The women's hockey team (2-19-3, 1-13-3 ECAC) had a vastly improved offensive showing in its away games against Rensselaer (10-12-7, 8-8-2) and Union (2-25-3, 1-15-2) this weekend. They held leads through significant portions of both games, but defensive lapses resulted in two missed opportunities to register a win and break their 10-game losing streak.
RPI 4, Brown 2
Brown capitalized on an early power play at Houston Field House when forward Alena Polenska '13 scored three minutes into the first period. Though the Bears conceded two power plays, their penalty kill put some nervous minutes to rest, killing nearly 90 seconds of a two-man advantage for the Engineers.
Erica Kromm '11 then doubled Brown's lead midway through the second period, finding the back of the net with a wrap-around goal.
Though Brown matched RPI shot-for-shot in the first two periods, the Engineers ratcheted up the offensive pressure in the third.
Goaltender Katie Jamieson '13 proved up to the task until the puck found the back of her net with less than 12 minutes to go in the game. The referees ruled that the puck was kicked in and disallowed the goal. Perhaps spurred on by the call, the Engineers surged. Forward Jordan Smelker got on the board first, scoring with nine minutes remaining.
After Kristen Jakubowski tied the game on a power-play goal, Taylor Horton slapped a shot past Jamieson just 39 seconds later — suddenly, the Bears were trailing.
Brown, desperate for an equalizer after conceding three goals in three minutes, pulled Jamieson in the last minute. But RPI took advantage of the empty net and managed to score with 16 seconds left, sealing a dispiriting defeat for Brown in a game they had controlled for all but nine minutes.
"We had RPI on their heels for a long time," said tri-captain Jenna Dancewicz '11. "A couple of minutes where we lost focus a little bit cost us the game."
Union 3, Brown 2
Brown drew first blood on Saturday, as defender Victoria Smith '13 found the back of the net after a pass from defender Jennifer Nedow '14 five minutes into the second period. But the steady Union offense tied the game twelve minutes later, and the teams went into the third period tied at one.
Union then seized the lead early into the third period, as Jeannie Sabourin took advantage of a power play and found the back of the net less than 90 seconds into the frame. With six minutes left in the game, Union scored again. The Dutchwomen made the most of a five-on-three, with Ashley Johnston tallying her first goal of the season to put Union up 3-1. Brown pulled its goalie with over three minutes left, and, this time, the move paid off — Polenska scored for the second-straight night to bring Brown within one. But the equalizing goal ultimately proved elusive.
"In both games, we were strong in the first period," Dancewicz said. "We need to keep up that energy through the whole game. We had a lot of confidence going into these games and scoring those early goals built on that. But we have to keep our focus through all three periods — particularly the third period."
The Bears have gone 18 straight games without a victory and are currently in the midst of a ten-game losing streak. But Dancewicz said the team is still optimistic about the remaining five games in the season.
"We're really hungry for a win," she said. "We're looking to stay positive and keep working hard. We want to end the season on a good note, and we're going to keep our heads up."