PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team fell to the Rensselaer Engineers tonight, Jan. 4 at Schneider Arena. The Friars were edged 3-1 in the loss, moving their overall record to 7-13-0 on the season.
RPI notched the first goal of the game with an even strength tally at 14:18 of the first period. Jordan Smelker received a pass from Delaney Middlebrook and split the Providence defensemen before firing a low shot that beat Friar goaltender Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.) five-hole.
Freshman Cassidy Carels (Bruxelles, Manitoba) tied the game at 1-1 with a goal just minutes later at 16:59 of the period. Senior Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) sent a long pass down the ice to junior Beth Hanrahan (Poolesville, Md.), who collected the puck and entered the Engineer's defensive zone. Hanrahan fired a shot on net that RPI netminder Kelly O'Brien could not control and Carels fired home a backhander for her 10th goal of the season. Both Hanrahan and Morse collected their sixth assists of the season on the play.
While on the power-play, the Friars let up a shorthanded goal to Taylor Mahoney. Mahoney put in a rebound off a shot taken by Alexa Gruschow at 10:27 of the second period. The shorthanded Engineer goal proved to be the eventual game-winner.
At the end of two periods of play the shots were even at 17 apiece, while the Friars held the edge in face-offs, 18-16.
The Friars continued to battle and outshoot the Engineers 16-4 in the third period. Providence could not find a way to beat O'Brien to tie the game. In a final push the Friars pulled Bryant for the extra skater but would take an elbowing penalty with 1:32 left to play. Rensselaer took advantage of the power-play and empty net and put the win out of reach for the Friars with a goal from Gruschow. Gruschow would notch the final goal of the game at 19:37 of the third.
The Friars went 0-for-3 on the power-play, while successfully killing four of the five penalties they took. Providence edged the Engineers in both shots (33-21) and face-offs (30-24).
The Friars and Engineers will wrap-up the two-game series tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 5 at 4:00 p.m. at Schneider Arena. It will mark the last non-conference game for the Friars as they will head into their final 13 regular season Hockey East games, starting with a road game against New Hampshire on Jan. 10.