TROY, N.Y. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team finished their trip to Troy, N.Y. with a win over the Rensselaer Engineers on Saturday, Jan. 12. The Friars defeated RPI, 3-2, in the Houston Field House. The win moves the Friars overall record to 11-9-4 and their out of conference record to 6-5-2 on the season.
Providence was first to strike with a goal 2:35 into the first period. Freshman Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Minn.) won an offensive zone face off back to classmate Lexi Slattery (Lino Lakes, Minn.). Slattery found junior Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.) on the back door, where Frade took a one-timer and put the puck high upstairs past RPI goaltender Kelly O'Brien.
The Engineers were able to even the game up 24 seconds later at 17:01 of the first period. Taylor Horton put in a puck five hole off a scrum in front of freshman goaltender Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.). Ali Svoboda was awarded the assist on Horton's goal.
The Friars kept the pressure on RPI and answered with a goal at 10:03 of the first period. Junior Maggie Pendleton (Woodbury, Minn.) found Frade with a cross ice pass through the neutral zone. Frade tipped the puck to freshman Courtney Kukowski (Apple Valley, Minn.), who entered the offensive zone with a breakaway. Kukowski fired a puck low glove side that made its way to the back of the net for her second goal of the season.
RPI took advantage of a 5-on-3 power-play during the second period. The Engineers evened the score 5:06 into the period on the power-play. Alexa Gruschow fed teammate Jordan Smelker a pass from below the goal line. Smelker fired the puck low past Bryant from above the hash marks in the slot.
With 3:06 left to play in the second period the Friars took the lead for the second time of the game. Junior Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) caught the puck on a high dump made by RPI, Morse found senior Nicole Anderson (Jordan, Minn.) across ice with a long pass. Anderson entered the zone with classmate Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ontario), Vella opened up in the high slot, where Anderson fed her the puck. Vella blasted a one-timer past O'Brien to notch her 10th goal of the season.
The Friars battled for the final twenty minutes of play to take two points from RPI. During the final minute of play RPI pulled O'Brien to give them the man advantage. With six skaters the Engineers could not convert to tie the game. The Friars outshot the Engineers 32-28. Bryant made 26 saves in the win. To catch highlights from the game follow the link below.
The Friars are back in action Sunday, Jan. 20 when they kick off their Hockey East series against Northeastern. Providence will travel to Boston, Mass. to take on the Huskies at Matthews Arena. The Friars will continue with Hockey East play after Northeastern to finish out their regular season.