Engineers drop points to the Ivies
The Engineers suffered a 3‒2 overtime loss to the Princeton Tigers and a 3‒0 loss to the current No. 7 Yale Bulldogs last weekend. With five games remaining in the season, the Engineers are tenth in the ECAC standings, sitting six points below Princeton, the bubble team for the playoffs.
February 1 vs. Princeton
The Tigers would run out to an early lead in the first five minutes. On a 2-on-1 chance, Princeton’s Sharon Frankel found teammate Annie Kuehl in the slot. With just goaltender Amanda Rampado ’23 to beat, Kuehl ripped a wrist shot into the back of the net.
The Engineers would strike back seven minutes later with a goal of their own. The Tigers failed to clear the rebound of a Michelle Nutescu ’25 shot and Princeton netminder Rachel McQuigge rushed out to collect the puck. Julia Blitz ’23 swept the puck as she was falling to Audrey McCutcheon ’25, who calmly slid the puck into the vacant goal to tie the game at 1‒1.
Rensselaer would take the lead on a power play six minutes into the second period. Marah Wagner ’23 sent the puck towards goal with Lauren Severson (Gr) positioned in front of McQuigge. Severson’s deft redirection went five-hole on the goaltender, putting the Engineers in front 2‒1.
Eight minutes into the third period, the Tigers equalized. Princeton’s Shannon Griffin drifted into the right faceoff circle with the puck on her forehand. With Engineer Taylor Larsen ’24 closing in, Griffin cannoned a shot that beat Rampado and rang off the inside of the left iron into the back of the net. With that being the last goal of regulation, the two squads headed into overtime.
Princeton nearly won the game after two minutes of overtime. The puck glided through the neutral zone and crossed the Engineer blue line. Tiger Maggie Connors beat defender Magdalena Erbenova ’24 in a foot race. Erbenova’s hustle allowed her to throw off Connors and Rampado made a terrific save through contact to keep RPI in the game.
The Engineers would not be able to endure a similar situation later in overtime. The puck glided through the neutral zone again, but the speed of Tiger Mariah Keopple made it impossible for any defenders to catch up and she darted into the offensive zone on a breakaway. A little too far to her left, Rampado left a gap for Keopple to bury a snapshot into the top corner to earn two points for Princeton. In the defeat, Rampado made a total of 39 saves.
February 4 vs. Yale
RPI had little control for the majority of the game, however Rampado and the Engineer defense kept the game close. Yale’s first goal would come on a power play in the second period. The Bulldogs moved the puck around in the offensive zone, trying to create a scoring opportunity. Elle Hartje received the puck behind the goal line and skated into the right faceoff circle. Hartje snuck a shot between Rampado and her near post to give Yale the lead.
The Engineers had a rough first two periods but seemed to hit their stride in the third. RPI recorded ten shots in the final period, outscoring the eight from earlier in the game. Despite their offensive revitalization, RPI failed to score.
The period was coming to a close and, down a goal, the Engineers were on the power play and Rampado was pulled from the net to give them an extra skater. After winning a faceoff in the Yale zone, Bulldog Tess Dettling precisely dumped the puck down the ice and into the center of the empty net for Yale’s second goal. Down two goals, RPI had no choice but to keep the net empty. Yale’s Rebecca Foggia would score another empty-net goal with less than a minute remaining to put the nail in the coffin.