Ephs edge Continentals, 4-3

Hadley DesMeules '16
Hadley DesMeules '16

BOX SCORE

CLINTON, NY – Williams College and Hamilton completed their weekend series this afternoon at Russell Sage Rink. Coming off last nights 4-4 draw, both teams competed equally as hard, but it was the Ephs who would squeak out a 4-3 victory.

It looked promising for the Ephs from the start after an early Hadley DesMeules (North Pomfret, VT) goal, but Hamilton was able to string together three goals before the Williams offense got on the board again. Senior co-captain Cristina Bravi (Montreal, QC) scored the game winning, 4th, and final goal this afternoon for the Ephs in the final frame.

Williams came out strong in the first period determined to get themselves back in the winning column after last night's tie to the Hamilton Continentals. As the Ephs began to find their offensive rhythm, DesMeules scored the game's first goal shortly after the puck dropped. Off a pass from Natalie Bernstein (Kenilworth, IL), DesMeules notched her second goal of the season 1:56 into the contest. She took the shot from point, sending it past Continental netminder Tori Bogen (Grosse Point Woods, MI).

A pair of penalties created a 4-on-4 situation midway through the frame, but neither side converted again until the 18:25 mark of the first period. Playing shorthanded, the Continentals pushed back and evened things up just before the first intermission thanks to a goal from Hannah Bartlett (Marshfield, MA). Hannah Jaiven (Holland, MI) collected an assist on the play.

Deadlocked at 1, Hamilton and Williams both skated into the locker room with eight shots apiece. Head coach Meghan Gillis commented on the opener, "We came out really aggressive to start the first period and scored just about two minutes in. We had good momentum throughout the first and went on the powerplay to finish the first period, but an unfortunate bounce went to a shorthanded chance to them, which they scored on."

The Continentals would continue to pressure early in the middle frame, converting on a powerplay chance 6:13 into the period. Jill Tokarczyk (N Tonawanda, NY) and Gigi Fraser (Birmingham, MI) set up Katie Parkman (Stratford, Canada), who sent a shot by freshman Eph goalie Margaret Draper (Belmont, MA) to give the Continentals their first lead of the afternoon.  

Hamilton's offense remained relentless, tacking on a third goal when Parkman strung together her second goal of the afternoon to give her team a 3-1 lead. Teammates Sara Taffe (Maple Grove, MN) and Fraser contributed to the goal, which came at 14:06. 

The eventful period was far from being over, as Williams furiously stormed back, their offensive surge lead by sophomore Michaela Levine (Lititz, PA) and junior Andree Heller (Toronto, ON).

The Ephs capitalized on the powerplay for the first time in the mini series thanks to Levine's 6th goal of the year, coming at 16:42. DesMeules slid the puck to Levine backdoor, who capitalized to halve Hamilton's lead.

Another Continental penalty would prove costly and Williams would capitalize on the man-up situation again, just three minutes after the Levine goal. Heller was back in on the goal scoring action, this time collecting her 4th goal of the season with a nice tip off a shot from Levine.

Plagued by penalties, Hamilton found themselves playing a man-down once again at the start of the final period. Using this situation and the momentum carried over from the 2nd period, the Ephs continued their offensive tirade. Bravi notched the game-winner 3:20 in, good for her 11th of the season. She was set up by Caitlin Conlon (Sudbur, MA) and Beattie. 

While it was an all-Eph third period, the Continentals added pressure in the final minutes of the game, pulling Bogen with just over a minute to play in attempt to send the contest into extra minutes. An Eph penalty then gave the home team a two-man advantage, which they used to test Draper between the pipes, firing off shot after shot. Draper remained strong in front of the net, turning away the flurry of shots that came her way, and Williams escaped with a 4-3 victory.

Draper concluded the night with an impressive 25 saves, while counterpart Bogen turned away 16 Ephs shots. 

Special teams played a significant role today, as five of the seven goals came from special teams. Commenting on the difference maker tonight, Gillis stated, "We did a great job of moving the puck quickly and finding the screens, and capitalizing on our chances. We played great in the 3rd period and played well defensively, and so we're just going to keep building on that for Tuesday's game." 

Today's victory improved Williams' record to 6-6-1 (4-1-1 NESCAC), while Hamilton dropped to 4-6-2 (0-4-2 NESCAC).

The Ephs return to Lansing Chapman Rink this Tuesday to face off against the New England College Pilgrims. The Ephs lost a heartbreaker to the Pilgrims last season, 1-0. They will attempt to avenge last year's loss Tuesday at 7pm.
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