Ephs fall to Colby 3-1

Abby Brustad '19
Abby Brustad '19

WATERVILLE, ME — The Williams College Ephs (7-5-0, NESCAC 4-3-0) lost against the Colby College Mules (5-6-3, NESCAC 3-3-1) tonight 3-1 at Alfond Rink. At 15:24 in the second period, junior captain Katie McLaughlin (Glenburn, ME) took the lead for the Mules, assisted by senior Katherine Tang (Cambridge, MA). The Ephs are now ranked 5th in the NESCAC while the Mules are ranked 6th. The two teams will face off again tomorrow in Maine.

 Williams was tested early on in the first frame, with sophomore goalie Christina Cleroux (New Glascow, NS) deflecting an up close shot by senior Breanna Davis (Andover, NH), and covering up a shot by sophomore Sasha Fritts (Darien, CT) within the first three minutes of play. 

The Ephs responded quickly, putting offensive pressure on the Mules. Senior forward Michaela Levine (Lititz, PA) took a shot from the point, and both sophomore Alex Lovaas (Wayzata, MN) and freshman Anna Fucillo (Winthrop, MA) had looks at goals with top shelf shots. However, the Ephs couldn't get past senior goalie Angelica Crites (Middleboro, MA) who stayed tall in net for the period, making a total of 9 saves.

In the second half of the period, the Ephs played strong defense to keep the score at 0-0. Cleroux showed good rebound control, making 9 saves.

With a minute left in the frame, junior Sara Lehman (Lexington, MA) made a big block off a Colby slap shot while Cleroux was screened. 

The Mules took the lead 1-0 early in the second period, with Fritts scoring her 8th goal of the season at 1:40 after a scramble in front of the Williams net.

Cleroux kept it a one goal game minutes later, when senior Megan Fortier (Falmouth, ME) charged into the Williams zone and took a shot from the slot that Cleroux deflected into the far corner.

The Ephs tied it up in the 9th minute of the second, with freshmen Abby Brustad (Mound, MN) earning her first assist of the season. Brustad forced a turnover in the Colby end, and passed it up the ice to Levine. Levine took a few steps before deeking around Crites for the goal. With her 7th goal of the season tonight, Levine continues to lead the Ephs in points.

At 11:03, the Ephs went on the power play, but were unable to capitalize with the one man advantage. The score remained tied at 1-1.

With just under 5 minutes left in the second period, junior captain McLaughlin took the lead for the Mules. She tipped in a top shelf shot taken from the left point by Tang to make it 2-1 for Colby.

Williams offense tried to turn the tables at the end of the period, with junior Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, ONT) making a rush for the Colby net, and Lehman missing a shot wide off a zone entry.

Colby went on the power play with a minute left in the period, but was unable to score another goal with the one man advantage. Williams displayed good defensive play, with Stevenson blocking a slap shot from the point.

With their penalty kill at the beginning of the third period, the Ephs continue to lead the NESCAC with their penalty kill percentage of 97.6%.

The Ephs stayed on the defensive when they received a penalty at 5:14. Cleroux maintained her strong rebound control from the first period, making a glove save and falling on a loose puck when there was a scramble in front of her net. With 27 seconds left on the Mules power play, junior co-captain Hanna Beattie (Whitehouse Station, NJ) clearing the puck the length of the ice.

Right after the Ephs earned the penalty kill, they went on the power play at 7:32 hoping to maintain their momentum. However, Crites stayed tough between the pipes, holding on to the 2-1 lead for Colby.

With 5 minutes to go in the third, Lehman had a look on net after a Colby zone entry, but couldn't get a shot past Mules defense. 

At 17:44, the Ephs pulled their goalie to play 6 on 5 hockey. Though Williams had two face offs in the Mules' end, the Ephs couldn't get the puck past Crites. With 36 seconds left in game, Davis turned over the puck and scored an empty netter to solidify the Colby lead 3-1.

"We will be focused on playing a full 60 minutes of hockey tomorrow," reflected Ephs head coach Megan Gillis, "and capitalizing on any loose pucks in the slot."

Cleroux made a total of 21 saves, while Crites made 34.

Williams faces off against Colby at Alfond Rink tomorrow at 3pm.