TROY, N.Y. – Three different players scored for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) women's hockey team in a series-opening 3-0 victory over the University of Connecticut, on Friday night at the Houston Field House. With the win, the Engineers improve to 2-4-1 overall, while the Huskies drop to 2-2-0.
Sophomore Makenna Thomas (Hartland, WI/Chicago Young Americans) got the scoring started at 5:45 of the first period, taking a long outlet pass from freshman Kirsten Iwanski (Marquette, MI/Northern Cyclones) and flipping a shot over the arm of UConn junior netminder Annie Belanger (Sherbrooke, PQ/Team Quebec U-18) for her third goal of the season.
The Engineers made it 2-0 late in the second, when junior Amanda Kimmerle (Anoka, MN/Anoka High School) scored on a slap shot from the blue line. Taking a feed from sophomore Jaimie Grigsby (Whitby, ON/Whitby Wolves), Kimmerle launched the puck through a screen and past Belanger for her first of the year and third of her career, at 17:48 of the frame. Sophomore Taylor Schwalbe (Anchorage, AK/Shattuck St. Mary's) picked up the secondary assist.
Senior defenseman Hannah Behounek (Minnetonka, MN/Minnetonka High School) capped the scoring at 8:59 of the third, stealing the puck in the offensive zone and firing home her third of the year.
UConn's best chance to score came with under five minutes to play, with a power play and Belanger pulled for an extra skater. RPI sophomore goaltender Lovisa Selander (Sollentuna, Sweden/SDE Riksserien) made four consecutive saves, including a point blank stop with her left pad to preserve the three-goal lead and the shutout.
RPI finished with a 41-21 advantage in shots, including 22-4 in the first period. The Engineers went 0 for 4 on the power play, while UConn was 0 for 3.
Belanger (2-2-0) had 38 saves on the night, while Selander (2-3-1) turned away 26.
Both teams are back in action tomorrow afternoon for the series finale (3pm).