WATERVILLE, ME -- The Williams College women's hockey team (7-6-1) beat conference opponent Colby College (8-8-0) tonight 3-1, holding the lead the entire game. A goal by senior Gwen Schultz (Wallingford, CT) in the first period, junior Michaela Levine (Lititz, PA) in the second period, and sophomore Emily Krueger (Manasquan, NJ) in the final period secured the Ephs' victory. Williams is now 4-2-1 for NESCAC play and ranked 4th in the conference. The Mules are 1-8-0.
The Ephs were off to a quick start tonight, with Schultz scoring 2:35 minutes into the first frame. Seniors Andree Heller (Toronto, Ont.) and Samantha Cutts (Keniltworth, IL) worked hard on the forecheck to generate a pass through the slot, where Schultz was waiting to receive the pass. She scored a top shelf goal on the goalie's blocker side. Schultz scored her third goal of the season tonight. Williams played tough for the remainder of the period and skated to the dressing room holding a 1-0 lead over the Mules.
The Ephs continued their strong offensive play in the second period, with Levine scoring early on at 6:32, assisted by sophomore Hanna Beattie (Whitehouse Station, NJ) and senior Caitlin Conlon (Sudbury, MA). Conlon and Beattie worked together and passed the puck to Levine, who cut the seam and scored to put the Ephs up 2-0. Along with Schultz, Levine scored her third goal of the season in Waterville.
Colby received two penalties late in the period, coming at 17:49 and 18:46. The Ephs had opportunities to capitalize on the short-handed Mules, but were unable to convert a goal.
"We developed strong offensive plays tonight, and Colby did a good job defending," reflected head coach Meghan Gillis.
Play went back and forth for the first ten minutes of the final period. Then, at 10:07, Mules sophomore Katie McLaughlin (Glenburn, Maine) got the puck past freshman goalie Christina Cleroux (New Glascow, NS) to make it a one goal game. There was a turnover on the blue line, and McLaughlin scored a top shelf goal.
The Ephs fought hard, winning corner battles and making strong passes to maintain their lead. With just over a minute to go in the period, Colby pulled their goalie and Krueger scored an empty net goal with 5 seconds left on the clock. She won the puck at the top of the circle in the Williams' end, and carried it down the ice to score.
"We got off to a quick start tonight and got on the board early. Cleroux had a solid game with a 95% save percentage," commented head coach Meghan Gillis.
Cleroux made 21 saves on the night while Jessica Thulin made 18 saves.
The Williams College women's hockey team faces off against Colby again tomorrow afternoon in Maine. The puck drops at 3pm.