Friday, January 9, 2015

Firewall

It's go time.

Both the men and the women faced their final non-conference opponents in the past week (the men do still have the Mayor's Cup game against Union, but... come on), so now it's time to get down to the meat and potatoes of the schedule - the final two months of the season where destinies are truly determined.

The women are at home this weekend, taking on #6 Harvard tonight and Dartmouth tomorrow. Harvard may be a bit of a tough haul, but Dartmouth is sitting there just ahead of RPI in that final playoff position (although they could pass Yale after playing Union tonight). If the Engineers are going to overcome their rough start to the season and make the playoffs, points at home against teams like Dartmouth are a must.

The men seem to be in a tailspin, but there are two key elements to that tailspin that seem to be winding up - the injuries and suspensions that have ravaged the roster appear to be concluding, as the suspensions to the captains are done and a report this morning suggests that Lou Nanne and Mark Miller, the only Engineers yet to return from their injuries, could come back this weekend. The other is that RPI's remarkably tough recent schedule - the last four games coming against teams presently in the top five nationally.

RPI has another tough one tonight at Quinnipiac, but the last time out against the Bobcats, the game was fairly even. Tomorrow afternoon's game against Princeton, however, has to be considered a must-win considering the Tigers' record. Princeton gives up a ton of shots, which is just what a team struggling to score goals needs, but their defense has been improved in the last month or so.

It's time for the full race to the finish in the ECAC.


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