Women’s ice hockey ties Bowdoin

Women’s ice hockey (1-8-1, 1-4-1 in the NESCAC) hasn’t started the new year as successfully as they would have liked. Williams fell to Colby (5-5-2, 1-2-2) and tied Bowdoin (2-5-2, 0-3-2) last weekend after losing two games earlier this month.

The Polar Bears got off to an early lead almost nine minutes into the first period when Bowdoin’s Caroline Currie scored against goaltender Denise McCulloch ’08. Williams responded with strong defense for the rest of the period, blocking 15 of Bowdoin’s attempts.

The Ephs evened the score in the second period when Sam Tarnasky ’09 netted a goal off of an assist from Tracey Ferriter ’10. Tarnasky, who is the Ephs’ leading scorer, extended her season tally to five. Despite Bowdoin’s 13 shots on goal before the end of the second period, McCulloch kept the game tied at 1-1.

Ferriter scored another goal for Williams in the third period to put the Ephs up 2-1. Soon after, Tarnasky made the score to 3-1 at 15:50 in the third period.

But Bowdoin’s Scooter Walsh brought Bowdoin to within one with minutes left in the game. Polar Bear Sam Stewart converted a rebound into a goal with less than a minute left, taking the game into overtime. Both teams remained scoreless in overtime, finishing in a 3-3 tie.

The Ephs were unable to capitalize on several powerplay opportunities as Bowdoin committed nine penalties to Williams’ four. The Ephs were outshot by the Polar Bears 47-38, with McCulloch making 44 saves.

Head Coach Shannon Bryant sees her team’s struggling season turning around with the remarkable effort evident in each game. “The focus tonight was on another sixty minutes of hard hockey,” Bryant said. “We played two solid games back-to-back.”

On Friday, the Ephs had a rough start against the Mules when Colette Finley scored for Colby just six minutes into the first period. Colby followed up ten minutes later on a breakaway goal. At 18:16, Julian scored again, giving Colby a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period.

Tarnasky put the Ephs on the scoreboard 17 minutes into the second period on an unassisted shot on the Mules’ Lacey Brown. Assisted by Torrey Taussig ’10, Kait O’Brien ’10 then put the puck in at 11:58 in the third period. Although the Ephs were within one, the Mules put the game out of reach when Finley and Comeau scored two additional goals. The game ended in a 5-2 defeat with Colby outshooting Williams 55-35. The Mules had six penalties while the Ephs committed only five.

“We were going out there to control what we could control this weekend,” Bryant said, “and there is still a lot of hockey left to play.”

Captain Caralyn Quan ’08 believes the women now have a stronger presence on the ice. “We’ve worked really hard all fall and things weren’t really clicking, but now it’s starting to show,” Quan said. “There’s something intangible now and you just feel it when it’s starting to work. I think we’re definitely getting better from this point on.”

The women are working to revitalize a season that began with a shaky start, holding on a solitary win with a 4-3 score against Wesleyan on Nov. 25.

The women will play next at Neumann on Friday.