NEW LONDON, Conn.--Junior forward Steph Izzi (West Cornwall, Conn.) scored twice and classmate Katherine Chester (Mendham, N.J.) tied a school record with her sixth shutout, to lead the third seeded Connecticut College women's hockey team to a 3-0 victory against sixth seeded Hamilton College in a NESCAC Championship Quarterfinal game played at Dayton Arena Saturday.
The Camels set a program record with their 15th victory (15-7-1), extending their unbeaten streak to 10 games. They will face off against Amherst College next Saturday in a 4:00 p.m. game at Middlebury College. This will be their third appearance in the semifinals in the past four years.
The Continentals fell to 11-10-4 with their season-ending defeat.
Hamilton had a great chance in the opening period when Olivia Hawes (Spring, Texas) fired a wrist shot from near the left circle but Chester was able to make the save for the Camels.
The Camels got on the board first when Gualtieri scored her 10th goal of the season 7:10 into regulation. Gualtieri skated all the way through the neutral zone and down the left side of the ice and stuck one between the pads of sophomore Sam Walther (Gambrills, Md.) to put the Camels on top 1-0. Cross contributed with her ninth assist of the season on the score.
Connecticut College continued to pressure the Continental zone. Senior Jill Dahrooge (Charlton, Mass.) snapped off a shot from the mid-slot area with 7:49 remaining that was saved by Walther. Then, with 7:13 remaining in the period, Michaela Igo (Sandwich, Mass.) tried to sneak a wrist shot past Walther from the right circle but her shot was saved. Sophomore Anna Bleck (Lake Forest, Ill.) had another scoring bid for the Camels with 2:08 to play but her shot was saved by Walther. Shots were even at four aside.
In the second period, the Camels extended their lead when junior Izzi potted her 11th goal of the season 5:05 into the frame. Izzi skated through the neutral zone down the right side and went top shelf with her backhand to make it a 2-0 game. Cross earned the assist on the marker. Connecticut College continued to pressure the Continental zone for the remainder of the period. Katlyn Paiva (Rehoboth, Mass.) attempted to beat Walther with another backhander from below the left circle with 5:10 remaining but her shot was saved. Then with 4:38 left, Hunter fired a shot from the point and Lily Connolly (Duxbury, Mass.) redirected it on goal but Walther was able to make a nice move to block the shot.
Just 2:30 into the third, the Camels added an insurance marker. Gualtieri won a battle for a loose puck behind the goal and found Izzi in the slot, who one-timed one past Walther to make it a 3-0 game. Cross had the second assist on the score.
Later on in the third with 2:31 remaining, Hamilton took a timeout to empty its net to gain the extra forward. Andrea Rockey (Morgantown, W.V.) had a nice scoring bid with a backhanded shot with 1:30 to go. Then, Sara Taffe (Maple Grove, Minn.) tried to break the shutout with 59.4 seconds left but Chester was able to make the stop and the Camels closed out the shutout in front of a home crowd of 438 fans.
Chester finished with 23 shots in the blanking for the hosts. Walther had 22 stops for the visitors.
Connecticut College held a slim 25-to-23 advantage in shots. The Camels were 1-for-4 on their power play while the visitors finished 0-for-3 with the extra woman advantage.