Harris Scores Late as Jeffs Tie Williams, 2-2

Courtesy of Williams Sports Information


Gillard_Hamilton.jpgWILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Eileen Harris ’16 scored with four seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime as the Amherst women’s ice hockey team skated to a 2-2 draw at Williams College Saturday.

After taking a 6-2 contest last night over the Ephs (11-7-2, 8-2-2 NESCAC), the Jeffs fell short of moving ahead of their archrival in the league standings and are now 11-5-4 overall and 7-2-3 in the conference.

After nearly 20 minutes of scoreless play, the Ephs got on the board first. With 1:48 remaining in the period, the Ephs took advantage of a power play when Cristina Bravi ’14 notched her 17th goal of the season with help from Hanna Beattie ’17 and Gwendolyn Schultz ’15. Schultz came up the ice, started cutting the seam and dropped the puck to Beattie, who hit Bravi backdoor.

While it took 18 minutes to get on the scoreboard, the Ephs controlled the puck for the majority of the period, testing Yuna Evans ’17 with 11 shots on net. Eph netminder Chloe Billadeau ’15 remained stalwart between the pipes and made four tough saves.

Despite a game-tying opportunity with seconds remaining in the frame, Billadeau and the Ephs fended off the Amherst offense to enter the locker room with a 1-0 edge.

While it was a scoreless middle frame, it did not go without chances from both sides. Williams got off seven shots, while Amherst found more of an offensive groove and tested Billadeau 10 times.

Amherst saw their best chance of tying the contest when an Eph penalty late in the frame gave them a 5-on-4 advantage. Billadeau and the Eph penalty kill unit fended off the flurry of shots to keep their slight lead.

The Ephs killed a crucial penalty to open the final period, and it would remain scoreless for nearly 17 minutes. At the 9:11 mark, Amherst forward Tori Salmon ’15 made a nifty move to beat a Williams defender and had a golden opportunity, but lifted the puck high above the crossbar.

The Jeffs would capitalize on their next best chance, however, coming with 3:37 to go when Anne Gillard ’17 slid the puck just past Billadeau. Aided by Caitlyn Ryan ’17, Gillard's equalizer knotted the score at 1-1.

The Ephs responded in a timely fashion, regaining their lead a little over a minute later. At 2:18, Beattie, set up by Michaela Levin ’16, took a slap shot from the blue line that went top corner to put the Ephs up 2-1.

Amherst pulled Evans with a minute left, and the effort would be successful. With just four seconds remaining, the duo of Lynndy Smith ’17 and Salmon assisted Harris, who netted the game-tying score just before time ran out.

Neither team could break the tie in the overtime period, as Billadeau stopped the four shots that came her way and Evans fended off six Eph shots. Both goaltenders concluded the evening with 28 saves.

The Jeffs return home next Friday, Feb. 14 to host Trinity in a two-game series. Friday’s contest is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.