Parents and friends gathered at the Houston Field House on Friday, October 5, 2012, to watch the RPI women’s ice hockey team take on the University of Connecticut Huskies. During the non-league game, the University of Connecticut overcame a three-goal deficit with a tying goal in the final seconds of regulation to finish the game against Engineers. The Engineers were victorious on Saturday with a 5-3 win to conclude the weekend with a 1-0-1 record.
The Huskies tied the score in game one with the goalie on the bench for an extra attacker and on a power play, winning an offensive zone faceoff and earning a left point shot. Sophomore Rachel Farrel found the rebound and scored with just 35 seconds left in the third period. Sophmore Kelly Horan, who took the shot from the point, earned the only assist for UConn, which trailed by three goals early in the second period.
The RPI freshman class displayed their talent by accounting for all of the goals earned Friday night. Freshman Alexa Gruschow scored twice for Rensselaer in the first period. After junior Jordan Smelker took a shot, Gruschow collected the rebound and beat the goaltender from the right faceoff circle. Smelker, who carried the puck into the offensive zone and had the initial shot from her stomach, earned the only assist on the goal, which came at the 13:51 mark.
Freshman Mari Mankey doubled the lead when she scored by collecting the rebound from sophmore Eleeza Cox’s shot. Junior Toni Sanders was responsible for the secondary assist.
Gruschow earned the third goal with assists from Smelker and sophomore Ali Svoboda 3:16 into the second period while the Engineers were on a power play. UConn started to come back 8:11 later when freshman Brittany Berisoff scored her first collegiate goal.
Freshman Lauren Wash scored at 14:48 of the second period from right outside of the crease to earn the lead back for RPI. Freshman Brandi Banks drove the puck into the zone, contributing to RPI’s shots on goal, which was saved but not controlled by the Huskies’ goaltender. Huskies’ sophmore Sarah MacDonnell scored at 16:10 to make the score 4-2 by the end of the second period.
The Huskies came back 4-3 during the third period when sophomore Emily Snodgrass placed a wrist shot into the upper right corner of the net during a power play. Farrel and Horan accounted for assists.
Overtime concluded with more shots on goal by the Engineers, even though neither team successfully placed the puck in the net. Huskie freshman goaltender Elaine Chuli finished with 39 saves, while Engineer sophmore Brianna Piper had 21 saves for RPI.
The following afternoon, the two teams took to the ice again, where the Engineers were able to muster some more offense this time and defeat the Huskies.
Svoboda earned two of the goals for the Engineers, including the final game-winner, to lead the RPI women’s hockey team to a 5-3 victory over the University of Connecticut.
Mankey began the scoring for RPI at 3:20 of the first period after taking a nice feed from freshman defenseman Jenn Godin. Senior Captain Taylor Horton picked up the secondary assist on Mankey’s first goal of the year.
Sophomore Taylor Mahoney made it 2-0 for the Engineers in the first period after an assist from junior Toni Sanders. Junior Madison Marzario also had an assist on the play.
Junior Kiana Nauheim led the Huskies to fight back 2-1 with a late first period goal. Three minutes into the second period, the Huskies were tied 2-2 with the Engineers after MacDonnell beat RPI sophomore goalie Kelly O’Brien.
Svoboda led the Engineers to come back for good by scoring at 6:51 for the Engineers in the second. Gruschow and Smelker assisted the goal. Less than five minutes later, Svoboda made it 4-2 when Gruschow found her on the break along the left wing boards. Svoboda carried the puck into the slot and scored a wrist shot.
Smelker made the score 5-2 for the Engineers in the third period after a successful individual effort. Gruschow dug the puck out of the corner to lead to Smelker’s success.
The Huskies were able to notch another goal to make the score 5-3 when freshman Michela Cava scored in the third. However, the Huskies were unable to close the gap any further.
O’Brien (1-0-0) concluded the game with 16 saves, while Junior Sarah Moses (0-1-0) had 27 saves.
The Engineers hit the road this weekend for non-league games at Boston University and Northeastern on Friday (7 pm) and Saturday (4 pm), respectively.