Troy, N.Y. – The Brown women's ice hockey team earned a tough road victory over RPI on Saturday afternoon at Houston Field House, netting the game-winning goal late in third period to take sole possession of eighth place in the ECAC and final playoff position. Junior Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) came up with the game clincher as the Bears improved to 6-7-7 overall and 3-6-4 in the ECAC.
After a hard-fought first period, Brown took the lead early in the second, scoring just 33 seconds in the stanza and added another midway through to take a 2-0 lead. RPI (6-16-4, 3-9-2) battled back in the third period however, tallying their first 2:51 in before netting a power play goal at 13:32.
Facing overtime for the second-straight game, the Bears did not take long to respond as Polenksa tallied a power play score to send Brown back to Providence winners.
Junior goalie Katie Jamieson (Waterloo, Ontario) made 23 saves and improved her record to 4-4-2 on the year, while sophomore Jessica Hoyle (Toronto, Ontario) had a two-point day with a goal and an assist.
It was an evenly matched first period, with both teams skating well, but finding few open looks as Brown narrowly out shot RPI 7-5 in the first 18 minutes.
The Bears were called for the game's first penalty with 2:24 remaining in the first on a slashing infraction. Just 33 seconds latter, Brown faced a 5-on-3 after a tripping call. Bruno's penalty kill was outstanding however, working off the first penalty and then the rest of the clock to end the period.
Even though the Bears had just four shots in the second period, they made them count.
Brown quickly worked off the remaining nine seconds of the first period penalty to start the second, then switched over to attack mode as rookie Sarah Robson (Mississauga, Ontario) and senior co-captain Paige Pyett (Milestone, Saskatchewan) combined to set up Hoyle for her second goal in as many days, and a 1-0 Brown lead just 33 seconds into the frame.
The penalties began to fly midway through the second as four skaters found the box within two minutes, putting Brown on a 4-on-3 advantage. With the open ice, Pyett and Hoyle worked to find freshman Janice Yang (Westport, Conn.), who played the pass off her skate in front of the RPI net, then corralled the puck, putting it past the Engineer goalie for two goal lead.
RPI got back into the game 2:51 into the third period when Jill Vandergrift was able to find a way to sneak one past Jamieson and cut the Brown lead to one.
With 8:55 left in regulation, Jamieson had a sensational series where she made three-straight saves, blocking two shot attempts and then reaching behind her to stop the puck with her glove hand, just before it crossed the goal line. Just a minute later, it was Jamieson again, making an impressive breakaway save against RPI's Jordan Smelker.
At 13:32 the Engineers were able to find the equalizer. It was not a sure thing however as the initial call on the ice was a high-sticking call before the goal went in. The play went to review however, and after a five-minute delay, RPI was awarded the goal.
The scoring kept coming as Brown went on the power play at 13:47 and 15 seconds later Polenksa made a fantastic shot from her knees to beat the RPI goalie and give the Bears the back. Sophomore Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario) and senior co-captain Katelyn Landry (Belmont, Mass.) were credited with the assists on the play.
RPI pulled the goalie late to get the extra attacker, but the Brown defense stood tall as they took control of eighth place in the ECAC.
The Bears are back in action on Tuesday, January 24, Meehan Auditorium when they take on Yale at 7 p.m.