PSS: strong out of the gates

ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, RPI WOMEN’S HOCKEY HOSTED the Ottawa Junior Senators for an exhibition matchup at Houston Field House. The game started with a quick score for the Engineers. With just 31 seconds gone by, sophomore Katie Rooney collected the rebound from her own shot and fired the puck past Senator goaltender Tanya Winchcombe to give Rensselaer a 1-0 advantage. The Senators settled in defensively, as Winchocombe gathered eight saves in the opening period. RPI countered with tight, hard-hitting defense of its own, allowing the Senators only three shots on goal in the first period. Early in the second, RPI scored its second goal of the evening. RPI junior defender Brandi Banks skated forward to collect a loose puck in the Senators’ zone, knocking it away from a few nearby Senator defenders. Then freshman Whitney Renn grabbed the still loose puck and zipped it past Winchocombe to give Rensselaer a 2-0 lead in the contest’s 27th minute. After making just four saves, RPI senior starting goalie Kelly O’ Brien was pulled midway through the second period with the Engineers holding a comfortable 2-0 lead. Senior backup Brianna Piper came in and made six saves to allow RPI to hold on to its 2-0 shutout victory. The important statistic of the game was shots on goal. While Rensselaer scored twice on 31 total shots on goal, Ottawa managed only 10 shots on goal for the entire 60 minutes, all of which were saved by O’Brien and Piper. Both teams did a solid job killing power plays; Ottawa stopped RPI on each of its three power plays while the Engineers stopped the Senators on both of their power play opportunities. Next weekend, RPI will travel to the Midwest to take on the University of North Dakota and Bemidji State University to open their season.