Schenectady, N.Y. – Brown took an early lead at Union on Saturday afternoon, but the team's fifth game in nine days caught up the Bears as Union scored three-straight goals to take the lead. Brown pulled out all the stops, including the goalie with 3:06 remaining, and did score with 26 seconds left, but could not tally a final goal, falling 3-2.
It was a defensive first period in Upstate New York, as both teams fought for scoring chances. Union edged Brown in shots on goal, eight-to-six. Eight different Dutchwomen accounted for each of their shots on target, while sophomore Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) continued her offensive tear as of late, tallying four shots on goal.
A hooking call on the Dutchwomen just three and half minutes into the second period set up the Bears for the first goal of the game. The power play unit worked the puck around well but it looked as though the Union penalty kill would triumph yet again. That was until freshman Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario) picked her team-leading seventh assist of the season, setting up sophomore Victoria Smith (Senneville, Quebec) for her first goal this year.
With the second period winding down, Union was able to knot up the score at one. With just 2:42 remaining in the frame, Lauren Hoffman was able to redirect a shot put on net by Elsa Perushek for her fourth goal of the year.
Union went on the power play late in the second, which carried over to third and one minute and 24 seconds into the final regulation period, the Dutchwomen capitalized on the player advantage, taking their first lead of the game.
Brown had two chances at 15:35 and 9:56 as hooking and slashing calls on the Dutchwomen gave the Bears an advantage. The Bears fired off numerous shots, but the Union penalty kill and sophomore goaltender Alan Marcinko kept Brown from tying it up.
Facing a five-on-three with just under six minutes left, the Bears could not hold off the Union attack as Ashley Johnston was able to get a piece of the shot put on net by Dania Simmonds as the puck went up and over the outstretched glove of sophomore Katie Jamieson (Waterloo, Onatrio).
With 3:06 remaining, Brown pulled the goalie to get the six-on-five advantage. With just 26 seconds reaming, the Bears got one back. Freshman Samantha Woodward (Lexington, Mass.) took the feed from senior tri-captain Samantha Stortini (Sudbury, Ontario) and put a blast on net, which was redirected by fellow senior tri-captain Erica Kromm (Naramata, Bristish Columbia) for her second goal in two games.
The Bears were able to squeeze off a few more shot attempts in the waning seconds, but none could find the back of the net as the Dutchwomen narrowly edged the Bears.
The silver lining for the Bears came in the form of Union's Pink at the Rink promotion, which raised proceeds for a young, local girl with cancer. Eight-year old Kristen Shinebarger, who suffers from Ewing's Sarcoma, was at the rink and dropped the ceremonial puck prior to the game.
The Bears continue its five-game road trip next weekend when the team travels to take on No. 2 Cornell and Colgate.
Pictured Above: sophomore defender Victoria Smith