 of the middle period and things were looking bleak for the Engineers, but Toni Sanders got them back into the game with a pair of goals at 5:55 and 11:09 - the latter ringing off the post and past goalie Aubree Moore with RPI on the power play.

The pair of goals by Sanders were the only ones RPI would see on Saturday night, as Brown would go on to add a power play tally to make it 4-2 after the Engineers took three consecutive penalties in the third period, then add a shorthanded empty netter when RPI went for the 6-on-4 extra attacker approach on a late power play. The win, after having defeated Union the night prior, would give the Bears their first weekend sweep since 2009.

With only one weekend left in ECAC play, only two positions are locked up in the standings - RPI in 7th and Union in 12th. With the 7th place finish, the Engineers will travel to the #2 seed in two weeks for the ECAC quarterfinals - however it remains to be seen whether that team will be Cornell, Clarkson, or Harvard as all three teams are still fighting hard for position in the top three spots.

The 8th and final playoff spot will still be up for grabs in the final weekend as Princeton, Colgate, and Brown all still have a shot at it, while SLU, Quinnipiac, and Dartmouth are all jockeying for position in the middle of the playoff pack and hunting for the final home playoff seed.

Next week the Engineers will face Cornell and Colgate at the Field House, and they can expect a tough fight from both as Cornell aims for a first place finish while Colgate fights for the final playoff berth. Game time is 7pm Friday and 4pm Saturday which will also be the Engineers' Senior Night.

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RPI at Yale
ECAC Hockey Game – Ingalls Rink (New Haven, CT)
2/5/13 - 7pm
RPI 4, Yale 2

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2013/02/15/rensselaer-vs-yale/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wrenyal1.f15

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2013/2/15/WICE_0215130021.aspx
Yale: http://www.yalebulldogs.com/sports/w-hockey/2012-13/releases/20130215bejtoq
Video Highlights: http://www.ecachockey.com/women/video/2012-13/20131502_Yale_RPI-desktop
Complete Game Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7sHA3vjJhA

RECORD: 10-17-4 (8-9-2 ECAC)

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RPI at Brown
ECAC Hockey Game – Meehan Auditorium (Providence, RI)
2/16/13 - 4pm
Brown 5, RPI 2

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2013/02/16/rensselaer-vs-brown/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wbrnren1.f16

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2013/2/16/WICE_0216134754.aspx
Brown: http://brownbears.com/sports/w-hockey/2012-13/releases/20130216z5ln5r

RECORD: 10-18-4 (8-10-2 ECAC)

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ECAC Standings

1. Cornell - 33 points (16-3-1)
2. Clarkson - 32 points (16-4-0)
3. Harvard - 29 points (15-2-1)
4. St. Lawrence - 27 points (12-5-3)
5. Quinnipiac - 25 points (11-6-3)
6. Dartmouth - 24 points (10-6-4)
7. RPI - 18 points (8-10-2)
8. Princeton - 12 points (5-13-2)
9. Colgate - 11 points (4-13-3)
10. Brown - 10 points (5-14-0)
11. Yale - 9 points (3-13-3)
12. Union - 4 points (0-16-4)

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Upcoming Games

Feb. 22 - Cornell (7pm)
Feb. 23 - Colgate (4pm) (Senior Night)
Mar. 1-3 - ECAC Quarterfinals (at Cornell, Clarkson, or Harvard)

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