Friday, December 09, 2011

Festivus o Festivus!

Tournaments have come and gone over the years as I have followed the ECAC. RPI had its historic "Holiday Tournament" which I have reminisced about many a time, mainly due to them giving out souvenir mugs with drink orders. I miss those mugs, I really do.

Then of course there was the Governor's Cup. There wasn't anything spectacular about the Cup other than it allowed RPI to play Union at the Knick (I refuse to call it anything else). That was always a fun with two large fan bases intermingling. I have good memories of the Cup.

Alas the Cup went the way of the Holiday Tournament and now the ECAC is trying something new, Lake Placid. Having held several Halloween tilts over the last few years, LP is now hosting the Festivus Tourney which will feature, of course, RPI vs. Union.

How are the "young" upstarts fairing this year? Well Union is middle of the pack of the ECAC with a 7-3-5 record overall. Their power play is just a shade under 25% in efficiency and they are outshooting their opponents by over a 100 shots which translates into their goals for to be 3 and their GAA to be 1.93. In other words, they are having a pretty good season.

RPI on the other hand, as we know, is struggling to put it together this year. Can we get a Festivus miracle and pull off a win in the North Country? RPI broke out of its goal slump and seems poised to be able to hang in a track meet with teams, which is exactly what Union is offering. If Diebold is in net, RPI might just have the chance to hang around with Union but ultimately I think Capital District B will be the stoopidhead winner. 

In any event, hope you get up to Lake Placid for the festivities and GO RPI!

As always, here is USCHO's take on the game:

RPI vs Union
It's the opening game of the Festivus Faceoff, and RPI has plenty of grievances to air in the season's early going. While Union has suffered little hangover from its early NCAA exit, the same can't be said for the Engineers. RPI finally started scoring some goals, but simply made too mistakes and turned the puck over too much against Quinnipiac last weekend. Look for the Dutchmen to take this one in Lake Placid
Union 4, RPI 2

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

We'll Take It

Well RPI got close but no cigar this weekend going 0-2 against the P&Q's. While this season from a standings perspective is probably going downhill with a bullet, the team PLAYED better and well, considering what has come before, gave us Cherry and White fans an offensive explosion.

RPI scored 5 goals over 2 games. This is sadly the same amount of goals they scored in the previous SIX games so this offense was a welcomed site. In some ways I don't even care if they won because of the goal/shot totals. Also, Diebold played well in the loss to the Q and as the season becomes more of a "learning experience" than a quest for the ECAC crown, I think having the younger guns play and gain experience for the next season should probably be the way to go.

We will see what happens over the Christmas break. RPI has several games beforehand of course and we will cover them all here at RPIHockey. Go Red!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Connecticut Swing

I used to live in Jersey (ssshhh, don't tell anyone) and always anticipated the RPI swing through to Princeton and then up to the Q. Now living on the West Coast it is all the same to me as I follow RPI by Internet and by box score.

Not just for selfish reasons but I also enjoyed the swing because RPI traditionally has played well against Princeton and has taken their fair share of games from the Q during the SA era. This year will be a bit different as RPI has been "struggling" while P and Q have been bouncing along. Still, I think there is a gleam in RPI's eye after the last two weekends. Perhaps this team is finally rounding into form.

While the start of the season was certainly disastrous, most of those games were NC games and if RPI can put together a little run with in the ECAC, then be in decent position for the playoffs. I have nothing to base this on, no statistics, no W-L arcs but I think the lads in Cherry and White will split this weekend and get them back into all things ECAC.

As always, here is USCHO's take:

Rensselaer at Princeton
A last place finish entering December wasn't the way RPI was looking to start after making the NCAA tournament last year.   Princeton hasn't been much better, but I'll take the home team here. The Tigers are led by a junior class that has accounted for 14 of their 22 goals.
Princeton 3, RPI 2

Rensselaer at Quinnipiac
I'll be stringing this game for the Albany Times Union.  So in the spirit of Monday Night Football, should I abstain from making a pick? Nah, I'll go for it. This is definitely an important  game for two teams that I'm sure have no desire to remain near the bottom of the conference. The big difference? Quinnipiac is 8-6-2 overall, while the Engineers are just 3-10.
I'm going to give a slight edge to the host Bobcats, although I wouldn't be surprised to see it go either way.
Quinnipiac 3, RPI 1