TROY, N.Y. – Freshman Audrey McCutcheon netted a hat trick to pace the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) women’s hockey team to a 9-2 victory over Union College on Saturday afternoon at the Houston Field House. With the win, the Engineers improve to 2-4 overall (2-0 ECAC Hockey), while the Dutchwomen drop to 2-2-0 (0-2-0 ECAC Hockey).
RPI got the scoring started at 5:58 of the first period, when junior Marah Wagner (Langley, BC / Robert Morris) jumped on a loose puck at the Union blue and skated in for a breakaway shorthanded goal – her third of the season.
Wagner then combined with sophomore Riena Jahnke (Allen, TX / Dallas Stars) for a late first period tally, to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage. Jahnke sent pass to the right for Wagner, who sent a return backhand feed Jahnke to score her third of the season.
Junior Sarah Bukvic (Burlington, ON / Stoney Creek Sabre) followed up her own rebound 45 seconds into the second to make it 3-0. The unassisted tally came after she broke into the zone all by herself and fired a shot that was stopped by Union freshman netminder Sophie Matsoukas (Ottawa, ON). Bukvic flipped the carom over Matsoukas’ shoulder and in for her first of the campaign.
The Dutchwomen pulled a goal back at 2:24 of the middle frame on a rebound goal by junior Carmen Merlo (St. Louis, MO). Helpers on the play went to Cassidy Michalicka (Johnstown, ON) and freshman Paige Greco (Burlington, ON).
RPI answered at 10:42, when McCutcheon (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, PQ / Stanstead College) potted the first of her three goals on the night. Taking an outlet feed from Ellie Kaiser (Westmont, IL / Chicago Mission) and skated into the left side of the Union end, before firing a shot just under the crossbar.
Senior Miikayla Capelle (Dawson Creek, BC / Oakanagan Hockey Academy) and junior Maddy Peterson (Princeton, MN / Princeton) then tallied less than two minutes apart to give the Engineers a 6-1 lead.
McCutcheon stuck home a rebound at 14:24 of the second for a 7-1 lead – the Engineers’ fifth goal of the period.
Just 2:19 in the third, McCutcheon completed the hat trick when she snuck a shot inside the left post from the left circle. The tally, which came through a screen, was assisted on by junior Taylor Zahirnyi (Newtown, PA / New Jersey Colonials).
Sophomore Tayor Larsen (Bolton, ON / Mississauga Jr. Chiefs) then netted a power play goal at 6:21 of the third. Wagner and graduate student Lauren Severson (Rockford, IL / Madison Capitals) collected the helpers on The Engineers’ ninth marker of the night.
Junior defenseman Emily King (St. Paul, MN) netted her second goal of the year at 14:03 of the final period to cap the scoring.
Junior Amanda Rampado (Stoney Creek, ON / Stoney Creek Sabres) made 23 saves to earn her second straight win, while Matsoukas (8 saves) and sophomore Olivia Rinzel (Chanhassen, MN) (13) combined for 21 stops.
The nine goals are the most by an RPI team since the Engineers beat Colgate, 10-4, on November 6, 2009. The hat trick by McCutcheon was first by an RPI skater since Alexa Gruschow ’16 against New Hampshire on November 27, 2015.
RPI is back in action on October 22 and 23 when Boston College and Providence visit the Houston Field House. Union travels to Syracuse on Tuesday night.