RPI Loses Game One to Dartmouth
I was optimistic when Matt Murley scored the game's first goal within the first minute of play, giving the Engineers the early 1-0 lead. Unfortunately the Engineers' hopes of making it to the ECAC Championships in Lake Placid, NY slowly dwindled as the night went on.
Friday night, Dartmouth proceeded to win Game One of the first-round ECAC playoff game by a score of 4-2; the Big Green's victory capped with an empty net goal.
After Murley's initial goal, each side scored on the power play, sending the Engineers to the locker room with a 2-1 lead. Two quick goals were scored in the second period by Dartmouth, shockingly within a span of 34 seconds. This dramatically changed the momentum of the game, a setback which the Engineers came close to overcoming but didn't.
As the WRPI commentators noted, this loss now puts the Engineers in the quintessential "must-win" situation. A loss Saturday night ends their season, excluding them from both the ECAC and NCAA championships. Two wins on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, earn them a shot at the ECAC title, which is the only method by which they could enter the NCAA bracket of twelve teams nationally.
To get to the NCAA tournament, RPI would not only need the two wins versus Dartmouth, but also winning their way to the ECAC Championship. This would require no fewer than two consecutive wins in the ECAC tournament, and most likely three.