Saints, Engineers women skate to 1-1 draw
The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team skated to a 1-1 tie with Rensselaer on Saturday afternoon in Troy, NY. Senior captain Kelly Sabatine scored her 13th goal of the season in the third period to help the Saints earn a point in the conference standings.
St. Lawrence, now 16-11-3 (11-5-2) on the season, finished with a 37-26 advantage in shots on goal in the game. Rensselaer is now 9-17-4 (7-9-2) after earning the tie with its lone goal coming on a short-handed breakaway."That was a playoff-type game down here today," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "We played some great hockey and had a ton of chances."
Kelly O'Brien was outstanding between the pipes for RPI with 36 saves in the contest, while Carmen MacDonald made several of her biggest stops in the overtime session to ensure a point for the visitors.
Though the Saints owned a 13-2 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, O'Brien's play kept the game scoreless. The goaltenders again owned the second period with a combined 20 saves, setting up a third period showdown still tied at 0-0.
Rensselaer struck first at 1:10, as Alexa Gruschow scored her 10th goal of the season while her team skated short-handed. Gruschow took the puck in the neutral zone and moved in 1-on-1 with MacDonald, and though her shot hit off the post, it deflected off the goaltender's back and into the net for the go-ahead goal.
St. Lawrence, which had controlled much of the action throughout, would take little time in responding. Mel Desrochers got the play started, finding senior Michelle Ng in the slot. Though her shot on net was turned away, Sabatine was there to bang in the loose puck to tie the game at 1-1 at 3:17.
The two teams went back-and-forth throughout the remainder of the game, each with quality scoring bids. Ng had a great chance from the slot in overtime, and Ellie Williams nearly converted a 2-on-1 short-handed try in the extra session. Rensselaer had a power play in overtime, but MacDonald turned away several shots from Jordan Smelker, who was given a major penalty for checking at the conclusion of the 5:00 minute period.
"We weren't able to execute on some Grade-A chances that we missed the net on, and O'Brien made some fantastic saves," added Coach Wells. "All-in-all, an enjoyable game from both sides."
Both teams finished 0-for-4 on the power play. Rensselaer continues to pad its spot in the playoffs, controlling the No. 7 seed, while St. Lawrence remains two points ahead of idle Quinnipiac for fourth place. The Bobcats, who play Colgate tomorrow due to the winter storm, will square off with St. Lawrence in a game with major playoff implications next Friday, February 15 at Appleton Arena at 7:00pm.