Women’s hockey beats Colby, loses two during tough stretch

The women’s ice hockey crew resumed conference play last week after a nine-day rest following their successful Midwest road trip.

Those games, in which the Ephs took two-of-three from highly-ranked teams, served as a shot of confidence for the Ephwomen.

Their schedule remained merciless, however, as the women were pitted against the top three NESCAC teams over the course of five days.

In those three games, the Ephs beat Colby after losing hard-fought games to Bowdoin and Middlebury.

The Ephs faced Colby on Saturday afternoon, who sat in third place in the NESCAC standings.

The skaters from Williams made it clear, however, that the White Mules were a step below their competition as the Ephs dominated from the first drop of the puck.

In the first period, the Ephs out-shot the Mules 7-1 and came away with the game’s first goal of the stick of Molly Wasserman ’04 from Liz Toomey ’03 and Ellissa Popoff ’06 at 11:49.

The goal by Wasserman was her team-leading 10th of the season. Wasserman’s goal total ties her for third in the NESCAC.

In the second period, Williams out-shot Colby 16-to-2, but the Mules came away with the only goal, a score from Jill Young assisted by Kate Sweeney and Heather DeVito at 18:13 of the period.

The period ended with the score tied 1-1, but the Ephwomen came out firing on all cylinders for the final period, with 23 shots on goal to the Mules’ four.

The Ephs got to Colby goaltender Lynn Hasday in the final period also, as Carrie Miller ’06 scored her fourth goal of the season from Julia Karoly ’03 at 4:33.

Wendy Stone ’05 scored a power play goal from Liz Hodgman ’05 and Taylor Tyson ’06 at 11:44 to give Williams a 3-1 victory.

Earlier in the week the Ephs faced Bowdoin, the number two-ranked team in the country.

A large crowd was on hand to watch the match against the undefeated Polar Bears. The game marked the seventh time this season that the Ephs faced off against a top-10 team.

Bowdoin jumped out to an early lead with a power play goal by Katherine Duglin, assisted by Britney Carr at 8:15 of the first period.

Williams responded less than three minutes later at 10:59 of the period, as Annie Snodgrass ’05 and Jackie Goff ’06 assisted on a goal by Wasserman.

The first period ended with the score tied 1-1, and with each team tallying seven shots on goal.

After dominating a scoreless second period, the Polar Bears continued to out-skate the Ephs in the third period, and scored the go-ahead goal at 8:27.

The goal by Marissa O’Neil was assisted by Shelly Chessie and Carr. Williams continued to play hard, and finished the period with a 10-7 advantage in shots, but opposing goalie Emily McKissock was too much, holding Williams scoreless in the last two periods and stopping 20 of 21 for the game.

Bowdoin finished with a 3-1 victory on an empty net goal by Chessie from Beth Muir at 19:20. Monelle Quevillon ’03 saved 19-of-21 shots on goal.

The Ephs’ first game back from break was a road game against Middlebury. At the time, the Panthers were the top NESCAC team, undefeated in conference play, and the fourth-ranked team in the country.

Once again, the Ephs failed to capitalize on their scoring opportunities, and a lone goal by the Panthers gave Williams a heartbreaking 1-0 loss.

Middlebury’s offense is ranked fourth nationally, netting an average of 5.45 goals a game behind the duo of Amber Neil and Kristin Reid, who have combined for 23 goals this season.

The Ephs played stellar defense as they held the Panthers scoreless through the first two periods.

Williams managed to out-shoot Middlebury in both periods, 5-to-3 in the first and 7-to-5 in the second, but could not find the net.

In the final frame, Middlebury out-shot the Ephs 9-5, and, more importantly, scored the game’s lone goal.

On assists from Erin Neil and Lindsay Jones, Audrey Pellerin beat out Quevillon at 5:28 of the period.

Quevillon managed to stop 16-of-17 shots against her for the game, but Middlebury goaltender Kati Madouros was one better, turning away all 17 of the shots managed by the Eph offense.

After two tough losses, the Colby win was critical for the Ephs, as it kept alive their hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament later in the season.

Quevillon finishes up the week with a1.53 goals against average and a .924 save percentage.

After Wasserman scored or assisted on seven straight goals for the Ephs, the end of the Colby game showed that there may be other women ready to step up and create scoring opportunities.

Despite dropping two of their three games, it remains clear that the Ephs can still play with the top teams in the country.

Hopefully, the young team can continue putting the puck in the net as they continue at home this Saturday and Sunday against Hamilton and Amherst.

The Ephs beat Amherst on the road 4-1 earlier this season, but lost 4-2 at Hamilton.