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The First Away Win of the Season!
Quick takes on the weekend split
Going to keep this fairly brief, but I did just want to get some of the xG and possession metrics from the two games out there, so we can get a better view of how the team might fare heading into the last couple weekends of the regular season.
Let’s get into it:
There’s a lot of green on the Cornell side of things, but a lot of it was to be expected. As we noted in the preview, Cornell came into this weekend as the sixth-best puck possession team in the country. They were always going to dominate in the Corsi/Fenwick (and similarly, in controlled entry/exit totals).
The gameplan for RPI was to strike back in transition, and take advantage of the time you do spend in the offensive zone. And, this worked out fairly well for the Engineers, especially early on.
Now the game looked fairly heavily tilted in Cornell’s favor just by nature of the high puck possession, but the underlying numbers here show that despite that, RPI were still creating good looks of their own.
Obviously they weren’t enough to ultimately win the game, but there was a clear step forward for RPI since the first matchup in early January (at least in their 5v5 play). Now you just have to pair the even-strength play from this game with all the powerplay success from the first matchup between these two, and you have the makings of a good team.
Best way to stick it to the analytics crowd: be worse in all of the xG and possession metrics, and still win the game.
In all seriousness though, Watson was really good in this game (saving over 4 goals more than expected), and RPI was due for a bit of good fortune anyways. They just came out of a stretch in which they were winning the xG battles, but still losing games.
Now you can’t be going around giving up 30 scoring chances a game and expecting to win them all, but Colgate are a good team with some high-end players. But getting 3 points out of a game like this is huge for a team hovering around that cutoff line for a home playoff game.
Couple of massive games this weekend, including the Big Red Freakout. We will have previews out this afternoon and tomorrow!
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