Women’s ice hockey falters at home

Women’s ice hockey (4-11-1, 3-8-1 in the NESCAC) lost to Hamilton on Saturday by a score of 5-2. The loss snapped a two-game undefeated streak that saw the women tie Conn. College 3-3 in overtime on Friday and defeat Wesleyan 4-1 on Jan. 29. The women also recorded a 3-1 loss against Trinity on Jan. 28 and a 6-1 victory over Castleton on Jan. 25. On Jan. 23, the women lost to Utica 4-1 after being shut out by Middlebury 5-0 on Jan. 22.

Hamilton scored two goals in 30 seconds to give the Continentals a 2-0 lead with six minutes left in the first. Hindered by a series of penalties, the Ephs were unable to score in the first period. “It’s hard to keep momentum when you continue to get penalties,” said Head Coach Joey Lye.

Hamilton continued to dominate early in the second period, scoring on a power play within the first two minutes of play to take a 3-0 lead. The Ephs increased pressure during the second period, consistently driving the puck to the net, and were rewarded with a power play goal from Nicolle Perry ’13 halfway through the second period to tighten the score to 3-1.

“In the second period, we were able to focus more on our positions and playing our system,” Lye said. “In the first, we allowed them to dictate play.”

The Ephs’ strong play continued early into the third period. The women scored another power play goal just 2:35 in when co-captain Hannah Systrom ’12 snuck a rebound into the net. However, the Ephs’ comeback was short-lived: The Continentals quickly responded with a power play goal of their own to regain a comfortable two-goal lead. Hamilton would score its final goal with 53 seconds remaining to claim the 5-2 victory.

The women fought to a tie with Conn. College on Friday, turning in a final score of 3-3 in overtime. Three different Ephs recorded goals in the game, and goalie Rachel Nguyen ’14 collected 39 saves on the game.

The Camels claimed an early lead with a goal from their only scorer in the game, Courtney Dumont, 6:21 into the first period. Despite several quality scoring chances, the Ephs were unable to even the score until the second period when a two-on-one allowed Eliza Foster ’12 to sneak the puck into the Camels’ net with seven minutes of play remaining in the second. Conn. College retaliated with a power play goal less than three minutes later, lifting the team to a 2-1 lead. The Camels’ lead would not last, however. A minute later, the Ephs responded: Becca Nichols ’13 wristed a high shot into the net for a 2-2 tie. Cristina Bravi ’14 and Kristen Tubbs ’12 recorded assists on the play that knotted the game.

A sparkling performance by Nguyen kept the score at 2-2 until the Camels scored a power play goal with only five minutes remaining to go up 3-2. The Ephs countered with a power play goal of their own, as Bravi shot the puck past the Camels’ netminder to tie the game at 3-3.

Excellent defense and goaltending reigned in the overtime period. Neither team was able to claim an edge, leading to a 3-3 tie.
On Jan. 29, the women claimed their fourth victory with a 4-1 defeat of Wesleyan. Sam Weinstein ’13 proved to be the difference in the game, scoring two goals over the Cardinals. A Wesleyan goal in the third tightened the game 2-1, but the women quickly responded with goals from Perry and Stephanie Berger ’11 to put the game out of reach.

The victory over Wesleyan came on the heels of a 3-1 loss at Trinity. The Ephs scored first in the game, as Perry netted her fourth goal of the season on a power play. The opening period would end in a 1-1 tie, however, as the Bantams scored with just over eight minutes remaining. Trinity held the women scoreless over the second and third periods despite a power play chance early in the third. The Bantams scored on a power play in the third, recording a decisive second goal with 11:12 left in the game. An unassisted goal with four minutes of play remaining clinched the 3-1 Bantam win.

The women dominated Castleton State on Jan. 25, recording four goals in the first period on their way to a 6-1 win. Jacqueline Berglass ’11 opened the night’s scoring halfway through the first period, redirecting a hard shot from co-captain Lauren Zurek ’11 into the Spartans’ net. The Ephs’ closed out the opening period with three more goals from Berglass, Weinstein and Systrom. Castleton recorded one goal off a rebound in the first, but still trailed 4-1 at the end of the period.

Netminder Catherine Tremble ’13 held the Spartans scoreless after the first on her way to recording 17 total saves, and the Ephs tacked on two more goals from Gabrielle Vukasin ’14 and Weinstein to close out the game 6-1.

Weinstein was responsible for the Ephs’ only goal against Utica on Jan. 23, as the women fell 4-1. Nguyen collected 37 saves on the night, but the Ephs were unable to surmount the Pioneers’ four-goal effort.

The loss against Utica followed a 5-0 defeat from conference-rival Middlebury on Jan. 22. The Panthers controlled the game, out-shooting the Ephs 54-13 on the way to their 10th victory of the season. Despite a two-man advantage and strong offensive pressure in the third, Middlebury shut the women out and handed the team its eighth loss of the season.

The women will continue play with back-to-back games at Amherst on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. before hosting UMass-Boston on Tuesday at 7 p.m.