CLINTON, NY — The Williams College women's hockey team (1-1-0) beat Hamilton College (1-1-0) 1-0 this afternoon, tying their first series of the season 1-1. Sophomore Olivia Stokes (Pittsburgh, PA) scored the game winning goal at 18:07 in the second period, assisted by senior assistant captain Emily Krueger (Manasquan, NJ). Junior goalie Christina Cleroux made 24 saves to earn her first shutout of the season.
The Ephs started out the first period with strong offensive pressure. Both sophomore Anna Fucillo (Winthrop, MA) and senior Sara Lehman (Lexington, MA) took shots within the first two minutes of play, testing Hamilton goalie Sam Walthers'18 (Gambrills, MD).
Hamilton's offensive line responded quickly to the Ephs' pressure. Williams goalie Christina Cleroux'18 (New Glascow, NS) stayed tough between the pipes, deflecting a shot by sophomore Jenna Jewell (St. Albert, AB) from the top of the circle, and then falling on the puck to force a whistle after a scramble in front of the net.
At 7:36 the Continentals went on their first power play. However, Williams defense did a good job clearing the puck to earn the penalty kill.
The Ephs went on the power play with 5:55 minutes to go in the period, continuing to put offensive pressure on the Continentals. Senior captain Hanna Beattie (Whitehouse Stations, NJ) fired two consecutive shots on goal that were covered up by Walthers.
With 2 minutes left in the period, the Ephs received a penalty, but once again they managed to fend off Hamilton to earn their second penalty kill of the game.
Starting the second period tied 0-0, Hamilton came out strong, challenging Cleroux with two shots within the first 20 seconds of play.
Cleroux continued to stay tough between the pipes, deflecting a point blank shot at 7:15 that was then cleared by Williams defense.
The Ephs earned their third penalty kill of the game at 14:49, giving them some much needed momentum.
With just under 2 minutes to go in the period, Stokes scored her first goal of the season to make it 1-0 for the Ephs. Krueger picked up a loose puck in the Hamilton zone, and passed it to Stokes, who blasted a shot from the circle to score.
Williams head coach Meghan Gillis commented on the goal, saying, "We got pucks deep and competed hard. Our forecheck looked great, and gave Stokes the opportunity to score."
Play went up and down the ice for the first half of the final frame, with several turnovers occurring in the neutral zone.
Williams defense continued to play scrappy hockey, earning two more penalty kills at 11:36 and 15:11.
With 70 seconds left in the the final frame, the Continental offensive line carried the puck from their end up into the Williams zone to take a shot on Cleroux. After the whistle Hamilton pulled their goalie to gain a one man advantage, however they were unable to get the puck past Williams defense.
"Our penalty kill did a great job today of staying in lanes and blocking shots," reflected Gillis.
Winning the game 1-0, the Ephs ended their first series of the season tying Hamilton 1-1.
The Ephs will face off against out-of-conference opponent Oswego State for their home opener on Saturday, November 26th. The puck drops at 7pm.