Bobcats take down RPI in playoff games

RPI FACED DEFEAT twice by fourth-ranked Quinnipiac in the playoffs on Friday and Saturday. (file photo)

On Saturday, February 20, RPI women’s ice hockey confronted Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. They suffered a crushing 4-0 defeat, largely due to their inactivity by not capitalizing on power play chances. During the entire game, the Engineers had six power play opportunities and seized none of them, while Quinnipiac had a 50 percent power play conversion—one power play goal out of two power play chances in total. Also, Quinnipiac attempted 52 shots, in contrast to RPI’s 14. Senior forward Alexa Gruschow performed the best on the team—three attempts in total, and won five faceoffs won out of 18.

Away again in Hamden on Friday, February 26, the Engineers played in two rematches against Quinnipiac on Friday and Saturday for ECAC quarterfinal playoffs. Twice-defeated, fourth-ranked Quinnipiac brought home an overtime victory after clearing a two point deficit in the third period of play, ascending to the number one seed position.

It wasn’t until the final two minutes of the second period that a goal was scored on Friday. Freshman forward Jaime Grigsby shot the puck past Sydney Rossman to earn the 1-0 advantage without assistance.

With 31 seconds remaining in the period, freshman Josephine Hansen made her second goal of the season and the second goal for Rensselaer that afternoon.

At 3:52 into the third period, Quinnipiac’s Nicole Connery found the flaw in the RPI defensive line, and the puck snuck into the net. After Kristen Tamberg added a goal for Quinnipiac, the score was tied up.

The game went into overtime with the score at 2-2. Just 2:04 into overtime, Emma Woods scored the winning goal with assistance from Taylar Cianfarano and Nicole Connery.

During that game, RPI gave three power play chances to their opponents, one of which was capitalized on by Quinnipiac. They pushed Rensselaer off the rink and took control of the puck, scoring five seconds after the power play ended. The tremendous difference in the number of attempted shots between two teams is evident; the Engineers only took a disappointing seven total shots in the game, while Quinnipiac took 57. RPI freshman goalie Lovisa Selander had a decent 94.7 percent goalkeeping percentage, while Quinnipiac goalie Sydney Rossman only had a 71.4-percent goalkeeping percentage.

Saturday’s game ended up with three unassisted goals, two by Quinnipiac and one by Rensselaer. The Engineers’ freshman forward Grigsby scored 25 seconds after the game started. After senior Alexa Gruschow won the opening faceoff, RPI’s offensive line swiftly moved forward, pressured Quinnipiac, and made a shot before the Bobcats could respond. Seven minutes later, Quinnipiac tied it up. Neither team made progress for the remainder of regulation time nor during the first overtime period. Finally, in the second overtime period, when both teams acted impulsively and aggressively, the deadlock was broken by the Bobcats’ Nicole Brown who calmly scored by herself. These defeats pulled RPI down to 10-17-7 (and 8-9-5 in ECAC). This concluded the women’s ice hockey 2015–2016 season.