Women’s hockey clinches third place with pair of wins over Camels

The sixth-ranked women’s hockey team swept both home games from Conn. College this weekend to stretch their unbeaten streak to 10 games. The victories over the Camels assured the Ephs of a third place finish in conference play. With one weekend left in the regular season, the Ephs should have plenty of momentum going into the NESCAC playoffs.

Williams’ most recent victory came on Sunday afternoon as they skated to an easy 4-2 victory over Connecticut. Williams dominated the game through the first two periods, out-skating the Camels and holding them to only five shots in the first 40 minutes, but the women were unable to score until Rachel Barr ’06 found the net at 12:56 of the second with an assist from Annie Snodgrass ’05.

The first goal seemed to bring the Ephs’ game into focus, and the team managed two more against Connecticut net-minder Gabby Petrill before the period had finished. At 18:51 of the period, Carrie Miller ’06 scored with assists from Taylor Tyson ’06 and Karen Thome ’03. Just 48 seconds later, Tyson scored a goal of her own, as she was helped out on a power play by Liz Hodgman ’05 and Thome, who earned her second assist of the game.

The Ephs went into the third period holding a comfortable 3-0 lead, but Conn. College’s Caley Boyd scored her team’s first goal of the weekend on a power play at 1:39 to bring the Camels back within two. Melissa Vandermyn ’06 helped the Ephs strike back quickly, however, as she scored with assists from Gigi Stender ’05 and Snodgrass on a power play goal at 6:47 of the period.

Janet Hanson of Connecticut earned a power play goal late in the third, but it was not enough for the Camels, who struggled all game to find a foothold against the Ephs’ stifling defense. Petrill stopped 32 of 36 for the game and Eph goalie Monelle Quevillon ’03 saved 10-of-12 in her final home game.

In the second game of the Ephs’ doubleheader against last-place Conn. College on Saturday night they earned a 5-0 victory thanks to a hat trick from Barr and a three-assist night from Ellissa Popoff ’06. Barr earned her first point of the night as she and Vandermyn assisted on a Snodgrass goal at 8:00 of the first period.

Williams got to Petrill again at 16:42 of the first period as Barr scored from Popoff on a power play goal. While the offense scored at will, the defense stayed strong, allowing only three shots in the first period and 11 for the game. The Ephs extended their 2-0 lead in the second period, as Meara Ryan ’05 scored from Popoff at 2:29.

Although the game was all but wrapped up by the end of the second, the women managed to maintain their intensity throughout the third period as Barr completed her hat trick with goals assisted by Vandermyn at 7:59 and Popoff and Snodgrass at 15:10 on a power play. Quevillon completed her third shutout of the season. According to Barr, the team was determined to play their game instead of playing down to the level of Connecticut, a problem which hounded the Ephs in games earlier in the season.

The weekend showed the depth of a Williams team that has been missing top goal scorer Molly Wasserman ’04 for many of the last several games due to injury. The Ephs have also been playing shorthanded on defense as Wendy Stone ’05 also missed the last few games. The team’s performance pleased Head Coach Joe Milan. “Everyone is getting a stick on the puck and our goals are a lot prettier than they were earlier in the season,” Milan said.

In earlier action in the week, the Ephs played second-place NESCAC team Middlebury last Tuesday night. Williams dropped their first game against the fourth-ranked Panthers 1-0 in Middlebury. That was a game in which the Ephs played very well, but, Barr said, “unfortunately the bounces didn’t go our way.” This time, however, the Ephs were able to eke out a 1-1 tie behind fantastic play from goalkeeper Quevillon, who saved 28-of-29 shots.

Quevillon and Middlebury goalie Kate Kogut kept the game scoreless for the first two periods, but Williams was able to notch the first goal of the game as Barr scored with an assist from Snodgrass just 31 seconds into the third. Middlebury didn’t wait long before retaliating, however, when Emily Quizon snuck past the Eph defense to score on a breakaway goal at 4:30. Neither team was able to find the net again in regulation or overtime, but the Ephs were pleased with their tie.