Troy, N.Y. – Playing it its fourth game in eight days and starting a five-game road trip, the deck seemed to be stacked against Brown, which took on RPI Friday night. The Bears started out strong, taking a two-goal lead into the third, but with their backs against the wall, the Engineers tallied three-straight goals in the final frame. Brown continued to battle, literally and figuratively, but an empty net goal secured a 4-2 RPI win.
The first penalty call of the game at 18:44 in the first went Brown's way and gave the Bears an early five-on-four advantage. It looked as though the RPI penalty kill would prevail, but with just 23 seconds left on the power play, captain Erica Kromm (Naramata, British Columbia) and Laurie Jolin (Lachine, Qubec) set up Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) for the one-timer. Polenska slammed it home for her fifth goal of the year and a 1-0 Bear lead.
Two Brown penalties set up RPI with a two-player advantage for 1:23 and forced the Bears to rely heavily on its penalty kill unit in the first. The Bears were able to make it through the first penalty on some solid defense on an Engineer possession that did not leave the Brown zone. Once the team was at four skaters, the Bears were able to clear the puck out of the zone and successfully kill both penalties.
RPI got an early advantage in the second period after a hooking call, but the Brown penalty kill once again stood up, not allowing a shot on goal.
Brown got a power play of its own, just prior to the midway point of the second. The Bears did not take long to capitalize. Polenska found Kromm who streaked in front of the net with the puck and as she was falling towards the ice, she was able to wrap it around the sprawling goaltender to put Brown up 2-0.
At the start of the third period RPI really turned on the offensive pressure, but sophomore goaltender Katie Jamieson (Waterloo, Ontario) was up to the task, making multiple saves. The sophomore netminder was even able to turn one away as she was already on her back, facing away from the play, but was able to reach out her stick arm at the last second and stop a sure goal for the Engineers.
RPI nearly got one back at the 11:21 mark as the puck ended up in the back of the Brown net, but officials ruled that the puck was kicked in, thus negating the goal.
The Engineers seemed to feed of the no-goal as the offense continued to push and eventually broke through. At 8:31, Jordan Smelker was credited with the goal as she was set up by Alisa Harrison, cutting the Brown lead to one.
A tripping call on the Bears led to the tying goal just two and half minutes later. Using the player-advantage, Sydney O'Keefe got open and put it in for Rensselaer. 39 seconds later, Taylor Horton made it three-in-a row for the Engineers and put RPI up 3-2.
With just 66 seconds left, Brown put a flurry of shots and attempts deep in the RPI zone. However, the advances were denied by Engineer goalie Sonja van der Bliek. With tempers high, a scrum erupted after the cover-up, which landed two Bears and an Engineer in the penalty box.
Brown was forced to pull the goalie with just over a minute remaining, but RPI got the empty net goal to put the Engineers up 4-2.
Brown continues its five-game road trip tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. when the team heads over to Union.