Jan. 10, 2010


Courtesy of RPI

TROY, N.Y. – Senior winger Whitney Naslund (Bloomington, MN/Bloomington Jefferson) redirected a shot in front at 4:43 of the second period to tie things up and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) women’s hockey team held strong for a 1-1 draw against third-ranked Clarkson University on Saturday. The Engineers are now 7-9-5 and 4-3-3 in conference play, while the Golden Knights are now 15-4-2 and 9-1-1 in ECAC Hockey.

The game saw an outstanding goaltending effort on both ends of the ice as RPI’s Sonja van der Bliek (Toronto, ON/Toronto Jr. Aeros) made 33 stops, including 14 in the first, nine in the second and third stanzas and one stop in overtime. Clarkson’s Lauren Dahm (Baldwinsville, NY/Syracuse Under-19) had 31 saves, stopping 10 in the first period, 14 in the second, five in the third and two in sudden death.

Clarkson got things going in the first stanza after sophomore Brittany Murphy (London, ON/London Jr. Devilettes) scored unassisted at 11:21. Swarming around the RPI defense in its own zone, Murphy capitalized on a turnover just inside the blueline and rifled the puck five-hole on van der Bliek for the score.

Rensselaer came out strong in the second stanza, firing a number of shots at Dahm in the hopes of evening things up. The Engineers effort paid off at 4:43 as Naslund scored her team-leading 11th goal of the season on the power play.

Off a pass from the near point by sophomore Amanda Castignetti (Anchorage, AK/Shattuck St. Mary’s), senior Laura Gersten (Queensbury, NY/Troy-Albany Ice Cats) sent a quick shot from high in the slot which was redirected in off the stick of Wright at 4:43.

Both teams skated through a scoreless third period, which saw momentum shift back and forth at each end of the ice. Clarkson came out firing, peppering van der Bliek with several close range shots, including a quick shot in the low slot by sophomore Juana Baribeau (Amos, PQ/Lafleche College), which the RPI netminder shut down with a quick glove stop.

The Engineers got things going at the other end of the ice, seeing quality shots off a number of sticks, but RPI was unable to get one past Dahm, who stopped five shots in the period. Naslund had a chance on a breakaway, but couldn’t get the shot off on the backhand before sliding toward the boards.

RPI’s penalty killing unit came up solid late in the game as freshman Clare Padmore (Toronto, ON/Toronto Jr. Aeros) was called for interference with 2:02 remaining. The defense blocked 15 of Clarkson’s shots in the stanza, including six during the kill, and held on for overtime.

In sudden death, the home team caught a break with just over a minute remaining as Clarkson’s Kali Gillanders (Kyle, SK/Swift Current Diamond) was called for body checking, but they could not grab the go-ahead tally.

Rensselaer returns to action next weekend when they head to Brown and Yale on Friday (7pm) and Saturday (4pm). Clarkson is also in action on Friday and Saturday, traveling to #1 Mercyhurst for a two game set.