Women’s ice hockey weathers tough weekend

THE ENGINEERS STRUGGLE against the fierce opposition posed by Harvard College of Cambridge, MA. (file photo)

On Friday, November 27, RPI women’s ice hockey confronted the University of New Hampshire in the Houston Field House. During the game, the team was active and aggressive, which increased the enjoyment and competitiveness of the entire game. During the game, UNH got one power play chance while RPI received no power plays; RPI won 25 faceoffs out of 45; the Wildcats’ goalie Kyra Smith saved 20 out of 23 shots, while RPI freshman goalie Lovisa Salender kept 27 out of 30 shots from the net. With only three penalties in total, this clean game ended with 3-3.

Over the course of first period, three goals were made by RPI at 2:56, UNH at 3:19, and UNH at 13:38 respectively. UNH thus had a one-goal lead at the end of the first period. In the second period, thanks to the tighter defenses of both teams, less shots were made on goal. Only UNH defender Amy Schlagel, assisted by forwards Jonna Curtis and Sara Carlson, scored at the beginning of the second period. By the second period, UNH already had a two-goal lead. But, during the third period, Rensselaer made a comeback and tied the game at 3-3.

Regarding individual performances, senior forward Alexa Gruschow scored a hat trick in this game. Senior forward Mari Mankey contributed two assists to the team, which was also a significant factor in the tied game. Lastly, sophomore forward Shayna Tomlinson won 12 faceoffs out of 18, another highlight.

However, RPI’s good luck didn’t last. On Saturday, November 28, Rensselaer met New Hampshire again and lost the game 2-1.

The Wildcats took the lead in the first period. After numerous attempts, the Engineers finally tied up the game in the third period with a goal shot by Grushow, which was quickly followed by a power play goal made by UNH forward Amy Boucher and assisted by Schlagel and forward Haley Breedlove. During the game, the Engineers failed to capitalize on their power play chances. Also, with 15 shots by Rensselaer and 27 shots by New Hampshire, RPI players were far less active. Tomlinson kept her excellent record on faceoff, winning 12 out of 19 in this game.

At 15:13, after a long attempt by Rensselaer, the UNH defensemen successfully blocked the puck out of their defensive zone. Later, the puck was quickly passed to New Hampshire forwards; a goal was shot from the blue line at 15:57 by UNH forward Boucher.

In the third period, the Engineers passed the puck into their offensive zone. After a long interference from the Wildcats, freshman forward Taylor Schwalbe picked up the puck and went around the net to get rid of the stick checking by the New Hampshire defenders. She dished the puck to freshman defender Josefine Hansen, who took a shot from the blue line. Her shot was deflected by the Wildcats to Gruschow, who seized this excellent chance and shot right in front of the net. The puck flew into the net underneath UNH’s pads. RPI thus tied the game.

In the same period, at 10:12, New Hampshire got a power play chance. After a while of neutral zone play, UNH went into RPI’s defense zone. A defender took a shot, which was successfully saved. RPI later tried to take the puck out of the zone. However, Boucher picked up the puck and brought it to the net and scored her second goal in the game, which was also the winning goal of the Wildcats. RPI women’s ice hockey thus lost the game 2-1.