TROY, NEW YORK – The Rensselaer Engineers (4-11-2, 2-5-0 ECAC) scored two goals in the third period, one of them on an empty net, and sophomore Kelly O'Brien stopped 10 shots for a shutout as the Brown women's ice hockey team (1-8-1, 1-6-0 ECAC) fell, 3-0, in tonight's league contest at Houston Field House.
Rensselaer wasted little time getting on the board, as freshman Lauren Wash snuck through the Bears' defense 8:23 into the first to grab a 1-0 lead for the home team. The opening minutes were highlighted by puck battles and turnovers by both sides, but Wash capitalized on a window of opportunity, intercepting the puck and shooting through the screen from the edge of the left face-off circle to beat junior goalkeeper Aubree Moore (Bowie, MD). The unassisted goal was her fourth of the season.
The Bears struggled to keep the puck in their offensive zone, taking only two shots on goal during the first stanza to the Engineers' eight. Their defense, backed by Moore, was impressive however, keeping Brown in the game with crucial screens and timely saves.
With 35 seconds to play in the period and junior Emilie Dolan (Montreal West, Quebec) skating towards the net with the puck, Rensselaer's Jordan Smelker was whistled for tripping, putting the Bears on the power play just before the teams headed to the locker room.
The two squads skated to a scoreless second period, as both sides continued to create an abundance of turnovers. Rensselaer's defense was particularly aggressive however, holding Brown to two shots for the second consecutive stanza.
The Bears began the period with the player advantage, but found themselves unable to capitalize, as Rensselaer returned to full strength at 1:25 still in possession of its 1-0 lead. Each team earned a power play opportunity in the second, with Jenn Godin called for tripping and Brown's Ariana Rucker (Oakton, VA) whistled for hooking, but each squad's penalty kill proved successful, keeping the puck out of the net on both sides.
The speed of play picked up in the last 10 minutes of the second and Moore elevated her performance to keep pace. She made impressive saves on each of the Engineers nine shots on goal, including direct blasts by Smelker and Ali Svoboda.
With just over two minutes left to play, Mariana Walsh found herself in a prime scoring opportunity when her first shot on goal was kicked out by co-captain Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) and the rebound returned to her stick. Moore made an impressive save on her second attempt to keep the Bears out of danger as the clock wound down.
Rensselaer extended its lead less than four minutes into the final period when Moore skated out of the net to clear a puck that had slid behind the goal. Realizing that Toni Sanders was rapidly approaching, she raced back to the pipes, but not before Sanders could swoop behind and sneak the puck into the right corner for her second goal of the year. Assists were awarded to Walsh and Katie Daniels.
Brown earned a final opportunity to bounce back with 3:30 left to play, as Rensselaer was whistled for two concurrent penalties, sending both Horton and Daniels to the box. Moore skated to the bench when the puck hit the ice, giving the Bears a six on three advantage for two minutes. Unable to find the back of the net during the power play, Brown continued to play without a goalie until Smelker scored an empty-net goal to put the Engineers up, 3-0.
Polenska played hungrily in the last period, taking three of the Bears' four shots on net, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Engineers' defense and the play of O'Brien in goal.
Rensselaer out shot Brown, 21-10, over the 60 minutes of play, with Moore making 18 saves and O'Brien earning the shutout. The power play was 0 for 4 on the night, while the penalty kill was successful on the Bears' only penalty of the game.
Brown will return to action at 4 p.m. tomorrow when the squad travelsl to Schenectady to take on the Union Dutchwomen at Messa Rink. The Bears will look to grab league points in their final contest of the first semester.
Brown: 2 - 2 - 4 - x - 10
Rensselaer: 8 - 9 - 4 - x - 21
First period – R, Wash, 8:23. Penalties: R, 1-2.
Second period – Penalties: B, 1-2. R, 1-2.
Third period – R, Sanders (Walsh, Daniels), 3:50. R, Smelke, EN, 19:25. Penalties: R, 3-6.
Saves: B, Moore (57:13), 7 - 9 - 2 - x - 18. R, O'Brien (59:15), 2 - 2- 6 – x - 10.