HAMILTON, N.Y. — Senior Kari Rabatin scored with 2:03 remaining in overtime to lift new D-I independent Rensselaer (3-0-0) to a 3-2 victory over Colgate (0-1-0) in the Raiders’ season opener on Friday night at Starr Rink. The win is RPI’s first over a member of a D-I conference.
Rabatin took a pass from Emily Donowick and wristed one between the pads of Colgate goaltender Brook Wheeler just as she entered the offensive zone at 2:03 of the extra session to seal the victory for the Engineers.
After a scoreless first period, Rensselaer ignited its offense scoring two unanswered goals within 1:41 in the second stanza. Melissa Boik scored a power-play tally at 5:39 when she received a pass at the right point from teammate Kelly Barbera who was behind the net. Boik kept the puck in along the side boards and rifled a shot between Wheeler’s legs for the goal.
Nicole McDonald jarred home a rebound at 7:22 to give the Engineers the two-goal cushion. The initial shot by Laura Menken was a backhander in the slot, but with a lot of traffic in front of the net Wheeler was heavily screened as McDonald slipped the puck past her.
Colgate returned to the ice in the third with a vengeance. Freshman Ruth Fish tallied her first collegiate goal when she tipped home a Tara French slap shot from the blue line on the Raider power play at 4:51. Fish was situated to the right of the goaltender Rosina Schiff when she chipped it under Schiff’s arm to cut the lead to one.
French evened the game at two apiece, when she wristed a shot into the upper left corner of the net from the left point after an offensize zone face-off win by Becky Irvine (Lakeview, N.S.) at 6:57.
Colgate out shot Rensselear 36-15, with Wheeler making 12 saves for the Raiders and Schiff turning away 34 for the Engineers.
The win breaks Colgate’s five-game unbeaten streak in the series, as Rensselaer has not defeated the Raiders since 1998. Today’s game was also the first overtime victory in the series, as the teams have played to three overtime ties previously.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night, this time at the Houston Field House in Troy, N.Y. Face-off is at 7 p.m.