Ephs flounder against No. 2 Panthers

Hanna Beattie ’17 had an assist and a goal last weekend against Middlebury.
Hanna Beattie ’17 had an assist and a goal last weekend against Middlebury.

Women’s hockey (11-8-3, 8-3-3 in the NESCAC) battled against Middlebury last weekend, losing a close 3-2 game on Friday and tying 1-1 in a hard fought matchup on Saturday.

On Saturday, the women took on Middlebury in a battle that ended in a 1-1 tie. The Panthers fought to get past Charlie Billadeau ’15, but strong goaltending kept them off the scoreboard in the first period. With just a minute left in the period, co-captain Cristina Bravi ’14 took charge, scoring a highlight reel unassisted goal. The period ended with the Ephs in the lead 1-0.

Consistently strong goaltending for both Middlebury and Williams kept the score 1-0 for the entirety of the second period, despite multiple attempts from both teams’ offenses. It was not until the last minutes of the game that Middlebury finally managed to slip the puck past Billadeau, tying the game up at 1-1 and carrying it into overtime. Both teams came out ready to play for overtime, showing high-energy offensive charges, but strong goaltending for both teams kept the score at a standstill. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Friday’s game took place in Middlebury, Vt. After a scoreless first period, Middlebury got the first mark on the scoreboard with a goal six minutes into the second. The Ephs found themselves with an opportunity to tie the game five minutes later when a penalty was called on the Panthers. The women quickly capitalized when co-captain Gabby Vukasin ’14 tipped a powerful shot from defenseman Hanna Beattie ’17 just eight seconds into the penalty to score the Ephs’ first goal of the game. Middlebury looked dangerous as the period wore on and scored a second goal seconds before the buzzer sounded. In a two-on-one situation, Billadeau made a save but only deflected the puck into the path of a Panthers player, who sent it home to make the score 2-1.

Williams got yet another chance from a power play just two minutes after the start of the third period. Beattie’s shot from the point once again powered past Middlebury goalie Jones to tie the game 2-2. Caitlin Conlon ’15 recorded her second assist of the game on the goal. A power-play opportunity for Middlebury in the last three minutes of the game gave the Panthers the extra manpower to slip one past Billadeau, giving them a 3-2 lead. Despite a six-on-three opportunity for the Ephs in the last minute of the game, the women failed to tie the game and lost 3-2. “We definitely had two solid games against Midd. It showed that we can outplay one of the best teams in the country,” Bravi said.

The women hit the ice to take on Conn. College this Friday and Saturday. Friday’s matchup starts at 7 p.m. in Lansing Chapman Rink and Saturday’s game, also at home, is at 3 p.m.