Women’s hockey struggles against Amherst in two-game series

Last weekend, women’s hockey (11-7-2, 8-2-2 in the NESCAC) faced off against conference rival Amherst, fighting for a 2-2 tie on Saturday after a 6-2 loss on Friday night. These games snapped a four-game conference win streak for the women, who had previously defeated Bowdoin and Colby in double-headers.

Right off the drop of the puck on Saturday, it was clear the Ephs were looking to challenge the visiting Jeffs. Co-captain Cristina Bravi ’14 netted the first goal with two minutes left in the first period thanks to a solid backdoor pass from defenseman Hanna Beattie ’17.

The women held their one goal lead through the second period, but Amherst came out ready to play at the start of the third, battling for their first goal which came sixteen minutes into the period, tying the game 1-1. Williams quickly responded with a goal of their own from Beattie a little over a minute later, putting them back in the lead 2-1. A goal from Amherst with just three seconds remaining in the period tied up the game 2-2 taking it into overtime; neither team scored and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

On Friday night, the Ephs fell to the Jeffs 6-2. Amherst began its offensive charge early in the game, scoring its first goal just five and a half minutes into the first period. The Ephs rallied with a goal of their own, thanks to Bravi, just three minutes into the second period tying up the game 1-1. Amherst regained the lead, however, just three minutes later with a second goal and added a third goal two minutes later, putting them up 3-1. Thanks to a power-play opportunity, the Ephs closed in on the Jeffs with a second goal just a minute before the end of the second period thanks to forward Emily Kreuger ’17, making the score 3-2.

In the third period, Amherst turned up the offense, netting a fourth goal eight minutes in and a fifth two minutes later. They scored their sixth and final goal with five minutes remaining in the period, defeating the Ephs 6-2.

The weekend of Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 was a huge success for the women as they swept Bowdoin. On Saturday, the Ephs battled for a 4-3 win. Goals from Talia Simon ’16 and co-captain Gabby Vukasin ’14 helped put the Ephs out in front 2-1 after one period of play. A second period goal from Beattie tied the game 3-3, and a third period goal from Michaela Levine ’15 propelled the team to victory. Solid goalkeeping from Charlie Billadeau ’15 kept off late rallies from the Polar Bears to help secure the win for the Ephs.

On Friday, the women defeated Bowdoin 4-2 thanks to a late offensive charge. Bravi tied the game at one apiece for the Ephs early in the second period. Although down 2-1 after two periods of play, the women started out the third with renewed fervor, and forward Andree Heller ’15 scored a goal just a minute and a half after the drop of the puck, tying the game. Forward Eliza Noyes ’16 netted a third goal for the Ephs just a minute later. A fourth goal from Beattie minutes before the sound of the buzzer sealed the Ephs’ 4-2 victory.

On the weekend of Jan. 24 and Jan. 25, the Ephs swept Colby at Lansing Chapman arena. On Saturday, the Ephs defeated the Mules in a decisive 4-0 win. Two goals in the first period, one early power-play goal from Heller and a goal from Bravi later in the period, established a nice lead for the Ephs early in the game. Not satisfied with a two-goal lead, the women scored another two goals in the second period. Bravi scored the Ephs’ third goal of the game midway through the period on a power play and Levine scored the fourth with just five minutes remaining in the period. Goaltender Margaret Draper ’17 defended the Ephs’ 4-0 lead for the rest of the game.

On Friday, the Ephs battled for a 2-1 overtime win against the Mules. Colby took the lead with a goal late in the first period.

Despite a scoreless second period, the women tied the game three minutes into the third with a goal from Beattie. Neither team broke the tie and the game carried into overtime. Levine broke the deadlock with just seconds remaining in overtime, netting the game-winning goal for the Ephs.

On Jan. 21, the women dominated New England College with a 9-0 win at home. Noyes got the Ephs started with a goal in the first period. From there, five goals from Krueger, Vukasin, Levine, Heller and Bravi in the second put the Ephs up 6-0 by the end of the period. Not satisfied with a six-goal lead, the Ephs added to their tally in the third period thanks to goals from forwards Perry McCarthy ’15, Chelsey Stevenson ’17 and Noyes, ending the game with a 9-0 victory.

The women will travel to Middlebury for a 7 p.m. game on Friday and will be hosting Middlebury on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Lansing Chapman Rink.