WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The Williams College women's hockey team (8-9-3) skated to a tie tonight against out-of-conference opponent Sacred Heart University (7-14-3). At 19:43 in the second period, Sacred Heart freshman Brittany Smith (Manchester, MA) scored a top shelf goal to tie the game up 2-2.
The Ephs were off to a fast start tonight with senior Perry McCarthy (Princeton, NJ) scoring her first goal of the season at 2:38 in the first period. Sophomore Hanna Beattie (Whitehouse Station, NJ) forced a turnover on the Williams blue line and skated up the right wing to take a shot from the middle of the circle. McCarthy was waiting in front of the net to bury the puck. Senior captain Andree Heller (Toronto, Ont) helped on the goal too.
Williams put pressure on the Sacred Heart goalie and forced several rebounds. At 8:15, Williams took a 2-0 lead over Sacred Heart with a goal by junior Eliza Noyes (Concord, MA). Sophomore Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, Ont) garnered the assist, along with freshman Emily Eide (Edina, MN). Eide passed to Stevenson, who took a shot from the right point that was then tipped in by Noyes. Noyes notched her first goal of the season, while both Stevenson and Eide earned their second assists of the season.
Williams controlled play from that point on, outshooting Sacred Heart 19 to 6 in the first frame.
Junior Michaela Levine (Lititz, PA) made a great play, winning the puck in the neutral zone and taking a fast slap shot from the right point. The puck rebounded off Fontaine's pads out front, but Sacred Heart defense did a good job clearing the puck before Williams offense could take a shot on net.
With just over a minute left in the period, freshman Taylor Moreland (Pleasant Prairie, WI) received a good pass from behind the Williams net, and scored a top shelf goal 2 feet from the crease. The Ephs skated to the locker room with a 2-1 lead over the Pioneers.
Sacred Heart started the second period with more energy, earning two penalty kills - at 2:22 and 12:02. Though the Ephs kept the pressure on Sacred Heart, Fontaine played tough between the pipes and kept her team within a goal of tying Williams. Sophomore Sara Lehman (Lexington, MA) had two solid shots from the slot and Beattie had a breakaway opportunity at 13:05.
Head coach Meghan Gillis commented, "We had several chances during our power plays, but needed to capitalize on our one-man advantage."
At 18:07 in the second stanza, Sacred Heart capitalized on a Williams penalty when Smith scored a top shelf goal on Charlie Billadeau (Chaska, MN) at 19:43 to even the score at 2-2.
Play went back and forth in the third period. The Pioneers received two penalties - at 6:26 and 12:44 - and held off the Ephs with good clearing.
With 8 minutes to go, Billadeau came up with three consecutive block saves to keep the score at 2-2. Then again during overtime when there was a scramble in front of the Williams net, Billadeau fell on the puck to stop a goal.
With a minute to go in overtime, Heller forced a turnover on the Williams blue line and skated up the left wing. She took a shot from the middle of the circle that was deflected in front of the net, but Williams wasn't able to get a goal out of the scramble.
Williams played an aggressive game tonight, outshooting the Pioneers 59 to 19, but Sacred Heart goalie Amanda Fontaine (Northfield, MA) played a solid game to keep her team tied with Williams.
"We did a good job taking a lot of shots tonight, but needed a stronger presence in front of the net to tip in loose pucks," commented head coach Gillis.
The Ephs face off against NESCAC opponent Middlebury this Friday at Lansing Chapman Rink. The puck drops at 7pm.