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Preview: ECAC First Round vs Yale
RPI looks to put their 3-17 record in the last 20 games against Yale behind them
You build up all season to the playoffs, but it goes by so much quicker than you ever expected. RPI starts their playoff journey against Yale this weekend with the single game (gross) on Saturday.
Both teams are 4-4 in their last 8 games. Yale has some impressive wins in that time frame with 4-0 shutouts against both Clarkson and SLU and a 4-2 win against Colgate last weekend. They are not an opponent to take lightly regardless of their record.
Yale has the worst offense in the country by both xG and actual goals. They really struggle to create offense, and they have lacked the talent to finish as well. This is evident not only at even strength but also on the power play. They have some flashes of good offense where they will score, but it is extremely inconsistent.
RPI has struggled offensively this season as well, but they still have a good power play that can get goals when they need it. They also have been scoring more lately and improved nearly every offensive rank over the past month.
Defense is where Yale has the edge. They have been better at limiting chances and goals. They also have been getting fantastic goaltending from Luke Pearson. He is undoubtedly their biggest strength and a big equalizer in this game.
RPI needs to take advantage of a special teams advantage with how weak Yale is on both ends. The margins at even strength are fairly small, so this is the big advantage for RPI in this game. With Yale having really strong goaltending that has the potential to really eliminate the offense and chances RPI has, the power play opportunities will be really important.
This breakdown looks similar to the general team ones. RPI appears to have the slight edges overall, but it is not significant.
Ian Carpentier and David Chen have the most points on the team and have been big threats on the wing for Yale. Nik Allain and Cole Donhauser give the Bulldogs a couple of pretty solid centers that can also produce some offense. Outside of those guys though, Yale is mostly devoid of offensive threats as you would expect from a team with the worst offense in the country.
Bayard Hall and Ryan Carmichael are probably the best defensive players for Yale on the back end. They’re the only 2 guys who have a positive +/- on the blue line.
Then, of course, there’s Pearson who has been one of the conference’s best goaltenders. He will need to be tested early and often.
Let’s Go Red!!
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