BRUNSWICK, ME – The Williams College women's hockey team outlasted a tough Bowdoin squad Friday night for a key NESCAC victory. Coming off an impressive 1-1 tie with top ranked NESCAC team Middlebury, the Polar Bears could not counter the Eph offense that exploded in the final frame for three goals to secure their first win at Bowdoin since 2009.
While Bowdoin has gone 8-0-1 verses the Ephs in the last nine games, the Ephs proved to be a different team this evening. Their comeback effort at Watson Arena improved their record to 10-6-1 (7-1-1 NESCAC), while Bowdoin fell to 8-7-2 (3-4-2 NESCAC).
It was Bowdoin who jumped out to a quick start, converting on a powerplay goal 4:30 into play. Ariana Bourque (West Barnstable, MA) ripped a shot, which Margaret Draper (Belmont, MA) denied, but Mallory Andrews (Sheboygan, Wis.) was awaiting the rebound and sent home a wrister to give her team an early a 1-0 lead. Madeline Lane (Topsham, ME) also collected an assist on the play.
Bowdoin would hold onto their slight advantage as they skated into the first intermission. It was Williams however, who outshot the Polar Bears in the opening 20 minutes, 13-7.
Williams' shot on goal advantage would eventually pay dividends. The Ephs evened things up 7:11 into the second frame, thanks to an equalizer from senior co-captain Cristina Bravi (Montreal, QC), her 15th tally of the season. Teammate Caitlin Conlon (Sudbury, MA) sent a cross-ice pass to Bravi in the low post, and she tipped it past Lan Crofton (Milton, MA) to put the Ephs on the board. Hanna Beattie (Whitehouse Station, NJ) also helped out on the Bravi goal.
The Polar Bears took the lead once again in the closing seconds of the middle frame. With 10 seconds remaining, Chelsea MacNeil (Moncton, NB) connected on a rebound off of teammate Aliya Feroe's (Minneapolis, MN) shot and sent one past Draper to put the Polar Bears up 2-1.
It was an all-Eph third period, with Williams registering three unanswered goals. Andree Heller (Toronto, ON) started the scoring streak after just 1:21 of play. Set up by the tandem of Natalie Bernstein (Kenilworth, IL) and Perry McCarthy (Princeton, NJ), she sent one inside the left post past Crofton to equalize.
The go-ahead goal came just one minute later, when Ashley Arnold (Boxborough, MA) sent the puck to Beattie, who took the shot. Gwendolyn Schultz (Wallingford, CT) tipped it by Crofton and the Ephs took their first lead of the night, one that they refused to give up.
While the Polar Bears pushed back and played an aggressive and complete third period, posting 16 shots to Williams' 9, Draper and the Eph defense remained impenetrable. Beattie tacked on an empty netter, assisted by Gabby Vukasin (Princeton, NJ) to seal the deal for the Ephs, 4-2.