Hockey: Late Surge Lifts Connecticut Over Ephs
NEW LONDON, Conn. — Coming off the previous night's thrilling overtime win that secured Williams their eighth playoff berth, the Ephs looked to sweep New England Small College Athletic Conference opponent Connecticut College on Saturday afternoon, a pivotal game for seeding in upcoming postseason hockey play.
Despite an early lead from Michaela Levine's power-play goal, a late offensive surge from the Camels propelled them to a 4-2 victory.
In similar fashion to last night, the Ephs capitalized first and took an early 1-0 lead. Playing on the powerplay, Williams worked the puck around the perimeter until an Eph forward got a shot off. The puck came lose in front of the net and Levine was waiting for it. Simon jammed the rebound in past Fralick to give Williams the early advantage with 17:01 remaining in the frame.
Despite the early deficit, the Camel offense continued knocking on the door, pressuring the Eph defense and netminder Chloe Billadeau throughout the first frame. Strong play from Billadeau helped the Ephs to maintain their 1-0 edge until the 14:54 mark, when the relentless Conn. offense found the back of the net.
The Camel's shots-on-goal advantage paid off with 5:06 to go after an even-strength goal from Courtney Dumont. Caroline Corbett fed the puck across to Dumont, who struck to notch the home team's first goal of the afternoon and knot up the battle.
Headed into the middle frame, the Ephs saw two man-up chances in the first five minutes. Connecticut College successfully killed both penalties and gained a power-play chance of their own after an Eph penalty. The Camels used the puck well and peppered Billadeau with a flurry of shots, but Billadeau handled the tirade, leaving the contest even at 1.
Williams skated into the locker room with 22 shots on goal to Connecticut's 27 after 40 minutes of play.
It would be an all-Connecticut final frame. The Camels came out firing in the third and took their first lead of the afternoon after just 53 seconds. Sam Schoeneberger got one by Billadeau to take a 2-1 lead. Justina Germano and Olivia Farrell were credited with assists.
Feeding off the Schoeneberger goal, the Camel's extended their lead less than two minutes later. Samantha Schuffenecker sent a wrister past Billadeau on the far post at the 3:12 mark to give her team a 3-1 lead.
The Camels would not be satisfied with their two-goal lead, and struck for a third time in the third period to establish a comfortable 4-1. Their fourth goal of the afternoon came from Dumont, who corralled a rebound attempt and sent the puck through Billadeau's legs.
Billadeau turned away 33 shots in her 59:21 of play, while counterpart Fralick stopped 28 bids from the Ephs.