Friday, February 6, 2015

And Down the Stretch They Come

We've alluded to it for some time. The final third of the season is the most feverish - and it takes place in the final month.

Four at home, four on the road. The first two on the road come this weekend in the North Country, which, by current points, is the most difficult road trip of the year, like it always used to be. Tonight the Engineers face off with what may be the most underrated team in the entire country in St. Lawrence. They've finally got what they've been lacking for at least the last five years - a solid goaltender and a balanced attack. That makes them dangerous on a night in, night out basis. What RPI was in 2013 and what Colgate was in 2014, St. Lawrence is this year.

Following up is a visit to a Clarkson team that isn't lighting the world on fire but they're more or less getting the job done. They're in fourth place, which means they're doing something right, but they're also only two points ahead of the Engineers coming into the weekend (as opposed to six points for SLU). Given the closeness of the teams, if we had to pick one game to take points in this weekend, this is the one.

With four weeks left in the season, the Engineers are a point behind our preferred pace of "two points on the road, three at home." This might be a difficult weekend to pick that point back up (requiring three or more points), but a split is a necessity if they're going to keep a top 4 spot as a legitimate goal.

For the women, with six games left in the regular season, a playoff spot seems practically out of reach. Now seven points out with only 12 points available, it'll take a miracle - in fact, it may be semi miraculous if they don't get mathematically eliminated this coming weekend at home against the North Country teams. That leaves pride left to play for. Catch Colgate, finish in 9th at least. The Engineers managed to not get totally embarrassed a couple of weeks ago in the North Country, perhaps a small upset over the reigning national champions is in order? Who knows.

Time to awaken that fighting spirit that has seemed missing for a couple of weeks.

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