Williamstown, MA–The Williams women's hockey (0-2-0) team fell again to the Hamilton Continentals (2-0-0). The Ephs had another game with their fair share of penalties but were able to minimize the cost to one penalty goal. The game score was 2-1.
The first period ended scoreless for both teams but there is something to be said about the energy the Ephs brought right out of the gates. After an uncharacteristic game last night, the Ephs had something to prove on the ice. They skated hard for the full twenty-minute period and kept the puck in Hamilton territory for the better part of the period. Their passes were much sharper today and, as a result, were able to put quality shots against the Hamilton team. The Ephs were not able to capitalize on any of their strategic set-ups but it was obvious that the Ephs dominated the ice.
The Eph's dominance showed in their fourteen shots in the first period on senior Continental netminder, Sam Walther, and tested her skills as a goaltender. Their 14 shots on net was matched with only five from the Continentals on Eph netminder, senior Christina Cleroux.
Each team had one penalty in the first period but each were able to successfully kill the man-disadvantage to keep the game tied at 0-0.
The Ephs carried their energy from the locker room onto the ice and managed an effortless penalty kill when sophomore Amanda Reisman was called for interference 1:40 into the period.
After taking countless shots at the Continental net, the Ephs finally breached Walther and scored the first goal of the game at 12:50 into the period. The goal came from senior captain, Emily Eide. Eide's shot from the point was deflected in front of the crease and just snuck past Walther's pad. Eide was assisted by freshman Meghan Halloren.
The Williams lead was short lived when Hamilton scored two quick goals to go one up on the Ephs. Hamilton's equalizing goal came after junior Abby Brustad was called for interference at 14:41. Just twenty seconds into the penalty kill, 15:03 into the period, the Continentals scored their first goal of the game. Cleroux had made the first save from a shot from the point but left a wide-open net for Hamilton junior, Olivia Hawes. Hawes was assisted by freshman Kate Piacenza and junior Emily Williams.
Hamilton's second goal of the game came at 16:14. The full strength goal was scored by freshman Karina Sirabian and was assisted by junior Andrea Rockey and senior Jade Alvillar. The puck was loose in front of the net and Sirabian was able to flick a backhanded shot over the shoulder of Cleroux.
First mere seconds left in the period, Cleroux made an amazing blind-sided save that minimized the Hamilton momentum going into the break. The Ephs had thought the momentum was theirs going into the locker room when Continental senior, Steph DiPietro, was called for body checking with less than a second left of the period. But, even before the third period commenced, the referees assessed the Williams bench and sent sophomore Hallie Whitmore to the penalty box.
Just 11 seconds into the third and another Williams player was sent to the box. Junior Abby Brustad was called for interference and left the Ephs with a 4v3 penalty kill when they thought they would be on the power play when they came out of the locker room.
The Ephs masterfully killed both penalties and returned to full strength. Both teams played their hearts out, Hamilton on the defense or Williams on the offense. Multiple loose pucks made it to the Continental crease but none were finished off.
Once the two-minute mark hit, Cleroux was taken off the ice to give Williams another attacker. But even with an extra man on the ice, Williams couldn't capitalize.
Freshman Brynn Puppe and junior Oliva Stokes were unsung heroes in today's game. Both showed brilliance on the ice in things that don't show up on a stat sheet. Notably, the pair's defensive plays and blocks with every part of their bodies kept it a one goal game for the Ephs.
"I thought we definitely played a lot better than yesterday; stronger showing of what this team can really do," head coach Meghan Gillis said. "We need to do a better job in front of the net at both ends, which will be a point of emphasis for us in the coming week of practice."
The Ephs will play again next week with back to back games at home against Osego St.