Monday, March 1, 2010

Women's ECAC: Semifinal Matchups Set

The ECAC is down to the final four, so all eyes turn toward upstate New York, where Cornell and Clarkson will host the semifinals. Here we take a look at the four teams in the semifinals and how they got here, after the jump.

5. RPI (2-1) at 1. #8 Cornell (2-0)
RPI's First Round: In a best of three series, RPI and Quinnipiac played about 5 games worth of hockey in Hamden in the most closely contested series in the quarterfinals. In Game One, the Bobcats prevailed 2-1 in 2OT, putting the pressure on the Engineers. They responded in Game 2 with a close 1-0 win, but it was Game 3 that will be talked about on both campus' forever. RPI lead most of the way, but a late Quinnipiac goal sent the game to OT, where it seemed content to stay. It wasn't until senior Laura Gersten scored in the fifth OT that a winner emerged from that series. Another minute and three seconds, and the game would have tied for the longest game in NCAA history, set in 1996 when New Hampshire and Providence were still in the ECAC.
RPI Key Player: Sonja Van der bliek, G: 3 GP, 2 Wins, 1 Shutout, 303:18 Minutes, 3 Goals Against, 0.594 GAA, 98 Saves, 101 Shots, .970 SV%.
RPI Record on the Road: 9-8-2 (2-1 in playoffs)
RPI Streak: 2 W
Cornell's First Round: Compared to the RPI series, Cornell had an easy time advancing to the semifinals, especially considering the Big Red never trailed in the series. In Game 1, Cornell jumped out to a 2-0 lead over travel partner and local rival Colgate and held on for the 2-1 win, the first postseason win in program history for Cornell. That was the end of the drama, as the next night, the Big Red ran roughshod over the Raiders to the tune of 5-0.
Cornell Key Player: Lauriane Rougeau, D: 2 G (2 PPG), 2 A, +1, 6 PIM, 5 Shots
Cornell Record At Home: 11-5-2
Cornell Streak: 7 W
Regular Season Series: Cornell swept the season series 2-0, picking up a 3-1 road win against RPI and then a 2-1 win at home in the last weekend of regular season play.

3. #4 Harvard (2-0) vs. 2. #6 Clarkson (2-1)
Harvard's First Round: The Crimson never trailed as they jumped all over their Ivy League rivals Princeton for the two game sweep. In Game 1, the Crimson jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first period, conceding a goal with 15 seconds left in the period, but holding on for a 5-1 win, the 338th win for Coach Katey Stone, giving her the NCAA Women's Hockey Record. Game 2 was more of the same, as Harvard lead 3-0 going into the final frame, and added an empty netter to make it a 4-1 final. Harvard outshot the Tigers 77-33 over the two games.
Harvard Key Player: Liza Ryabkina, F: 3 G (1 PPG), 1 A, + 3, 10 shots, 2 PIM
Harvard Record on Road: 6-3-2 (0-0 in playoffs)
Harvard Streak: Undefeated in 5
Clarkson's First Round: The Golden Knights had a slight hiccup against Route 11 Rival and travel partner St. Lawrence, but ultimately, Clarkson took care of business to advance to the semifinals. On Friday afternoon, Clarkson rolled over St. Lawrence 5-0, scoring on three different goaltenders and adding an empty netter that made it 4-0. St. Lawrence responded in the elimination game on Saturday afternoon, overcoming an early Clarkson lead to win 2-1. In the finals, though, it was all Clarkson again, as their PP helped them to a 3-0 lead and they held on for a 4-1 victory.
Clarkson Key Player: Dominique Thibault, F: 2 G (1 PPG), 1 A, -1, 10 shots, 0 PIM
Clarkson Record at Home: 15-3-2
Clarkson Streak: W 1
Season Series: Clarkson claimed the season series 1-0-1, picking up a win in Cambridge 2-1, before tying Harvard 3-3 at home in the last game of the regular season.

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