Williamstown, MA-- The Williams College Ephs (20-4-3) played the Middlebury Panthers (17-8-3) this afternoon in the final game of the NESCAC championship. After battling through the first two periods but remaining tied, the Ephs finally established their lead when first year Delaney Szlezyngier made a back door pass to sophomore Meghan Halloran who then scored at 9:08 into the third to win the game 3-2.
This victory is the Ephs second championship win in Lansing Chapman but first as the regular season number one seed. "We had some chances that we didn't capitalize on in the second and third but I thought the team did a great job of continuing to push and persevere", Gillis said, "I am so happy for the group of six seniors, they knew what they wanted and got the rest of the team on the same page to make it happen"
The first goal of the game was scored toward the end of the first period when sophomore Madie Leidt found the net at 16:30.
Williams was able to equalize the score at 18:32 when sophomore defender Brynn Puppe fired a shot from just right of where she scored in the semifinal game the day before to score the Ephs their first goal of the game.
After a series of penalties from both sides, the Panthers were able to capitalize on a four on three advantage when a shot deflected by junior Anna Zumwinkle with an assist from Alexis Ryan, found its way to the back of the net at 8:53 into the second to tie the game again.
With less than two minutes left in the game, the Panthers pulled Han from the goal. While this extra man advantage appeared to pay off when a Middlebury shot appeared to find the net, the goal was later taken away due to a high sticking call.
By the end of the game, Heiting had saved 23 of 25 Middlebury shots while Han had saved 19 of 22 Williams shots. "We had unbelievable composure from first year goalie Chloe Heiting", Gillis said.
"I thought that the team obviously played a great game together today", said head coach Meghan Gillis, "I thought we held tight when Middlebury had some big pushes".
This game marked the first time Williams had ever beaten Middlebury three times in a season. The victory also brought the Ephs to a record of 20 wins, tying the single-season mark set by the 2000-2001 team.
W-A-T-C-H NCAA DIII Women's Ice Hockey Selection Show Mon. March 4 at 10:00 AM EST on NCAA.com to see who, where, and when the Ephs will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.
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