Friday, January 10, 2014

Familiar Environment

Well, that's all she wrote. For both the men and the women, it's all ECAC teams from here on out - one for the men, of course, being a non-conference game, but it's Union, so the point remains.

The women pick up their ECAC schedule in exactly the same place they left off - with Quinnipiac and Princeton, only hosting the pair this time around rather than on the road. RPI's win over Harvard earlier in the year (the only loss the Crimson have yet sustained) has pretty much been negated by losses to Dartmouth and Brown, and the Engineers sit in 8th place, the final playoff spot. Points against teams ahead in the standings are important, which makes home games against two tough opponents key this weekend.

The men also pick up ECAC play where last they left it, with games against Princeton and Quinnipiac. The Engineers earned 3 points at home against these teams, and they're going to want, at bare minimum, a split this weekend if they're going to keep the pace they need for a first-round bye (which, provided they beat Dartmouth in two weeks, they're actually still on by the "3 points at home, 2 on the road" metric). Conventional wisdom would say that tonight's game against 3-14-0 Princeton would be a better opportunity to get that done than tomorrow night against 15-3-5 Quinnipiac, which pretty much makes tonight a must-win game for the Engineers, especially since they're winless in four straight games and five of six.

Last season, the Engineers had a dreadful non-conference showing before a lights-out January and February propelled them to a 2nd place finish. Let's hope the comfortable, familiar surroundings of the ECAC ignite a similar run this year.


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