Ephs end NESCAC run with 5-3 loss in quarters

Last weekend, women’s ice hockey (9-15-1, 5-10-1 in the NESCAC) was knocked out of the NESCAC tournament by top-seeded Bowdoin. This marked the fourth consecutive year that the Ephs saw their season ended by the Polar Bears, despite an impressive start and stalwart goaltending from Chloe Billadeau ’15.

Although Bowdoin led in shots on goal with 16 to the women’s six, the score remained tied 2-2 at the end of the first period. Co-captain Aimee Dennett ’13 was the first to put Williams on the board on a man-up advantage. Although the Bowdoin penalty kill unit nullified 88 percent of Bowdoin’s penalties this year, Dennett broke through the defense to score, giving the women the advantage.

Although Bowdoin responded soon after with its own goal, Williams did not allow the momentum to turn in its opponent’s favor. Assistant captain Cristina Bravi ’14 put the puck out in front on a 3-2 advantage to teammate Michaela Levine ’16, who capitalized on the smooth play. However, with two minutes remaining in the period, the Polar Bears responded, knotting things up at two goals each going into the middle frame.

After the frenzied action of the first period, the second period proved slower. as both teams’ offensive attempts were stymied. Bowdoin, however, gained a lead during this middle frame, scoring the lone goal of the period. Bravi tied things up with a goal at the very end of the period, but it was unfortunately taken away due to a penalty.

With the Polar Bears’ shot advantage at 28 to 12 going into the third period, they continued to keep the pressure up through the rest of the match up. Registering two more goals before the Ephs could respond, the Polar Bears found themselves with a comfortable two-goal lead. However, the Ephs continued to fight. Pulling Billadeau, Williams gained a man-up advantage that allowed them to put some pressure on the Bowdoin goal. This proved successful, as Gabby Vukasin ’14 recovered a rebounded shot to bring the Ephs back within two goals at 5-3. Despite Williams’ strong effort, they could not overcome the two-goal deficit, and Bowdoin won the quarterfinal 5-3, ending Williams’ season.

With the loss in the tournament, the women end their season. Their final record was 9-15-1 and 5-10-1 in the NESCAC. The team will graduate just two seniors this year: co-captains Sam Weinstein ’13 and Dennett.

“Aimee and I were both so proud of how the team played and that we fought til the end,” Weinstein said. “Bowdoin is a good team, and we played with them the entire game. It was a great season.”