Friday, February 14, 2014

Olympian Tasks

First off... let's give a shout out to Mathias Lange. 20 minutes of mop-up duty against Canada in Sochi, 15 saves on 15 shots. Atta boy.

The women's season is in all out crisis mode. Flying high after coming back from the December break with 7 points in 4 games, the Engineers are now winless in six straight, finally snapping a five-game losing streak with a tie at Yale last week. A month ago, we were talking about the possibility of hosting a playoff series. Today, we're talking about the possibility of missing the playoffs entirely. Tonight's game in Troy against last place Colgate, without any doubt whatsoever, is a must win for the Engineers, plain and simple. It's their last winnable home game of the season, considering that Cornell follows tomorrow and it's a trip to the North Country to finish off the season. After tonight, points are not going to be easy to come by no matter how you slice it, and RPI must finish with more points than Dartmouth in order to make the playoffs.

Here's the long and the short of the tiebreaker situation for RPI: they lose all relevant tiebreakers. That means Yale and Dartmouth, and they'd lose the tiebreaker with Princeton if that miraculously came to pass. It's bad news if the Engineers are having to worry about the tiebreaker with Brown, but at least in that instance RPI is likely (not guaranteed) to win the break.

On the men's side, it's going to be a tough grind no matter what against Colgate and Cornell. Both teams have been sizzling hot in January and February - the Raiders rattled off a seven-game unbeaten streak to start January and whipped Cornell last time out. Before that loss to Colgate, the Big Red hadn't lost since November. With these games on the road, it's take what you can get at a tough time of the year to be having to take what you can get - especially since the word is that Jacob Laliberte and Chris Bradley are both still out of the lineup.

Someday we're going to see teams that are going to be able to walk into a situation like this and just smack the challenge straight in the mouth. Is that now? Hope so.

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