Monday, February 25, 2013

Women's Hockey - Cornell & Colgate (22/23 Feb)

With the Engineers locked into the seventh seed, the only thing this weekend provided for RPI was a tune-up heading into the playoffs, and the result was a pair of games where the Engineers appeared to show little motivation, ending the regular season on a sour note with 4-1 and 2-1 losses to Cornell and Colgate respectively.

While the Cornell score was more lopsided, it was Saturday's game which was arguably the lesser of the two from the Engineers, who looked out-of-it for their senior day.

With Clarkson defeating Harvard in their final game of the season and Cornell locking up first place, the Golden Knights captured second place in the ECAC and thus will host the Engineers next weekend for a best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series in Potsdam.

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

Le Donne/Daniels
Middlebrook/Banks
Godin/Marzario

O'Brien

Cornell has sat near the top of the league standings for the entire season and Friday night provided the opportunity for the Big Red to essentially clinch first place with a win all but guaranteed the following night at Union.

The Big Red came out strong and didn't look back, with two power play goals in the second period, a goal in the first and an empty netter tacked on for good measure in a 4-1 victory over the Engineers.

Hayleigh Cudmore got the visitors on the board at 13:27 of the first period, putting a loose puck past Kelly O'Brien with the majority of both squads either in or quite near the crease.

Penalties spelled disaster for the Engineers in the second period, allowing the Big Red to notch two goals and dominate play en route to a 22-3 shot advantage in the frame.

Lauriane Rougeau scored at 12:42 of the second period, sneaking one past O'Brien from a very sharp angle to make it a 2-0 game. Emily Fulton scored a back-breaker with just two seconds remaining in the period to make it 3-0 after several Engineers were unable to clear the crease, allowing Cornell several tries at the net, with Fulton's eventually finding its way past O'Brien.

Mari Mankey got the Engineers on the board in the middle of the third period with a power play goal of her own, putting a rebound off a Jordan Smelker shot past Cornell netminder Lauren Slebodnick to make it 3-1. The play accounted for two of the Engineers' three shots in the frame.

RPI would muster more pressure in the third period but were unable to pot another goal, and instead it was Cornell who capitalized with RPI's net empty as Alyssa Gagliardi put home an empty netter to reach the final 4-1 score.

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

Le Donne/Daniels
Middlebrook/Banks
Godin/Marzario
Schilter

O'Brien

Saturday afternoon saw the Engineers face another opponent who had something to play for, as Colgate needed a win coupled with a Princeton loss or tie in order to squeak into the eighth seed and qualify for the playoffs.

The Raiders accomplished their goal by taking advantage of a lackluster effort from the Engineers in the final game of the season, leaving Houston Field House with a playoff spot for the first time since 2010. In that series, Colgate was swept by Cornell; the Raiders will face the Big Red again in 2013.

Colgate took a 1-0 lead at 13:35 of the first as Brittany Phillips won a battle along the near side boards and was able to cut in toward O'Brien and sneak a shot under the glove for the goal.

Philips made it 2-0 with her second of the afternoon at 15:57 of the second, firing a shot from directly in front of O'Brien on the power play. Miriam Drubel had a nice pass to set Phillips up for the goal.

The Engineers pulled O'Brien for most of the final three minutes of regulation and Smelker was able to capitalize to draw the Engineers to within one, but the goal didn't come until 19:41 of the third and there simply wasn't enough time for RPI to notch another, leading to the final 2-1 score.

#7 RPI will now travel to Potsdam for a best-of-three series against #2 Clarkson which will prove a very difficult test for the Engineers. Friday night's game will be at 7pm, while Saturday and Sunday (if required) will both be 4pm starts.

The remainder of the playoffs will see #8 Colgate visit #1 Cornell, #6 Dartmouth visit #3 Harvard, and #5 St. Lawrence visit #4 Quinnipiac in what looks to be the most interesting (and probably exciting) matchup. The semifinals and final will take place the following weekend at the highest remaining seed, which barring an extremely unlikely upset would be Cornell.

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RPI vs. Cornell
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
2/22/13 - 7pm
Cornell 4, RPI 1

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2013/02/22/cornell-vs-rensselaer/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wcorren1.f22

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2013/2/22/WICE_0222133002.aspx
Cornell: http://cornellbigred.com/news/2013/2/22/WICE_0222134008.aspx
Video Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNyVWtBg5AE
Complete Game Video: http://rpitv.org/productions/546-womens-hockey-vs-cornell

RECORD: 10-19-4 (8-11-2 ECAC)

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RPI vs. Colgate
ECAC Hockey Game – Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
2/23/13 - 4pm
Colgate 2, RPI 1

BOX SCORES:
USCHO: http://www.uscho.com/box/womens-hockey/2013/02/23/colgate-vs-rensselaer/
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1213/boxes/wclgren1.f23

RECAPS:
RPI: http://www.rpiathletics.com/news/2013/2/23/WICE_0223134522.aspx
Colgate: http://gocolgateraiders.com/news/2013/2/23/WHOCKEY_0223131638.aspx
Video Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coZFNisW37M
Complete Game Video: http://rpitv.org/productions/547-womens-hockey-vs-colgate

RECORD: 10-20-4 (8-12-2 ECAC)

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Final ECAC Standings

(Note: Harvard and Yale have one game remaining which was postponed during the blizzard on 2/8, but it cannot impact the standings, only final point totals and Harvard's potential for an at-large NCAA bid.)

1. Cornell - 37 points (18-3-1)
2. Clarkson - 36 points (18-4-0)
3. Harvard - 34 points (16-3-2)
4. Quinnipiac - 29 points (13-6-3)
5. St. Lawrence - 28 points (12-6-4)
6. Dartmouth - 26 points (11-7-4)
7. RPI - 18 points (8-12-2)
8. Colgate - 15 points (6-13-3)
9. Princeton - 14 points (6-14-2)
10. Yale - 11 points (4-14-3)
11. Brown - 10 points (5-17-0)
12. Union - 4 points (0-18-4)

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Upcoming Games

Mar. 1 (7pm) - ECAC Quarterfinal at Clarkson (Game 1)
Mar. 2 (4pm) - ECAC Quarterfinal at Clarkson (Game 2)
Mar. 3 (4pm) - ECAC Quarterfinal at Clarkson (Game 3, if necessary)

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