WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — The Williams College women's hockey team (12-8-0, 8-6-0) had a decisive victory tonight, beating Trinity College (10-8-1, 4-7-1) 4-0. Freshman Annie Rush scored the game-winning goal at 9:37 in the second period, earning her first collegiate goal. Sophomore goalie Christina Cleroux (New Glascow, NS) made a total of 22 saves this afternoon, earning her 3rd shut-out of the season.
The Ephs came out ready to fight after their loss against Trinity last night. Junior co-captain Hanna Beattie (Whitehouse Station, NJ) took a shot from the point within the first minute of play that was deflected by sophomore goalie Sydney Belinskas (Port Orange, FL) into the corner. Junior Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, ONT) continued to put pressure on Trinity's goalie, carrying the puck up the boards to take a backhand shot right afterwards.
Williams kept control of the puck on the power play starting at 9:57, but Belinskas stayed big in net to hold off the Ephs.
The Ephs received penalties at the same time as Trinity. Williams earned two penalty kills, highlighting their strong defensive play. They currently hold a 94% penalty kill rate for the season.
Play continued up and down the ice for the remainder of the period, with Williams outshooting Trinity 11 to 7 going into the second frame.
"We focused on increasing traffic in front of the net going into the second," reflected Williams head coach Meghan Gillis, "we did a better job of taking more shots as well and it paid off. In particular Noyes, Buckley and Rush provided a spark for our team as they were all on the ice during our first two goals."
Building momentum off a penalty kill, Williams took the lead 1-0 with a goal by Rush at 9:37. Junior Caitlin Buckley (Mahopac, NY) passed it to senior co-captain Eliza Noyes (Concord, MA) who skated around the Trinity net for a wrap around shot. Belinskas deflected Noyes' shot out to Rush, who buried the puck for the goal.
The Ephs kept the pressure on the Bantams when senior Talia Simon (Carlisle, MA) scored to go up 2-0. Noyes and Rush were fighting for the puck on the boards, and got the puck to Simon. While Buckley screened the Trinity goalie, Simon took a shot from the point to score.
Williams continued to control play for the remainder of the period, getting several shots on goal during a Trinity penalty at 14:13.
The Ephs continued their disciplined play in the third period. Sophomore Kearan Burke (Shrewsbury, MA) showed great individual effort to score a short-handed goal at 5:37. Intercepting a Trinity pass, Burke beat both Trinity defenders and took a shot that Belinskas deflected. Chasing the rebound, Burke dove to take another shot, going full speed into the boards behind the Trinity net to score the goal.
Leading 3-0, Williams remained relentless for the last 15 minutes of play, displaying good speed chasing down pucks and creating offensive chances.
"This afternoon we played a full sixty minutes of hockey for the first time this season," reflected Coach Gillis.
Cleroux earned a shut-out making 22 saves, while Belinskas made 28.
The Ephs face off against out of conference opponent Oswego State next Friday at 7pm.