Williams College 3, Connecticut College 1
7th Seeded Camels will Visit #2 Amherst Next Week in Program's Fifth Consecutive NESCAC Championship Appearance
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.-(Williams College Sports Information) On the last home contest for the five Williams seniors-the Ephs were able to end the season on a high note by downing Connecticut College for the second straight day with a 3-1 final. Two goals from junior Sam Weinstein and an empty-netter from Cristina Bravi paved the way for Williams' 11th win of the season.
In a start similar to last night's contest, a 2-1 win for the Ephs, Williams was quick to jump on the scoreboard. A penalty on Connecticut College defender Amelia Dineen (Arlington, Mass.) left the Camels shorthanded 21 seconds into the game, giving Williams their first powerplay of the afternoon.
With the Ephs a skater up, senior captain Hannah Systrom (Winchester, Mass.) passed the puck to Sarah Herr (Princeton, N.J.) at the point. Herr controlled the puck for moment before finding Sam Weinstein (Marblehead, Mass.) in the slot, who made a move around a Conn defender and ripped a low, blocker-side shot on Camel goalie Kelsie Fralick (West Chester, Pa.) that found the back of the net to give the Ephs a 1-0 lead.
Although both teams would record 3 powerplay opportunities in the opening frame, the Williams and Conn penalty-kill units would keep the status quo to close out the first period.
Opening the middle frame, neither team was able to establish offensive dominance, resulting in much back-and-forth action. Physical play prevailed for the next 13 minutes, neither team gaining an edge until 13 minutes in when Williams saw a chance to increase their lead. Aimee Dennett (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) passed the puck from the low left side to a waiting Alyssa Veil (Eden Prairie, Minn.) in the slot, who one-touched it just wide of the net.
The momentum would briefly shift in the Camels' favor with a Williams penalty following Veil's attempt. However, the playing field was leveled 20 seconds later as a Connecticut College penalty set up a 4-on-4 situation.
It looked as if the contest would remain 1-0 in the Ephs' advantage headed into the locker room, until a late period penalty coming from Connecticut College sparked the Eph offense. With 34 second remaining, Sam Weinstein (Marblehead, Mass.) walked the puck in from the blue line and wristed a shot that deflected off a Connecticut College stick and over Fralick's head. Systrom and Gabby Vukasin (Princeton, N.J.) aided Weinstein's tally.
10 seconds later the Camels answered, posting a late period goal themselves to bring the contest back within one. Courtney Dumont (Lewiston, Maine) carried the puck directly across the ice from the right side and slid a backhand shot that found its way past the low blocker side of Chloe Billadeau (Chaska, Minn.).
Williams managed to hang onto their 2-1 lead throughout the final frame, denying the Camel's best attempts, including one coming at the 12:09 mark. Connecticut College had a 2-on-1 with Eph netminder and got a shot off from the slot. Billadeau made the save, but the puck squirted loose, giving the Camel offense an opportunity to capitalize on a rebound. Billadeau would keep the visiting team at bay however, leaving the score at 2-1.
Connecticut College tried to stage a late game comeback, pulling Fralick with 3:51 remaining in regulation. The Ephs failed to relinquish their lead, and taking advantage of an empty net, took a comfortable two-goal lead with 2:13 to go. Eph forward Cristina Bravi (Montreal, Quebec) caused a turnover in the neutral zone, picked up the loose puck, and lofted it into the open net to finalize the score at 3-1.
The Camels saw one last opportunity, as two Eph penalties and an extra skater gave them a 6-on-3 advantage with 28 seconds remaining. Billadeau and the Williams defense would silence their comeback efforts, posting their second straight victory in as many days over Connecticut College.
Both keepers turned away 19 shots on the afternoon, and Billadeau finalized her stellar rookie season with her 9th win of the year. Clinching the 6th seed in the NESCAC tournament with today's victory, the Ephs will face Bowdoin next Saturday at 1 pm in the conference quarterfinals in Brunswick, Maine.
The Camels draw the seventh seed and will visit #2 Amherst next Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. game at Orr Rink in Amherst, Mass.
February 18, 2012