Women’s hockey 2-1 in Midwest

Women’s ice hockey finished up winter break with a successful road trip through the upper Midwest. In thrilling fashion, the emerging Ephwomen took 2-of-3 from highly-ranked colleges in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

As a result, the team improved its overall record to 5-4-1 and its national ranking from seventh to fifth.

The Ephs played their first two games of the weekend at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus. In their first game on Thursday, the women were pitted against then fifth-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Both teams were held scoreless through a hard-fought first period, with the Ephs out-shooting Stevens Point 8-to-2. The Pointers broke the deadlock at 6:25 of the second period on a goal by Emily Treachout. Tough goaltending and defense by Stevens Point didn’t allow the Ephs a break until 6:42 of the third period, when one of the Pointers covered the puck with her glove in the crease, resulting in an automatic penalty shot.

Molly Wasserman ’04 easily put the puck past Pointer goalie Diane Sawyer to score her seventh goal of the season and even the score.

The game remained tied through regulation and went into overtime, when, after only 32 seconds, Annie Snodgrass ’05 scored the winning goal from Wasserman and Melissa Vandermyn ’06.

The goal was Snodgrass’ first goal of the season and the assist was Vandermyn’s second. Goalie Monelle Quevillon ’03 completed another impressive performance, finishing with 16 saves on 17 shots.

The second game of the weekend came two days later against the home UW – River Falls Falcons. This game started in a similar fashion, with the Ephs dominating at first only to fall behind on the Falcons’ only shot of the first period, a goal by Jenny Conzemius at 18 minutes, 39 seconds.

The score remained the same throughout a freewheeling second period in which the Falcons out-shot the Ephs 9-8. Williams tied it up at 8:43 of the third period on a power play goal by Elissa Popoff ’06, her second of the season.

Regulation ended in a 1-1 tie and the Ephs went into overtime and, once again, quickly dispatched their opponents. This time, Wasserman put the puck past Falcon goalie Marlene Yaeger on a rebound from Julia Karoly ’03 at 1:27 of overtime. It was Wasserman’s eighth goal of the season and her second game-winning goal.

Overall, the Ephs dominated, out-shooting the Falcons 33-15. In the final game of the weekend, the Ephs faced the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties in St. Peter, Minn. Williams opened up the scoring early with a goal by Vandermyn from Wasserman at 4:40 of the first. The Gusties didn’t waste any time tying it up with a goal by Laura Stypulkowski at 5 minutes, 57 seconds. The first period ended with the Ephs out-shooting the Falcons 10-9.

Williams dominated the first half of the second period, eight shots to one, but were unable to put the puck in the net. The Gusties took advantage by scoring two quick goals in the second half of the period.

Joseffin Pettersson put in a power play goal at 16:21 and Katie Deschneau followed up just 26 seconds later with a goal at 16:47 of the second. Despite out-shooting Gustavus 24-19 for the game, Williams was unable to put any more goals past Falcon net minder Anne Kautzer and returned home with a 3-1 loss in its final game.

Despite the loss in their final game, the women should take heart in their strong weekend performance. Wasserman notched five points to increase her team-high total to 13 and Vandermyn continued to show that she is an offensive threat by tallying a goal and an assist. Quevillon also continued her dominating ways and now owns a .926 save percentage with a 1.59 goals against average.

The Williams team defense is now ranked 8th nationally. The offense has had plenty of opportunities, but the women will have to start finding ways to put the puck in the net if they hope to have any success against top NESCAC rival Middlebury as conference play resumes on Tuesday.

The Ephs’ next home game is against Bowdoin on Friday. The Polar Bears are the nation’s second-ranked team and their stifling defense, which has allowed only seven goals all year, will prove a difficult test for the Williams goal-scorers.