WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – A strong offensive showing catapulted the Ephs (5-3-0) to their 5th victory of the season over NESCAC foe, Trinity College (3-2-4). A late surge in the final minutes of play from the visiting Bantams was not enough to combat goals from Haena Lee (Bethesda, MD), Andree Heller (Toronto, ON) and Michaela Levine (Lititz, PA), which all contributed to the Williams win.
The Bantams appeared to control the flow of the game in the first half of the opening frame, beginning with an offensive opportunity coming 30 seconds in. However, junior goalie, Rachel Nguyen (Hermosa Beach, CA), denied this bid and everything else that came at her.
The first half of the period remained scoreless and without powerplay opportunities for either team. It looked as if the next 10 minutes would follow a similar course with much back and forth play, until 1:26 to go when Abby Belcrest's (Harrison Township, MI) shot found Lee in front of the goal. Belcrest took the shot from the point, and Lee, who was skating through the slot, found the back of the net to give the Ephs a 1-0 advantage. Cristina Bravi (Montreal, QC) also helped on the goal.
The Williams offense continued to be relentless in the final minute and a half of the frame, scoring a thriller at the buzzer to send the home team into the locker room with a two-goal advantage. Hadley DesMeules (North Pomfret, VT) took a slap shot from the left side, which Heller deflected past Trinity goalie, Alexa Pujol, to up Williams' lead.
Williams concluded the period with 8 shots on goal to Trinity's 10.
A Trinity penalty 1:39 into the second period added to the Eph's offensive momentum, but the penalty-kill managed to deny all of Williams' attempts. However, the Bantam defense could not stop Levine's shot coming shortly after the powerplay. 5:34 into the period, Eliza Noyes (Concord, MA) skated up the ice and passed to Perry McCarthy (Princeton, NJ), who then hit Levine in front of the goal. Levine's tally upped Williams lead to 3-0.
The Trinity offense had a few looks during their first man-up opportunity coming with 11:53 remaining in the frame. Nguyen and the penalty kill held off all attempts.
The best chance for the visiting team to get on the board came with 9:40 to go. The Bantams had a major offensive look, but once again Nguyen held them scoreless and allowed Williams to maintain their 3-0 lead.
A Bantam penalty with 23 seconds remaining in the middle frame offered some offensive opportunities for Williams in the opening minutes of the final period, but the Bantam's did not allow the home team to extend their lead.
Despite the visitor's three-goal deficit, they tested the Ephs in the final 20 minutes, which were characterized by much back and forth play and offensive chances for both ends.
It was Trinity who capitalized first, registering their first goal of the night with 2:57 remaining. Lucy Robinson managed to beat a Williams defender and tipped the puck past Nguyen, cutting the Eph lead to two. Robinson was aided by teammates Emily Kleidon and Whitney Colbert.
Feeding off this momentum, Trinity struck once again on a powerplay with 18 seconds to go. Britney Ryan and Rebecca Rosen assisted Trinity forward Brooke Heron, who's tally made it a one-goal game.
It was too little too late for the Bantams however, and the clock would expire at 3-2, giving the Ephs their 5th victory of the season.
Nguyen finished the night with 28 saves, while Pujol recorded 15 stops.
In response to the late surge in the third, Head Coach Meghan Gillis remarked, "We were strong the first two periods and let up a little bit in the third. Trinity was able to capitalize and make it a close game, but we're happy obviously with the win."
Gillis added, "We did a really good job of playing a team game with everyone working together and doing their part to have a successful breakout, so it was great to see the team coming together as a whole to be successful."
The double header against Trinity continues tomorrow afternoon in Lansing Chapman Rink. The puck drops at 3pm.