Monday, January 27, 2014

Women's Hockey - at Dartmouth & Harvard (24/25 Jan)

After sweeping Union in the annual home-and-home series, the Engineers looked to continue building on their recent success with a road trip to face Dartmouth and Harvard.

The Engineers instead found themselves heading home having been swept on the weekend, after falling short in two well-played games, 2-1 to Dartmouth and 3-1 to Harvard, where they had the right effort but couldn't translate it into goals on the scoreboard. 


Smelker/Mari Mankey/Svoboda
Missy Mankey/Walsh/Hylwa



Toni Sanders scored a power play goal and the Engineers outshot Dartmouth 30-24, but early goals in both the second and third period erased RPI's lead and put the Big Green ahead for a 2-1 victory at Thompson Arena on Friday.

Sanders' goal came at 8:50 of the first period, twenty seconds into a 5-on-3 power play opportunity for the Engineers. 

With the power play unit set up in the Dartmouth zone, Kathryn Schilter sent a pass from the blue line to Alexa Gruschow who was set up to the right of Dartmouth goalie Lindsay Holdcroft. Gruschow was able to feed the puck to Sanders at the top of the crease allowing the senior put it past Holdcroft before being taken down.

The Engineers couldn't capitalize on a power play chance late in the first, or the carryover portion to start the second, and instead it was Dartmouth scoring just over a half minute past the penalty's expiration.

With the puck rolling into the RPI zone and Brandi Banks back to play it with Dartmouth's Laura Stacey entering in the zone, Banks attempted to clear the puck but it was intercepted by Stacey, who skated in all alone and beat Kelly O'Brien with a nice deke and forehand shot into a yawning net.

The teams traded several penalties through the remainder of the second period, but the score stayed knotted at one-all until 6:58 of the third period when Lindsey Allen gave the home team a 2-1 lead.

Catherine Berghuis set up the play by driving the net and putting a shot on goal which O'Brien stopped, but she couldn't control the rebound and Allen was able to pick it up and slide it past O'Brien for the lead.

The Engineers had one last chance to even things up late in regulation when Berghuis was sent off for a hit from behind, but Holdcroft was solid with 11 saves in the third (and 29 overall) to hold RPI to a single goal and help the Big Green to their sixth win of the season.

The loss, giving Dartmouth the season sweep of RPI, breaks a string of four straight seasons where the Engineers picked up conference points against the Big Green. 


Smelker/Mari Mankey/Svoboda



RPI picked up what many viewed as a surprising victory over Harvard early in the season, and could have done so again on Saturday, but came up short in a 3-1 effort which saw Harvard ice the game with a late empty netter.

The Engineers held a 31-21 edge in shots, including limiting Harvard to five in the third period - unfortunately for the Engineers, the Crimson made two of those five count.

Harvard took the lead early in the contest, with Hillary Crowe scoring at 4:39 of the opening period. Crowe broke in on a 2-on-0 and beat O'Brien with a nearly identical move to Stacey's goal in the previous night's game.

The Engineers peppered Emerance Maschmeyer with 20 shots in each of the first two periods, including a stretch of over a minute of 5-on-3 time in the second, but the Harvard goalie held strong against RPI's efforts.

Crowe extended the Crimson lead to 2-0 at 9:49 of the third, only to see Ali Svoboda cut it back to a one-goal lead just 15 seconds later off the ensuing faceoff. Crowe's second came off a crisp pass through the slot by Miye D'Oench which was quickly redirected past O'Brien.

Svoboda's goal came after she caused a turnover in the neutral zone shortly after the faceoff and ended up skating the puck into the Harvard zone. Firing the puck through three Harvard skaters toward Maschmeyer, it looked to tip off the goalie's glove and trickle over the line after nearly being swept away by a Harvard defender.

D'Oench added an empty netter in the game's final minute, with Elizabeth Parker stripping the puck from the Engineers as they attempted to enter the zone, then flipping it up to D'Oench who sent it into the empty net from the RPI blue line to ice the game.

After being swept on the weekend, the Engineers dropped into a tie for 8th place with Dartmouth, though the Engineers currently have a game in hand over the Big Green. What looked like good positioning in the standings after last weekend's sweep has suddenly become a tenuous hold on a playoff spot, with another tough weekend awaiting the Engineers as St. Lawrence and Clarkson head to Troy for games on Friday (7pm) and Saturday (4pm) respectively.


RPI at Dartmouth
ECAC Hockey Game - Thompson Arena (Hanover, NH)
1/24/14 - 7:00pm
Dartmouth 2, RPI 1



RECORD: 10-12-2 (6-6-1 ECAC)


RPI at Harvard
ECAC Hockey Game - Bright Hockey Center (Boston, MA)
1/25/14 - 4:00pm
Harvard 3, RPI 1



RECORD: 10-13-2 (6-7-1 ECAC)


Upcoming Games

Jan. 31 - St. Lawrence (7pm)
Feb. 1 - Clarkson (4pm)
Feb. 7 - at Brown (7pm)
Feb. 8 - at Yale (4pm)


ECAC Standings

1. Harvard - 25 points (12-2-1) (.833)
2. Clarkson - 22 points (`0-2-2) (.786)
3. Cornell - 21 points (9-2-3) (.750)
4. Quinnipiac - 18 points (7-3-4) (.643)
5. St. Lawrence - 14 points (6-5-3) (.536)
6t. Princeton - 14 points (6-6-2) (.500)
6t. Yale - 14 points (5-5-4) (.500)
8t. RPI - 13 points (6-7-1) (.464)
8t. Dartmouth - 13 points (6-8-1) (.433)
10. Union - 6 points (3-11-0) (.214)
11. Brown - 5 points (1-10-3) (.179)
12. Colgate - 4 points (2-12-0) (.143)

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