BRUNSWICK, ME —The Williams College women's hockey team (6-4-0) defeated NESCAC opponent Bowdoin (7-2-2) 2-1 in a thrilling game this afternoon. Senior Sara Lehman (Lexington, MA) scored the game winning goal with under a minute left in the final period. The Ephs are now have a conference record of 4-2-0, while the Bears have a record of 2-1-1.
The Ephs and Bears for most of the first period. However Williams took the lead, going up 1-0 at 14:56 with a goal by senior assistant captain Caitlin Buckley (Mahopac, NY). Junior Alex Lovaas (Wayzata, MN) laid it over to Buckley, who made two great moves past two Bowdoin players. She then backhanded the puck short side for the goal.
Williams held onto their lead for the remainder of the first period, and throughout the second as well: the Ephs outshot the Bears 16 to 3.
With just under 13 minutes left in the second frame, junior goalie Christina Cleroux (New Glasgow, NS) made two consecutive saves to maintain Williams' 1-0 lead.
Then at 14:30, sophomore Eliza Quigley (Marblehead, MA) took a shot from the top of the circle that bounced off St. Denis' pads out into the slot. However St. Denis made a great play, diving onto the puck before Williams offense could shoot it past her.
With one second left in the second frame, the Bears received a penalty that carried over into the first two minutes of the final period.
Bowdoin started off the third frame with strong defensive play, earning their first penalty kill of the game.
At 9:07, Williams went on the power play again, putting pressure on St. Denis in goal. Both Caitlin Buckley and sophomore Abby Brustad (Mound, MN) had scoring opportunities, but St. Denis stayed tough between the pipes to fend off the Ephs.
The Ephs received their first penalty of the game at 11:38 in the final frame. Twenty seconds into the Bears' power play, freshman Katie Leininger (Newton, PA) scored to tie up the game 1-1, assisted by juniors Brigit Bergin (Natick, MA) and Jill Rathke (Burlington, VT).
Both teams played with urgency for the remainder of the game, forcing several turnovers in the neutral zone. With 32 seconds left, Lehman scored her fourth goal of the season, making it 2-1 for the Ephs. Lehman received a centering pass from Brustad, who rifled the puck past St. Denis.
Bowdoin controlled the puck for the last 30 seconds of play, firing several shots at Cleroux. However the junior goalie stayed big in net, making the final score 2-1 for the Ephs.
"I'm happy that we had a quick turn around this afternoon," commented Williams head coach Meghan Gillis.
Cleroux made a total of 16 saves, while St. Denis made 39.
Williams faces off against out-of-conference opponent Buffalo State at Lansing Chapman Rink this Tuesday. The puck drops at 2pm.