STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut women's ice hockey team overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Rensselaer by a score of 3-2 on Friday afternoon at Freitas Ice Forum. Kayla Campero (Wallingford, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal for Connecticut in dramatic fashion 3:44 into overtime to clinch the win. The Huskies earn their second win of the season and improve to 2-4-0 with the victory while the Engineers drop to 1-4-1 in the defeat.
Rensselaer opened the scoring at 8:37 of the first period on a rebound opportunity. Toni Sanders crossed the blueline into the RPI offensive zone carrying the puck in with a numbers advantage in a two-on-one opportunity. Sanders fired a low shot from the tops of the circles that UConn goalkeeper Sarah Moses (New Hamburg, Ontario) turned aside with her right pad, kicking the rebound to the right side of the ice. Fresh out of the penalty box, Engineers forward Ali Svoboda went wide on the play, pouncing on the rebound and depositing an uncontested shot into the open net.
RPI took advantage of a power play at 16:13 to build a 2-0 lead over the Huskies in the waning minutes of the third period. Kathryn Schilter accepted a pass at the top of the Engineers' powerplay unit and unleashed a hard slapshot that snuck through traffic and beat a screened Moses on her right side. Jordan Smelker and Taylor Mahoney earned assists on the extra-man tally.
UConn opened the second period with a quick goal to trim the lead with just thirty seconds elapsed from the clock. The Huskies used 1:52 carryover RPI penalty time to jumpstart their powerplay unit. Jessica Stott (Niverville, Manitoba) received the puck on the right faceoff dot and wristed a shot over the Piper's shoulder and into the top mesh to bring the Huskies within one. The goal is the first career tally for the freshman. Barely two minutes later, the Huskies scored a shorthanded goal to even the score at two apiece. Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, New Brunswick) snagged a neutral zone puck and skated down on the two-on-one with teammate Emily Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn.). MacDonnell dished to Snodgrass, who continued gliding in with ample time and slipped a shot under Piper's five-hole to deadlock the game.
Both teams traded chances in the third period but were unable to take control of the game in the final period of play, sending the game to an overtime period.
In the extra frame, Campero took a roughing penalty following a scramble in front of the UConn net give RPI a powerplay chance. Moses stood tall in net for UConn to stymie several quality shots. Campero would avenge the penalty with the game-winning goal, parking herself in on the RPI doorstep and slapping home a MacDonnell pass from behind the net to give UConn the victory, 3-2.
Piper stopped 18 saves in her first start between the pipes for the Engineers, dropping her first decision for an 0-1 record. Moses played big for the Huskies with 38 saves to backstop the win and improve to 2-1 on the season.
UConn and RPI will return for another round of action at Freitas tomorrow afternoon to conclude the two game set. The opening faceoff is set for 2pm.