Women’s hockey splits series with Wesleyan

Women’s hockey (1-1, 1-1 in the NESCAC) opened its season last weekend by splitting a pair of games against NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan. The Ephs topped the Cardinals 3-1 last Saturday, before falling 5-0 on Sunday.

Last Sunday, the women fought hard throughout the entire game but could not come back from a large deficit as they fell 5-0. The Cardinals secured an early 1-0 lead with a clean goal by Mackenzie McPike 7:27 minutes into the first period following a successful Cardinal penalty kill. Much of the frame featured intense back and forth action, but neither side found the back of the net after the first Wesleyan goal. With the help of a strong Eph defense, goalie Margaret Draper ’17 made many good saves, deflecting the puck deep into the corners.

In the second period, the Ephs looked to even the game, carrying over a power play from the end of the first period into the beginning of the second. However, the power play opportunity for the women was negated by a penalty of their own, resulting in a four-on-four grind. Seven minutes into the period, Jordan Schildhaus scored the second Cardinal goal. Four minutes later, the Cardinals continued to display offensive firepower with another goal by McPike.

In the final frame, the Cardinals once again came out firing. Wesleyan forward Cara Jankowsky found the back of the net with a high shot 3:10 minutes into the period. The Ephs tried to push back after falling behind 4-0 but could not convert any shots. Finally, with 4:36 minutes to go in the game, Jankowsky scored once more with a top shelf goal. Williams swapped out Draper with 3:33 minutes to go and put in goalie Christina Cleroux ’18 for her collegiate debut to finish off the game.

On Saturday, the women notched their first victory of the season 3-1 over Wesleyan after the first-year tandem of Ellen Chiligiris ’18 and Candace Lu ’18 teamed up on the game-winning goal at 17:48 of the second period. After falling behind 1-0 in the second period, the Ephs responded in a timely manner, posting two goals in a five-minute span late in the second period to take the lead.

The second stanza featured more action from both teams. The Cardinals took the lead off a power play goal a little over halfway into the second when Jessica Brennan scored. The Ephs pushed back two minutes later with a goal by Gwen Schultz ’15 at 14:44 as the forward wrapped around the back of the net and shot off the forehand side for an unassisted goal.

Building off the Schultz goal, the Ephs used the momentum swing in their favor to take the lead three minutes later with a power play goal by Chiligiris assisted by fellow rookie Lu at 17:43.

The Ephs finished the second period with strong offensive play, which carried into the final period of the game. The Ephs secured their lead 4:28 minutes into the period with a goal by Emily Krueger ’17, clinching the Eph victory 3-1.

“We were happy to come away with a win on Saturday, but we know we have a lot to work on in these next couple weeks,” co-captain Nitsan Goldstein ’15 said.

The women play next on Nov. 29 when they take on Utica at home at 7 p.m.