Williamstown, MA-The Williams women's hockey team (10-6-5, 4-5-4 NESCAC) defeated the Trinity College Bantams (5-14-0, 1-10-0 NESCAC), 2-0, for their fourth conference win. The Ephs went out hungry tonight after coming off of a disappointing weekend versus Amherst.
Freshman Brynn Puppe was on fire for the first period, using her infamous slap shot. Puppe was, however, called for hooking at 4:42. With sophomore Bantam Maggie Cusick already in the box for hooking from 3:16, the players skated 4-on-4. No goal came from the pair of penalties early in the game.
The Ephs were desperately trying to get on the board. They consistently broke through the Trinity defensive line but senior Bantam goaltender Sydney Belinskas had an eye for the Ephs tonight. Belinskas kept the Bantams in the game from the Ephs' five shots while Williams netminder, senior Christina Cleroux, was able to cover-up the Bantams' lone shot on net.
The second period was equally as frustrating as the first for the Ephs. The squad was skillful in setting up scoring opportunities but none of them could get past the Bantam netminder. The Ephs dominated the period and it showed in their 18 shots to Trinity's five. With just 27 seconds left in the period, freshman Bantam Taylor Peracchio was sent to the box. Immediately after, junior Annie Rush had the opportunity the Ephs needed to get on the board. Her slapshot from the point was tracking the back of the net until Belinskas' quick glove deflected the puck wide.
The tension between the two teams was building all through the third period. Halfway through the third, as the Bantams were about to be called for a delayed penalty. Rush centered a pass from behind the net to classmate Abby Brustad. Brustad quickly back-handed a shot, which Belinskas saved. The puck was not covered and freshman Meghan Halloran poked the loose puck into the net to give the Ephs the one -goal lead.
With the clock ticking down, the Bantams called two back-to-back time outs in the final minutes of the game. Trinity pulled Belinskas to give the Bantams a one-man advantage. The Ephs gained possession of the puck. Rush centered the puck from the corner where Brustad easily guided the puck for the Ephs second goal into an empty net at 19:37.
Off the last face-off, Trinity had one last surge of energy. The Bantams skated around the Ephs' defensemen and Trinity was able to get one back. The goal was scored by sophomore Lauren Macmaster at 19:45.
"We established a better net front presence than we have in the past and we played smart defensively when we got the lead," Eph head coach Meghan Gillis said. "We need to put chances away earlier tomorrow."
The Ephs will play Trinity again tomorrow at 3pm in Lansing Chapman Rink.