PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown women's ice hockey team (1-7-0, 1-5-0 ECAC) battled for 60 minutes of action, but ultimately fell, 2-1, to the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (6-4-2, 1-2-2 CHA) for the second consecutive night. Senior co-captain Laurie Jolin (Lachine, Montreal) scored her first goal of the season and goaltender Aubree Moore (Bowie, MD) made 18 saves, but it wasn't enough to overcome the speed and aggression of the visitors.
The Bears skated hard from the start, keeping pressure on their opponents and forcing multiple turnovers as they fought for the puck. An RIT body checking penalty less than six minutes into the period opened up the scoring chances for Brown, as they played hungrily, keeping the puck in their offensive zone for the full duration of the penalty but failing to find the back of the net.
The penalty kill unit successfully smothered two RIT advantages in the first period, and the Bears worked to keep possession of the puck, out shooting their opponents, 8-5, but with just over two minutes left in the period, RIT capitalized on traffic around the net to score the first goal of the night. With several different Tigers attempting to get a piece of the puck, Emilee Bulleid sent a pass to the right of the net, connecting with Kourtney Kunichika, who shot through the screen for her first goal of the season. The goal, scored at 17:59 of the first period, gave the Tigers the advantage as the teams headed into the locker room.
Brown took the ice for the second period with determination and intent, again out shooting the visitors, 13-5. The Tigers responded however, as the two teams took the game to an aggressive and physical level. The Bears generated an abundance of scoring opportunities, finally capitalizing on an RIT penalty to tie the game, 1-1. Play started when Carly Payerl was called for body checking at 10:37, giving the Bears the woman advantage. Less than a minute later, co-captain Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) took a hard shot from the right of the net that bounced off of Laura Chamberlain, the Tigers' goalie. Jolin was waiting by the crease to put the rebound squarely into the back of the net.
A penalty called at exactly 20 minutes of the second period put the Bears on the power play to start the last frame of the contest, but it was the Tigers who connected, scoring a short-handed goal less than two minutes in to reclaim the lead. After a blue line shot from Lauren Vella (Staten Island, NY) bounced off the post, the puck was ushered back into the Bears' defensive zone. While several Tigers sought to break the tie, it was Erin Zach who scored the unassisted game-winner, putting the Tigers up, 2-1.
Brown fought for the next 16 minutes, with freshmen Lauren Zary (Sakatoon, Saskatchewan) and Alli Rolandelli (Minnetonka, MN) just missing on breakaways. An RIT penalty, their fifth of the game, called at 18:24 gave the Bears one last opportunity to even the score and send the game into overtime. As the teams fought for possession of the puck in RIT's defensive zone, Polenska shot from the left of the net, but when Sarah Robson (Mississauge, Ontario) attempted to put the rebound into the lower right corner, she was pushed by Tenecia Hiller. She was whistled for interferance, and Brown called a time out with just over 90 seconds to play in the period.
Electing to pull Moore, six Bears surrounded Chamberlain, seeking to even the score. With under a minute to play, the Tigers sent the puck shooting down the ice, straight for the Brown net. Junior Vanessa Welten (Crysler, Ontario) raced to the opposite end, sweeping the puck away from the crease at the last second. RIT called a time out with just 17 seconds to play, but neither team was able to strategize their way into a goal, giving the Tigers the 2-1 victory.
"We played much better today," said Head Coach Amy Bourbeau. "We really had a strong second period. We were all over them, but we just couldn't put one in. I am happy with certain aspects of our game, as we are starting to shoot the puck more and find open lanes of opportunity on the power play."
Chamberlain made 25 saves in net for RIT, while the Bears out shot the Tigers 26-20.
Brown returns to Meehan Auditorium on Friday, November 23 for its last home contest of the fall semester. The Bears will take on the Providence College Friars in the 18th annual Mayor's Cup game at 7:00pm.
RIT: 5 - 5 - 10 - x - 20
Brown: 8 - 13 - 5 - x - 26
First period –R, Kunichika (Bulleid), 17:59. Penalties: B, 2-4. R, 2-4.
Second period – B, Jolin (Polenska), PP, 12:27. Penalties: 1-2, 2-4.
Third period –R, Zach, 1:55. Penalties: R, 1-2.
Saves: B, Moore (x), 4 - 5 - 9 - x - 18. R,, Chamberlain (x), 8 – 12 - 5 - x - 25.
Three Stars: 1. Erin Zach (RIT) 2. Laurie Jolin (Brown) 3. Alena Polenska (Brown)