Crugnale scored her third goal of the young season in the second period for the Crimson, but it was not enough against a pesky RPI team. (Gil Talbot)
TROY, N.Y. – The seventh-ranked Harvard women's hockey team outshot Rensselaer, 30-15, but it was the Engineers (2-5-1, 1-0-0 ECAC) who came away with a conference win over the Crimson (2-1-0, 2-1-0 ECAC) Friday night in Houston Field House.
Dylanne Crugnale registered her third goal of the season, coming from Hillary Crowe's third assist through three games, and Emerance Maschmeyer made 13 impressive saves on the evening, but it was not enough to help Harvard to overcome RPI in the end.
The first 20 minutes started relatively slow for Harvard, which allowed eight shots in the period to RPI. Both the Crimson and Engineers combined for six penalties in the opening stanza, but no one was able to convert on the power play. Ultimately, Rensselaer out muscled the Crimson for its eight targets, including Laura Horwood's strike at 16:50, which gave RPI a late 1-0 lead before the first intermission.
Just over four minutes ticked away into the second period before Crowe intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and started quickly up the ice. By the time the rush hit center ice, she fed it to Crugnale, who did the rest of the work in incredible fashion. With three Engineers converging on her in the zone, the sophomore Crimson weaved her way through the defense and eventually found the back of the net to put Harvard on the board. Maschmeyer came under fire soon after as RPI reeled off a bevy of shots, but the sophomore stood tall between the pipes to prevent any further damage before the second intermission rolled around.
The third period started with a 4-on-4 after both Marissa Gedman and RPI's Taylor Mahoney were called for penalties just over a minute in. The time floated away precariously as Gina McDonald was the only skater on the ice to get a shot off, but unfortunately for Harvard, O'Brien was there for another save.
With the pace ramped up, both teams had more attempts as the period wore on, and eventually RPI converted on its chance. With 9:57 left, Katie Rooney slid a puck across to Lauren Walsh, who poked it past a reaching Maschmeyer for the score, giving RPI a 2-1 lead.
After pulling Maschmeyer with less than a minute remaining, the Crimson opted for six skaters to try and tie things up. RPI's defense, however, made sure the Crimson didn't capitalize. O'Brien made a few stops and a couple of clears from the Engineers wasted time away until the final horn sounded and RPI still held on to its 2-1 lead.
After the loss, the Crimson returns to the ice tomorrow evening to take on Union for yet another ECAC showdown.