Women’s hockey drops 2 to Amherst

Women’s hockey (9-11, 5-7 in the NESCAC) fell to rival Amherst in two games last weekend. On Saturday, Amherst topped Williams in a tight 1-0 game. In Friday’s matchup, the women fell 5-1 as Amherst turned in a dominant third-period performance. On Jan .28, Bowdoin topped Williams 3-0 after conquering the women 4-2 on Jan. 27. The women topped Colby 4-3 in overtime on Jan. 21, following a 1-0 victory over Colby on Jan. 20. On Jan. 17, Williams beat Castleton with a 4-0 shutout victory.

In Saturday’s matchup against Amherst, the women put on an impressive defensive performance to keep the game scoreless in the first period. The Jeffs managed 11 shots to the Ephs’ five in the first, but Chloe Billadeau ’15 held strong and the game was scoreless in the second. Amherst continued to outshoot Williams in the second, rifling nine shots to the women’s four. However, neither team was able to capitalize, and the teams remained in a stalemate heading into the final period. With 5:58 remaining, the Jeffs broke onto the scoreboard when Courtney Baranek sliced a shot from the left side that hit Billadeau and deflected into the goal. Although the Ephs battled for the rest of the game, the score remained 1-0 in the Jeffs’ favor at the buzzer.

Despite the loss, captain Hannah Systrom ’12 was proud of her team. “It was heartbreaking to lose in the last five minutes, but it definitely is the closest we have ever come to beating Amherst in my four years,” she said. “Chloe Billadeau came up huge for us all weekend.”

In the women’s first meeting with Amherst on Friday, Williams kept the game within one goal for the first two periods. The Jeffs struck the game’s first blow, lifting a shot into the cage 13:21 into the first. Amherst extended its lead to 2-0 in the second period with a score at 16:46. The Ephs responded with 9:05 left to play in the second when Systrom found the back of the net off a rebound from teammate Kate Foley ’12. The goal put the Ephs down 2-1 in the second.

The women made a strong defensive effort during the rest of the period, killing a power play with 8:44 left in the frame. The Jeffs gained momentum after the Ephs’ goal, peppering Billadeau with 10 shots in the second and six in the third. Amherst pulled away in the final period, following a power-play goal 3:59 into the period with goals at 6:57 and 12:23. After a three-goal third period, Amherst took home a 5-1 victory.

On Jan. 28, the women fell 3-0 after an impressive third period from Bowdoin.The Polar Bears took advantage of a power-play opportunity 14:07 into the third and slipped the puck past Billadeau to take a 1-0 lead. Bowdoin netted two more goals in the final six minutes of play, earning a 3-0 win. Despite the loss, Billadeau turned in 30 saves.

The loss came on the heels of another disappointing game for the women, as Bowdoin turned in another strong third period to top Williams 4-2 on Jan. 27. Bowdoin opened scoring less than nine minutes into the first, forcing the women to battle back. Cristina Bravi ’14 responded to Bowdoin’s score with a goal 16:38 into the opening frame. With the score tied at 1-1, the Ephs killed four penalties in the second before Sam Weinstein ’13 notched a goal 11:12 into the period to give Williams a 2-1 lead.

Bowdoin entered the third period firing. The Polar Bears notched a quick goal only 1:41 into the frame to tie the game at 2-2. Bowdoin slotted two more goals past Billadeau before the final buzzer, earning a 4-2 win. Billadeau totaled 29 stops on the night.

Williams had better luck against Colby on Jan. 21, capping a three-game win streak with a 4-3 overtime victory. The Ephs capitalized in the third, scoring three goals in the final frame to force an overtime period. Colby held a 2-0 advantage heading to the third, but the women’s offense then found its stride. Kristen Tubbs ’12 rifled a goal past the Mule netminder 4:58 into the period to tighten the score to 2-1. Bravi then collected the puck from Tubbs on a power play 7:43 into the final frame, finding the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2. Colby scored again 17:12 into the game, amassing a 3-2 advantage with less than three minutes remaining. In the final minute of the game, the Ephs went on to score on a power play. Tubbs found the back of the net for the second time that night 19:13 into the period to tie the game at 3-3. The rest of the third was scoreless, sending the game to overtime. Just over one minute into the overtime period, Gabrielle Vukasin ’14 collected a pass from Ally Ensor ’14 and slipped the puck into the back of the net to take home a 4-3 Williams victory. Billadeau had 18 saves in the contest.

In the women’s Jan. 20 game against Colby, Williams pulled out a close 1-0 victory after a crucial third-period goal from Weinstein.

The women will host Middlebury on Friday at 4:30 p.m. They then travel to Middlebury for a 4 p.m. faceoff on Saturday.

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