Women’s hockey victorious on Senior Night

JUNIOR FORWARD ALEXA GRUSCHOW TAKES the puck toward the Colgate net in a 5-3 victory over the Raiders on Senior Night at Houston Field House.

This past weekend, the women’s hockey team broke even at the Houston Field House in Troy, NY, losing Friday night to Cornell University 4-1 and winning Saturday night 5-3 against Colgate University, making it a successful senior night.

On Friday night, the Engineers won the first faceoff of the game and held strong defense for the first period. After several shots from the Cornell Big Red Bears, the Engineers stepped up at last on a power play late in the first period off of a tripping penalty; junior forward Alexa Gruschow took the powerful shot to pick up her 12th goal of the season.

The second period started off with offense from the Big Red Bears, who took four shots wide on net; however, the fourth was rebounded, passed, then redirected into the net by Jillian Saulnier past RPI senior goaltender Brianna Piper at 3:28. Five minutes later, the Big Red Bears scored again, making it a one point lead going into the third.

The Big Red Bears picked up two power play opportunities in the third period, and were able to take advantage of both scoring three and half minutes apart, leaving the Engineers disappointed by a 4-1 loss, despite having 24 shots on goal, one more than Cornell had.

The next night, the Engineers did not mess around, scoring four times in a row, which led them to a 5-3 victory against Colgate. Solid passing around the Colgate net from senior captains and forwards Ali Svoboda and Taylor Mahoney were able to set sophomore defenseman Hannah Behounek up, allowing her to lift the puck top shelf past Colgate goaltender Brittney Brooks, raising the spirit of the crowd. The Engineers did not stop there; two minutes after a penalty kill, the Engineers picked up their own power play, having freshman forward Shayna Tomlinson tip the puck in, scoring her fifth of season, after nearly a month and a half since her last goal on January 6 against Princeton University. Tomlinson had six shots on goal and an assist for the totality of the night.

Five minutes into the second period, the goals kept coming for the Engineers, as freshman forward Whitney Renn had a take away in the Colgate zone, passing to Mahoney to give her her fifth of the season, too. The Engineers were leading 3-0 when they scored yet again 2:26 later as Svoboda had the one-timer goal from the circle opposite stick side of Brooks. At 11:04, the Raiders gained a power play from a five-minute major on cross-checking from Gruschow, as Taylor Craig shot through the pads of RPI senior goaltender Kelly O’Brien. The Raiders scored twice more a minute apart on this power play opportunity.

Gruschow redeemed herself 3:34 into the third period, scoring on a 5-on-3 power play off of a deflection with assists from Tomlinson and senior defenseman Kathryn Schilter, her third of the night. The Engineers celebrated senior night with a final 5-3 win. The Engineers ended their season 7-23-4 overall, and 5-16-1 in ECAC league play.