Women’s ice hockey shuts out St. Anselm

Women’s ice hockey (5-5-1, 4-1-1 in NESCAC) defeated St. Anselm on Saturday, snapping a two-game losing streak and finishing a four-game road trip. In the weeks since the break, Williams defeated Wesleyan 5-0 on Jan. 8 but fell the next night at Trinity, their first conference loss of the season, and lost to Utica 1-0 on Jan. 13 for the second time this season.

On Saturday, Williams avenged a 4-3 loss from last season against St. Anselm with a stellar team effort, including a tremendous performance from co-captain and goaltender Sara Plunkett ’10, who stopped all 27 Hawks shots on goal en route a 3-0 Eph shutout. Williams capitalized on nine St. Anselm penalties with two power play goals, and controlled the pace of the game with team defense and strong forechecking.

Williams first struck 12 minutes into the first period, as Sam Weinstein ’13 scored a power play goal with assists from co-captain Tracey Ferriter ’10 and Allison Page ’11. The Ephs staved off two of the Hawks’ power play opportunities later in the opening period to maintain a 1-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

The Ephs were able to pull away in the second with unrelenting offense and defense. Stephanie Berger ’11 notched an unassisted goal at the 15:16 mark. Williams later took advantage of the four St. Anselm penalties committed in the period, as Kristen Tubbs ’12 added another insurance goal on a power play in the final minutes of the period, with Torrey Taussig ’10 assisting on the goal.

The third period was marked by stellar defensive play from both sides, as the Ephs fought to protect their 3-0 lead. The Williams defensive front was able to prevent quality looks, and Plunkett stopped all 11 shots on goal to complete the shutout as the Ephs hung on to win.

Williams Head Coach Marissa O’Neil was very satisfied with Saturday’s victory, particularly given that the Ephs had dropped two straight headed into the contest. “It was an overall great performance,” said O’Neil. “Everybody stepped up from the goalie on out,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil particularly praised the performance of Plunkett and the team’s defense. “It all starts on the defensive end,” she said. “We won by focusing on team defense, and that led to offensive chances.”

The Jan. 13 matchup with Utica followed the same pattern as the teams’ December contest. The Ephs, despite outshooting the Pioneers, were not able to respond to the only goal of the game, which was scored midway through the first period. Plunkett stopped 24 Utica shots, while the Pioneers’ Jill Doherty prevented all 26 Williams attempts on net.

On Jan. 9, Williams fell to Trinity 5-1, unable to stop its opponents’ offensive rush after the first goal of the game was scored in the first four minutes. The Ephs only registered 14 shots, but did manage to get on the board when Tubbs found the net off a pass from collected the puck from Kate Foley ’12. By that point the Bantams had already notched 3 goals, and the Ephs never got themselves back into the game.

The Trinity game cut short Williams’ momentum following a 5-0 victory over Wesleyan. Becca Nichols ’13 opened the floodgates with her goal 2:12 into the second period; Tubbs, Weinstein and Ferriter all added to the total.

Williams faced Norwich last night, but scores came in too late to report. Next week includes a home-and-away against Middlebury Friday and Saturday.

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