Harrison, New York - The Williams women's hockey team made the long trek down to Harrison New York to take on the Manhattanville College Valiants (7-7-1; 4-2-0 MAC). The Ephs (9-3-3; 4-2-3 NESCAC) looked to keep their 2018 campaign undefeated in this non-conference matchup, trying to extend their undefeated streak to 6 games.
In the contest, Williams was able to break through first, similar to what they have done over the past 3 games. Following a nice feed from freshman Meghan Halloran, freshman Bryne Puppe was able to slide one past the Valiant goaltender, Junior Rose Pijaca. With just under 4 minutes left in the first period, following the goal by Puppe, Williams took a 1-0 lead. However, Manhattanville quickly fired back, scoring an equalizer just 2 and a half minutes later. Valiant senior Sarah Sinning, off of a pass from senior teammate Jennifer Machin, was able to fire one past Ephs senior goaltender Christina Cleroux. With just over a minute remaining in the period, the Ephs surrendered the lead, a lead they wouldn't see again for roughly another 35 minutes.
At the conclusion of the first period, despite a 1-1 score and a tie game, the Ephs heavily outshot the Valiants and looked poised with their shot totals to take the lead back.
As the second period began, an aggressive Valiant attack caught the Ephs on their heels. Manhattanville was able to net 2 goals in 12 minutes in the second period. The first was scored was Senior Karly Kapur and was assisted by Senior Maeve O'Brien at just 3 and a half minutes into the period and the second was scored by junior Morgan Wilm off of assists by junior Ellis Smith and senior Monika Molnar. Following the two goals to open the second period for the Valiants, the Ephs found themselves in a 3-1 hole. In a 2 goal game, the next goal is always the most important, as it can either build a 3 goal lead, effectively shutting a team down, or it can cut the lead to one, where just one shot can tie the game.
Williams must've known this, because following Manhattanville's third goal, Williams locked down on defense and began to push back on offense. Following 2 penalties on the Valiants, the Ephs were left with a 5-on-3 powerplay, they were able to capitalize on the Manhattanville mistakes. On the advantage, Williams got that much needed second goal, where sophomore Amanda Reisman was able to deflect a shot taken from the point by Puppe, which slid past valiant goalie Pijaca. This made the score just 3-2 in favor of the valiants, and that score went into the second intermission, with the Ephs carrying all the momentum.
In the third period, the Ephs carried over the momentum, netting the equalizer just 3 minutes into the third. Freshman Avery Dunn was able to equalize the game at 3-to-3 off of a feed from freshman Gabbi Montembeault. With the game back level pegging, both teams settled down playing about 12 minutes of scoreless hockey, despite the Ephs carrying the play in that span. However, the Ephs were not finished. With just under 5 minutes left, a dramatic play unfolded. Off of a pass from Reisman, junior Abby Brustad took a shot which rang off of the crossbar, which Halloran was then able to finish past goaltender Pijaca. After trailing 3-1 midway through the second period, the Ephs had stormed back, taking a 4-3 lead over the Valiants. For the remaining 4 minutes, the Valiants were unable to muster any quality scoring chances for the remainder of the game. This meant that the Ephs had completed the comeback, coming back from 2 down to win the game by 1 at a score of 4-3.
"I thought that we played a really composed third period," Ephs head coach Meghan Gillis commented after the game. "The team came together to get the win."
The Ephs remained undefeated in 2018, making it their 6th game of 2018 without a loss. After a 3 game road-trip that included trips to Maine and to southern New York, the Ephs will return home this weekend. This weekend, they will take on Connecticut College in a two game doubleheader. The next game is this Friday night at 7PM in the Lansing Chapman Rink in Williamstown, Massachusetts.