By Gloria Nantulya, Athletic Communications Assistant
(Troy, NY- Jan. 6, 2012) The Colgate women’s hockey team dropped its first game of 2012 on Friday afternoon when it fell to ECAC Hockey opponent Rensselaer 4-1 at Houston Field House.
Freshman Melissa Kueber scored the opening goal early in the first period with an assist from sophomore Taylor Volpe. Kueber now leads the team in goals with 10 and and is tied for second on the team with 15 points.
In the first period, Colgate (7-11-1, 2-5-1 ECAC Hockey) came out to a strong start, taking a pair of shots but could not get past goalie Kelly O’Brien. An early tripping penalty on the Raiders then led to the first power play opportunity of the game, giving Rensselaer the extra skater advantage.
After a strong defensive effort by Colgate that limited the Engineers to only one shot in the two-minute advantage, the Raiders then went on an offensive surge, firing a series of shots and eventually finding the back of the net with the opening goal at the 5:57 mark. Kueber tallied the goal after picking up the rebound from a shot by Volpe and knocking the puck into the frame. Colgate continued to hold the 1-0 lead throughout most of the stanza until the 17:10 mark when the Engineers found an equalizer to tie the game at 1-1 going into the second frame.
The Raiders came into the second period on the power play courtesy of a late penalty by Rensselaer in the first 20 minutes of play. Both teams continued to battle it out on the ice as the game became more physical, earning each team a second power play opportunity each. However, as the period progressed, neither one could find a second goal to take the lead.
Midway through the frame, it was Colgate that held a shooting advantage while keeping the Engineers scoreless in their third extra skater advantage that began at the 13:12 mark. Despite the Raiders’ efforts on both ends of the ice, it was Rensselaer that was able to claim the lead, which it never relinquished, with a goal from Eleeza Cox at the 18:07 mark to take a 2-1 advantage going into the final period.
The Engineers went on to score two late goals, first at the 18:54 mark and then on an empty net at the 19:11 mark to secure the 4-1 win.
Senior Kimberly Sass had 16 saves in the game for Colgate while Kelly O’Brien had 17 for Rensselaer. Neither team was able to score on the nine extra skater advantages.
The Raiders will look to bounce back tomorrow (Jan. 7) when they travel to Schenectady for an ECAC Hockey matchup against Union at 3 p.m.