Engineers Shoulder Loss to Quinnipiac in First League Game
TROY, N.Y. – Despite a 22-save performance from rookie
netminder Kelly O'Brien, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
women's hockey team could not battle back as it fell to Quinnipiac
University, 2-0, in the ECAC Hockey opener for both teams. With the
win, the Bobcats move to 2-5-0 on the season, while the Engineers
slip to 2-5-2 overall.
It was the visitors who struck first in the opening stanza as sophomore Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, ON/Toronto Jr. Aeros) had an outstanding individual effort to get the Bobcats on the board. Corralling the puck at the far boards in Quinnipiac's own end, Babstock skated through the neutral zone and slid into the slot in front of O'Brien (Sussex, WI/Madison Capitols).
She fired a shot that the RPI netminder saved, but the rebound came out to the right and Babstock was there to bury it at 9:11.
The Engineers, who trailed in shots for the period by an 11-8 margin, had a number of opportunities in the frame to get on board. One of the best chances came at the 11:52 mark as senior Laura Guillemette (Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, PQ/Notre Dame) controlled the puck off the face-off and split the defense for a quick shot at Bobcats goalie Victoria Vigilante (Woodbridge, ON/Mississauga Jr. Chiefs).
In the second period, which saw the Engineers hold a 10-5 advantage, RPI had its chances but could not connect. Junior assistant captain Taylor Horton (St. Thomas, ON/Bluewater Jr. Hawks) nearly got one in after she skated through the left circle and fired a shot from the slot at Vigilanti, who made a great kick save.
The Bobcats added to their advantage in the final period with senior Jordan Elkins (Wasilla, AK/Alaska Northstar U-19) sending a slapshot from the far point past O'Brien, who was screened in front. Sophomore Amanda Colin (Burnsville, MN/Burnsville), who battled for the puck in the neutral zone, was credited with the lone assist.
Rensselaer overcame a number of obstacles in the final stanza, including a 5-on-3 opportunity for the visitors at the mid-way point, but it was still unable to find the back of the net. With three minutes remaining in the game, the Engineers pulled O'Brien in favor of the extra attacker.
Despite several chances, the Bobcats defense was on their toes as they blocked an Andie Le Donne (Toronto, ON/Durham Jr. Lighting) slapshot from the point. RPI continued to attack Vigilanti late but their four shots went wide.
In goal, Vigilanti made 21 saves for the victory, as the Bobcats held a 24-21 advantage in shots.
Rensselaer is back on the ice on Saturday, hosting Princeton at 3pm. Quinnipiac is also in action on Saturday, traveling to Union for a 3pm contest.