Women’s hockey drops two contests to Colonials

SOPHOMORE JORDAN SMELKER FLIES down the ice in Saturday’s 4-2 loss against Robert Morris University. Smelker scored RPI’s second goal.

It was another difficult weekend for the RPI women’s hockey team. After falling to Robert Morris University by a 5-1 decision on Friday evening, the Engineers were unable to complete a comeback against the Colonials the following afternoon, falling by a score of 4-2. The two losses—RPI’s fourth straight—give the Engineers a 2-4-2 overall record, while RMU improves to 5-1-0 on the year.

Despite outshooting the Colonials throughout Friday evening’s contest, the Engineers quickly found themselves down 2-0 early in the first period. Freshman center Rebecca Vint netted two goals in a 1:39 span to give Robert Morris the lead for good, both off of five-on-three advantages due to Rensselaer penalties.

Vint’s first goal came at 6:12 of the frame. Senior Colonial Brianna Delaney won the faceoff back to sophomore Thea Imbrogno on the point. Imbrogno carried the puck through the slot and dished it over to Vint in the far circle. The rookie’s shot flew past RPI freshman goaltender Kelly O’Brien for the early lead.

Less than two minutes later, Vint would bury the eventual game-winner. Yet again, Vint received a pass from Imbrogno and sent a low wrist shot under O’Brien at 7:51.

It didn’t take long for the Colonials to make it a three-goal advantage as senior defenseman Paige Pietrangelo’s shot from the top of the near circle sailed over O’Brien’s shoulder just 2:07 into the second stanza.

The Engineers battled back, however, to net their only goal of the game. With a Colonial in the sin bin, sophomore Madison Marzario scored her first of the season off a rocket from the blue line. Junior Andie Le Donne made the point-to-point pass to Marzario, who blasted the shot past junior goaltender Kristen DiCiocco.

That, however, would be the only shot to get past DiCiocco as the Colonials added two more goals in the third period to seal the win. After a failed clearing attempt by Rensselaer, Vint grabbed the puck and sent it across the slot to junior Kelsey Thomas, who caught O’Brien out of position for the nearly empty-net goal at 6:31. With 46 seconds remaining in the period, Imbrogno closed out the game with an empty-net goal.

DiCiocco finished with 31 saves on the night, including 11 in the first period and 12 in the second. At the other end of the rink, O’Brien posted 11 stops.

The two teams took to the ice again the following afternoon, closing out the two-game series. Although the Engineers were able to muster some more offense this time around, it still wasn’t enough to overcome the Colonials.

Robert Morris placed on the scoreboard just under three minutes following the puck drop. B. Delaney received a centering pass from Imbrogno and fired the shot under freshman goaltender Brianna Piper’s blocker. Vint also assisted on the play.

Rensselaer evened the score at 5:23 off senior Laura Guillemette’s second goal of the season. Classmate Sierra Vadner dished the biscuit over to Guillemette in the neutral zone. Guillemette then carried the puck into the offensive end, skated around an RMU defender, and deflected her shot off a Colonial skate and into the net.

The Colonials would make it a one-goal advantage yet again at the end of the frame. Junior Dayna Newsom received a pass from sophomore Anneline Lauziere and sent the puck past Piper for her first goal of the season at 17:11.

That momentum would carry into the second period as B. Delaney collected her second goal of the night and the eventual game-winner at 5:01. Lauziere’s initial shot from the point was blocked but junior Cobina Delaney had her own attempt at the rebound. Although C. Delaney’s attempt was denied as well, Thomas was at the doorstep to send the puck over to B. Delaney, who was finally able to bury the shot.

The game wasn’t over yet as the Engineers pulled within one with sophomore Jordan Smelker’s second goal of the season at 7:39. On a power play advantage, Le Donne passed the puck over to Smelker, who then roofed the shot over DiCiocco’s shoulder.

Behind by only a goal, the Engineers stepped up their game in the third period but were unable to find the back of the net. Rensselaer pulled Piper in the final minute of play in favor of the extra skater, but Vint sent a shot from near RMU’s bench into the empty net to ensure the victory. Both Piper and DiCiocco made 16 saves on the afternoon.

Rensselaer starts conference play this weekend with two afternoon matches. Friday the Engineers take on Quinnipiac University, while Saturday brings the Princeton University Tigers to the Houston Field House. Both games are slated to begin at 3 pm.