MANCHESTER, NH -- The Williams College women's ice hockey team (4-2) hit the ice again Tuesday night against St. Anselm's (7-2-2) at Sullivan Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Ephs had their hands full, as the Hawks of St. A's were looking to extend their five game unbeaten streak.
Williams, despite having a short bench due to injuries, had other plans.
It looked like it was going to be a long game for the Ephs when St. Anselm's came out and scored only thirteen seconds into the contest. Senior Kathryn Picarello beat Williams goaltender, Chloe Billadeau. The Hawks were not quite done, scoring only a minute and forty one seconds later when senior, Rosemarie Giarrusso, was also able to beat Billadeau.
Despite a very slow start the Ephs were able to refocus and keep their composure. Less than five minutes after the Hawks had scored their second quick goal, Williams was able to capitalize on the power play. Junior forward, Gabrielle Vukasin was able to put home her 6th goal of the year off a redirect out in front of the net off of a shot from the point, assists coming from Aimee Dennett and Sam Weinstein at 6:05.
The teams went into the first intermission with St. Anselm holding a 2-1 lead.
Just over two minutes into the second period, Eph freshman, Natalie Bernstein buried her second goal of the season, evening up the score at two apiece. The Ephs now with some momentum, put the Hawks and their unbeaten streak at risk.
However, only six minutes later, St. A's was able to reclaim their lead when Picarello scored her second goal of the game with 8:01 elapsed in the period. The excitement was far from over. Late in the period Williams had another power play opportunity. Eph sophomore forward Gwendolyn Schultz was able to even up the score at three, beating St. Anselm's goaltender in the five-hole. It was Shultz's first collegiate goal and it came off of a pass from Talia Simon.
After the game, coach Gillis complimented her team's effort in the second period, "In the second period we began focusing on better play when we did not have possession of the puck at both ends of the ice." This strategy allowed the Ephs to out score St. A's 2-1 and tie the game up at three apiece heading into the second intermission.
After two periods, the shot count for each team was tied at 17 apiece.
Both teams played hard racing up and down the ice in the third period, but neither team could score in the 20-minute session.
Eph sophomore goaltender, Chloe Billadeau had a stellar performance in the 3rd period, stopping all 15 shots she faced, Billadeau finished the game with 29 saves on the 32 shots faced.
The teams returned to the ice for a five-minute overtime stanza. Overtime ends when one team nets a goal. Tonight the end came quickly. 13 seconds into the extra session the Ephs found the game-winner when Gabby Vukasin netted her second goal of the game (7th of the season) and Gwendolyn Schultz earned an assist. Eoh coach Meghan Gillis said of Vukasin, "She was the difference maker today offensively."
Gillis continued, "We had a short bench today due to injuries and every skater worked hard to contribute to the win. The team showed a lot of character and grit to come back from giving up two goals in the first two minutes of the game. We now have to build off of this and prepare to face a very strong team in nationally ranked Elmira on Saturday."
With the win the Ephs have fashioned a modest 2-game win streak and they ended a 5-game unbeaten streak by St. Anselm.
The Ephs will host Elmira in Lansing Chapman Rink Saturday at 7 PM.