Hartford, Conn. – A Williams goal by senior Chelsey Stevenson (Tilbury, Ontario) 2:40 into the opening period made the difference in a 1-0 Ephs win over the Trinity College women's hockey team on Friday night at the Koeppel Center in Hartford. The loss drops the Bantams to 5-11-2 overall and 4-6-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) while the Ephs improve to 10-8-2 on the year and 7-4-2 in conference play.
Williams scored the game's lone goal on an evening where both teams combined for just 40 total shots. Eph goalie Marissa Anderson (East Falmouth, Mass.) tallied 19 saves in the shutout including a handful late to preserve the victory while her counterpart, Trinity junior Sydney Belinskas (Port Orange, Fla.) finished the evening with 20 saves of her own. Williams owned a 21-19 shot advantage in the game and scored its goal on the first of just two power plays.
Stevenson's score came just 2:40 into the opening frame after back-to-back Bantam penalties gave the Ephs a 5-on-3 advantage. After a handful of shots on net, Williams sophomore Abby Brustad (Mound, Minn.) flipped a pass across the front of the crease to Stevenson who was positioned at the back-side post and knocked the puck into the back of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead, one they did not relinquish. Trinity nearly found an equalizer at the 11:20 mark when junior Melissa Maffeo (Melrose, Mass.) skated down ice with classmate Hannah Oganeku (Castle Pines, Colo.) trailing, but Maffeo's pass to the streaking Oganeku was deflected by an Eph defender to prevent a possible shot. Trinity later had a power play of their own and nearly scored just as the Williams penalty expired, but a pair of sprawling saves by Anderson kept the Bantams off the board.
A Williams tripping penalty in the opening stanza of the second period gave the Bantams an extra attacker but the Eph penalty kill unit held strong to maintain the 1-0 lead. Trinity had another power play opportunity with under two minutes to play in the period but once again, Williams killed the penalty without harm. The period came and went without incident but the Ephs were once again whistled for a penalty with less than a minute left to give the Bantams an advantage to start the third.
Trinity won the faceoff to start the third period which led immediately to a good look at net by Maffeo but the junior's shot missed wide right to no avail. Williams ended the Bantams' skater advantage with the lead still intact, but with plenty of time left in the third period. Trinity's attack kept pressure on the Ephs for much of the period but strong goalie play by Anderson stifled any opportunities the Bantams had. Trinity nearly tied the game at the 4:17 mark when a shot from just inside the blue line by senior captain Jessica Stowell (Hadley, Mass.) knuckled towards net but Stevenson was there once again to shut the door. The Bantams pulled Belinskas from goal with 1:38 remaining to gain an extra skater but could not come up with a goal as Williams pulled away with the victory.
Both teams return to the ice tomorrow at 4 p.m. for the series finale at the Koeppel Center.