RPI finished the 2014 portion of the schedule (hitting the halfway point of the season with 17 games down and 17 remaining) by hosting Brown and Yale, two of the other teams in the bottom half of the ECAC standings.
After roaring out to a 7-0 lead over Brown on Friday, the Engineers' penalty kill surrendered four straight goals and the Bears tacked on one more at the last second for a 7-5 final. Another pair of power play goals allowed on Saturday turned a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 Yale lead and though the Engineers drew to within one on an extra attacker goal, couldn't knot it up and ended the year with a 3-2 loss.
RPI had a 4-goal first period for the first time in eight years and Alexa Gruschow had two goals and two assists including the game winner, but the Engineers finished on a sour note surrendering five straight but holding on for a 7-5 victory.
The Engineers last scored four in the opening period on 12/8/06 in a 7-0 win over Union. This time around Jenn Godin opened the scoring, skating into the zone all alone while the rest of the Engineers took a line change and giving RPI a 1-0 lead.
Marisa Raspa scored two goals just 13 seconds apart to triple RPI's lead. The goals temporarily gave the freshman the team lead in the category, but that would be taken back by Alexa Gruschow when she later scored the sixth and seventh goals for the Engineers - one each on the power play and shorthanded.
Between those events, Delaney Middlebrook scored her first goal as an Engineer in the middle of the first to make it 4-0, then Laura Horwood scored the Engineers' fifth at 1:13 of the second.
After going up 7-0 early in the third on Gruschow's shorty, the Engineers proceeded to surrender four straight power play goals, a glaring weakness the team has exhibited all season with a 67.2% success rate - last in the nation by a margin of 8.5%.
Brown's power play goals included a 5-on-3 goal followed by a goal on the remaining 5-on-4 just 26 seconds later. They would tack on one more for good measure in the game's final second, taking what could have been the Engineers' largest margin of victory in five years and instead turning it into a two-goal win by a 7-5 final score.
Laura Horwood drew the Engineers even at 1-1 late in the first period, but another pair of goals on a 5-on-3 and the ensuing 5-on-4 cost RPI a shot at a weekend sweep as they eventually fell 3-2 to Yale in Troy on Saturday afternoon.
Horwood's goal was a nice one, as the sophomore put her first shot over the net before circling around the corner back to the slot to find a loose puck and backhand it into the net to draw things even.
Yale had taken the lead early, as RPI did the day before, with a tally 1:40 into the first. Mallory Souliotis picked up the goal with a big slapper through traffic from the point which found its way past Kelly O'Brien.
Yale's second and third goals came late in the second period, with Delaney Middlebrook and Kathryn Schilter both in the box. Taylor Marchin made it 2-1 with a slapshot of her own on the 5-on-3, then Aurora Kennedy scored the game-winner on another shot through traffic from the point just moments later.
Alexa Gruschow brought the Engineers back to within one at 18:42 of the third, with O'Brien out of the net in favor of the extra attacker, but 1:18 wasn't enough time to find another goal and RPI fell to Yale by a 3-2 final score.
With the loss on Saturday, the Engineers now sit in a 4-way tie for last place with Brown, Union, and Colgate. While there's a lot of hockey left to play, it will be an uphill struggle for the Engineers to catch up to Yale or Dartmouth in the fight to make the playoffs. There's nothing to be done for a while, though, as the team now has a month-long break for the holidays before continuing their homestand with five games in nine nights at Houston Field House to say hello to 2015.
RPI vs. Brown
ECAC Hockey Game - Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
12/5/14 - 7:00pm
RPI 7, Brown 5
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1415/boxes/wbrnren1.d05
Complete Game Video: http://rpitv.org/productions/877-womens-hockey-vs-brown-university
RECORD: 3-11-2 (1-4-0 ECAC)
RPI vs. Yale
ECAC Hockey Game - Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
12/6/14 - 4:00pm
Yale 3, RPI 2
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1415/boxes/wrenyal1.d06
Video Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yTOo2aAF4U
Complete Game Video: http://rpitv.org/productions/878-womens-hockey-vs-yale
RECORD: 3-12-2 (1-5-0 ECAC)
Jan. 2 - Princeton (3pm)
Jan. 3 - Quinnipiac (3pm)
Jan. 6 - Providence (4pm)
Jan. 9 - Dartmouth (7pm)
Jan. 10 - Harvard (4pm)
1. Quinnipiac - 14 pts. (6-1-2) (.778)
2. Clarkson - 13 pts. (6-2-1) (.722)
3t. Harvard - 11 pts. (6-1-1) (.781)
3t. St. Lawrence - 11 pts (5-3-1) (.611)
5t. Cornell - 10 pts. (5-2-0) (.714)
5t. Princeton - 10 pts. (5-4-0) (.556)
7. Yale - 6 pts. (3-3-0) (.500)
8. Dartmouth - 5 pts (2-4-1) (.357)
9t. Brown - 2 pts (1-5-0) (.167)
9t. RPI - 2 pts (1-5-0) (.167)
9t. Union - 2 pts (1-5-0) (.167)
9t. Colgate - 2 pts (1-6-0) (.143)