First off, apologies for the lack of a recap last week - the delay of the Yale game to Tuesday combined with midweek work travel and suddenly it was Friday again and time for another pair of games.
The Engineers didn't do themselves any favors against Brown and Yale last weekend, only picking up a win against the Bears when they really needed a weekend sweep to keep ahead of the pack chasing the last playoff spot.
Fast forward to this weekend and the Engineers kept themselves afloat, albeit still in a very tenuous position, by earning another split with Colgate and Cornell. The Engineers actually led Colgate twice before eventually falling 5-3, but squeaked out a 2-1 overtime win over Cornell on Saturday for a season sweep of the Big Red.
Shayna Tomlinson led RPI with a goal, an assist, and five shots on goal, but the Engineers fell short against #10 Colgate by a 5-3 tally at the Field House Friday night.
RPI held 1-0 and 3-2 leads during the game, but three unanswered goals for the Raiders to end the game made the difference.
Mari Mankey got the Engineers on the board at 4:01 of the opening period, taking a feed from Lauren Wash behind the net and firing it past netminder Julia Vandyk.
Colgate tied it at one just a few minutes later, when Jessie Eldridge threaded a pass through traffic in the slot to hit Nicole Gass all alone in front of Lovisa Selander for the goal.
The Raiders added a second goal at 10:43, capitalizing on a turnover at the RPI blue line to score on a 2-on-1. Olivia Zafuto notched the goal, her sixth of the season.
Tomlinson's goal knotted the game at two, 7:29 into the second. The forward tipped a point shot from Jenn Godin to beat Vandyk.
Laura Horwood put the Engineers back ahead on the power play at 13:33 after Tomlinson fed it to her on the doorstep for a quick shot and a goal.
Horwood's tally marked the end of the scoring for the Engineers, and less than a minute later Colgate had tied the game back up on a goal by Kayla Haus. They very nearly took a 4-3 lead at the end of the second, but the horn had sounded just a fraction of a second before the puck crossed the line.
The Raiders added two more goals in the third period, with Annika Zalewski (sister of former Engineer Mike Zalewski) scoring on the power play at 1:18, and Breanne Wilson converting another RPI turnover to make it 5-3 with 10:33 left in the game.
Colgate locked it down after the fifth goal, and despite back-to-back power play chances for RPI, the Engineers couldn't get another one past Vandyk who finished with 21 saves on the night. At the other end, Selander stopped 24 of 29.
Earlier in the season, RPI earned a hard-fought 2-1 overtime win over Cornell in Ithaca. History repeated itself on Saturday as Katie Rooney scored in the second period to tie the game at one, then again in overtime to give the Engineers another 2-1 win over the Big Red.
After a scoring and penalty-free first period, Taylor Woods opened things up with a goal for the Big Red at 6:54 of the second. After getting tied up with Whitney Renn at the RPI blue line, Woods stripped the puck from the RPI defenseman along the boards and took it to the net, beating Selander for the 1-0 lead.
Rooney answered for RPI about ten minutes later. After picking off a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone, she took it into the Cornell zone and all the way around the net before firing a sharp angle shot past Paula Voorheis to tie the game.
Another scoreless period in the third and the teams headed to overtime for the second time this season. Just like the first time, the Engineers pulled out the win. While Lauren Wash scored the winner earlier in the season, this time she knocked a Cornell pass out of mid-air at the blue line to skate in 2-on-1 with Rooney. A nifty saucer pass from Wash let Rooney put the puck past Voorheis and empty the Engineers' bench as their playoff hopes were kept alive.
With six games remaining, RPI holds the eighth and final playoff spot, with Cornell trailing two points back and Dartmouth four points back. However with Cornell still having a game left against Brown and Dartmouth still to play both Brown and Union, the Engineers will need a few more points to have a real shot at holding that playoff spot.
Cornell's remaining schedule: Quinnipiac, Princeton, @Brown, @Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard
Dartmouth's remaining schedule: Yale, Brown, @Union, @RPI, @Cornell, @Colgate
The season sweep over Cornell will give the Engineers that tiebreaker if it comes down to it, but RPI's game against Dartmouth in two weeks may well be the deciding factor in whether they can hold on to a playoff spot or not.
Five of the six games remaining for the Engineers are against the top half of the league, so it will be a tough row to hoe regardless of the outcome of their game against the Big Green. Before that, RPI must hit the road to take on Clarkson (7pm Friday) and St. Lawrence (4pm Saturday).
RPI vs. Colgate
ECAC Hockey Game - Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
1/29/16 - 7pm
Colgate 5, RPI 3
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1516/boxes/wclgren1.j29
Video Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiH9A9M4pyA
Complete Game Video: http://rpitv.org/productions/1035-womens-hockey-vs-colgate
RECORD: 8-13-4 (6-7-2 ECAC)
RPI vs. Cornell
ECAC Hockey Game - Houston Field House (Troy, NY)
1/30/16 - 4pm
RPI 2, Cornell 1 (OT)
College Hockey Stats: http://collegehockeystats.net/1516/boxes/wcorren1.j30
Video Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGB3bXop-C8
Complete Game Video: http://rpitv.org/productions/1036-womens-hockey-vs-cornell
RECORD: 9-13-4 (7-7-2 ECAC)
ECAC Standings (all teams have 16GP)
1. Quinnipiac - 27 pts (12-1-3)
2. Clarkson - 22 pts (9-3-4)
3t. Colgate - 21 pts (8-3-5)
3t. Princeton - 21 pts (10-5-1)
5. Harvard - 19 pts (9-6-1)
6t. St. Lawrence - 17 pts (7-6-3)
6t. Yale - 17 pts (8-7-1)
8. RPI - 16 pts (7-7-2)
9. Cornell - 14 pts (5-7-4)
10. Dartmouth - 11 pts (4-9-3)
11. Brown - 4 pts (1-13-2)
12. Union - 3 pts (0-13-3)
Feb. 5 - at Clarkson (7pm)
Feb. 6 - at St. Lawrence (4pm)
Feb. 12 - Harvard (7pm)
Feb. 13 - Dartmouth (Senior Night) (4pm)