Ephs fall to Continentals in season opener

Marissa Anderson'20
Marissa Anderson'20

Williamstown, MA–Tonight marked the opening day for winter sports. The weekend opener for the Ephs began with a back-to-back matchup against Hamilton. The Williams women's hockey team (0-1-0) fell to the Hamilton Continentals (1-0-0), 6-2. The Ephs struggled with keeping out of the box tonight. Take away Hamilton's power play goals and tonight was a one-goal game.

First period of the season was an eventful one. The period began with two early penalties from Williams College. Freshman Brynn Puppe was called for interference at 4:35. The Ephs had nearly killed off the penalty when an orchestrated three-man play gave Hamilton their first goal. The goal was scored with 10 seconds left of the Puppe penalty but freshman Continental, Missy Segall.

The second Eph penalty came shortly after the goal at 7:57. Senior Candy Lu was called for body checking. Similar to the first penalty kill, the Ephs had nearly killed off the 2-minute disadvantage when the Continentals scored yet another power play goal. Their second goal came at 9:34 when senior Steph DiPietro took a deflected puck from the back boards and stuffed it past Ephs netminder, sophomore Marissa Anderson. DiPietro was assisted by junior Andrea Rockey and sophomore Michaela Giuttari.

After the second Continental goal, the Ephs were fired up and kept the puck on the offense for the latter half of the period. There were a couple close calls, including a shot off the post, but the Ephs couldn't quite finish the plays off. It looked hopeful when the Ephs received their first man advantage when Hamilton sophomore Michaela Giuttari was called for body checking at 17:22. The Williams power play was short lived when senior Alex Lovaas took a penalty for body checking at 18:40.

Hamilton successfully killed Giuttari's penalty and the Ephs will enter the second period with 40 seconds left of Lovaas' penalty.

Just seconds into the second period, Williams racked up another penalty. Senior Kearan Burke was called for cross-checking seven seconds in, which left Williams with a 5-on-3 predicament for 33 seconds. Hamilton added to their run of power play goals with a goal 36 seconds into the period by Continental freshman Kate Piacenza. She was assisted by senior Caroline Knop and junior Emily Williams.

The Ephs successfully killed Burke's penalty. Minutes later, another Eph was sent to the box. At 5:42, senior Emily Eide was sent to the box for checking. Eide's penalty was also killed successfully killed.

Hamilton scored their first full strength goal of the game at 11:55. Junior Olivia Hawes scored the goal and was assisted by sophomore Michaela Giuttari and freshman Kate Piacenza.

The Ephs continued to put up good shots but nothing could get past Continental goaltender, senior Sam Walther. But late in the period, the Ephs got their first goal. Junior Annie Rush accepted a pass from freshman Avery Dunn from behind the net. Rush has a wide open shot and stuffed the puck over Walther's shoulder. The goal was scored at 18:57. Not even a minute had passed when the Continentals answered the Ephs goal with their fifth of the night. Sophomore Michaela backhanded her shot past Anderson to send her team to the third period with a four goal lead.

Hamilton extended their four goal lead to five with a goal two minutes into the third. Sophomore Michaela Giutarri scored her second goal of the game. Sophomore netminder Marissa Anderson was taken out of the game and senior Christina Cleroux played the remaining 18 minutes of the game. Cleroux saved all seven shots taken at her in the third period and Anderson saved nine out of 15 shots for a 71.4% record.

The Ephs were able to answer with a goal of their own 58 seconds after the Continentals scored their sixth goal. Freshman Brynn Puppe scored her first collegiate goal.

The Ephs called two time-outs during the second half of the period to get some much needed plays going but the Continental defense line and netminder were impenetrable. The game ended with the Continentals up 6-2.

"5v5 we created a lot of chances to score," head coach Meghan Gillis said. "The difference for us is not executing on our penalty kills. Tomorrow we will focus on executing on our special teams and focus on capitalizing when we are 5v5."

Hamilton and Williams will match up again tomorrow. The Ephs have a chance for vengeance at 3pm.