Williamstown, MA-After a much-needed Thanksgiving Break, the women's hockey team (1-2-0) returns to the ice with fresh legs and a week of practice under their belt. The Ephs won their first game of the season against the Oswego St. Lakers (3-5-0), with a 5-0 shutout.
The women were fired up from a disappointing opening weekend against Hamilton. The Ephs came out of the gates storming and took control of the game immediately. Both teams had wide-open opportunities during the first half of the first period but as soon as the Lakers got their first penalty, the Ephs capitalized.
Laker freshman Katie Mlostek was called for checking at 10:01 and a Williams goal was scored just 34 seconds later. With half of the goals scored against the Ephs last weekend coming from penalties, it was a refreshing change of pace when the Ephs were able to score one for themselves. The goal came at 10:35 by senior Alex Lovaas. Lovaas tipped in a shot coming from the blue line from senior Kearan Burke. Lovass was also assisted by classmate, Candace Lu.
Just 10 seconds went by when Williams extended their lead. Junior Abby Brustad scored at 10:45 taking her own rebound from Laker netminder sophomore Alex Samonek's pad. Brustad was assisted by juniors Annie Rush and Claire Mancheski.
Junior Annie Rush was called for a tripping penalty at 13:25 but even a man-disadvantage was no match for what seems to be a reinvented Williams team. The Ephs' special teams really upped their game putting pressure on the Lakers' defensemen in their zone to run out the clock.
A short-handed goal gave the Ephs a three goal lead from Lovass' second goal of the game. Her brilliance with puck-handling was showcased when she took control of the puck in the neutral goal. She skated through the Laker's zone and backhanded into the top shelf. The goal came at 14:51.
But three goals just wasn't enough for the Ephs. A late period goal was scored at 16:08 when Brustad tipped in a cross from senior Eliza Quigley. Laker netminder Samonek had initially saved Quigley's shot but the loose puck was left for Brustad with a wide-open net.
With such an exciting first period, the Ephs went on the defense to maintain their four goal lead. The defense line, with the help of Eph netminder senior Christina Cleroux, the Ephs kept their four goal lead through the second period.
Likewise, the third period saw a lot of Lakers resilience as they tried to claw their way towards the Eph lead. The Ephs, instead, powered through the Laker offense line and scored yet another goal.
Senior Williams goalie Christina Cleroux saved all 28 shots thrown at her for her first shutout for the season.
"Special teams were a huge differential between this weekend and last weekend for us," head coach Meghan Gillis said. "We know Oswego will be ready to go tomorrow so we hope to build off today."
The Ephs will face-off Oswego St. tomorrow at 3pm.