Friday, March 09, 2012

Playoffs Part Duex

This is what it is all about right here. Union has been the perpetual cross town rival of RPI's. They are the younger program and infuriatingly they have had more success over the last 15 or so years (or at least better seasons). They are also the number 1 team in the ECAC this year. No question about it. They also have beat up on RPI, going 3-0 and outscoring them in bunches (see USCHO's recap of the statistical horrors below).

However, RPI is peaking, they are riding high. They had a strong finish to the season and really put the pedal down against Clarkson. They are a team which every playoff team should fear, because they are a HOT team. Union meanwhile split their last 2 games against the C's and haven't played in 2 weeks. Yes, they are 14-4 in the ECAC but if RPI keeps up its hot play, they may fall in game.

Game 1 Prediction: RPI 3-1

Union is going to knock the rust off eventually, they are just too good so I expect them to bounce back and beat up on RPI, maybe 5-2 in the second game.

The third game, that is for all the marbles. Call me crazy but I have confidence that RPI will keep skating hard and because they ARE playing Union, will give them that extra edge and I think they will actually down the number one seed.

Game 3 Prediction RPI 3-2

I think the lads are really on to something and despite going up against one of the best teams in the nation, much less the ECAC they have momentum on their side. If they can keep up the intensity, they can definitely win.


As always, here are USCHO's picks:

No. 10 Rensselaer at No. 1 Union
Both Union and RPI fell victim to Colgate’s playoff run last season, yet each team still made the NCAA tournament thanks to an at-large bid. There’s no way the Engineers get in this year without winning the Whitelaw trophy, and they’ll have to go through a Dutchmen team that’s gone 3-0 against them this season, outscoring them by an aggregate of 15-4.
Interesting to note that RPI is staying at a hotel, according to Ken Schott of the Schenectady Daily Gazette, despite the fact that Union is their closest league rival.  By doing so, they’ll look to avoid any distractions and focus solely on their play on the ice, something that’s helped RPI turn it around in the second half. But they’ll need more than that to take down a tough Union squad.  Union in 3. ( 4-2, 1-2 (OT), 4-1).

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