NEW LONDON, Conn. –Rylie Wills (Sioux Lookout, Ont.) made 54 saves for Castleton University while Connecticut College rookie net-minder Dylann Nasr (Reston, Va.) finished with 21 stops of her own to lead their teams in a 1-1 draw between the Spartans and Camels played at Dayton Arena Tuesday night.
The Camels (7-2-2), ranked #9 in both major polls, extend their unbeaten streak to five games. The Spartans improved their record to 4-8-1 with the tie.
Connecticut College will now turn its attention to the fun and excitement of skating in the Capital One Frozen Fenway series Thursday. Connecticut College will take on NESCAC rival Bowdoin College at 4:00 p.m. in America's oldest ball park.
Castleton got on the board first with 10:11 remaining in the opening period. First year forward Nicolle Trivino (Georgetown, Ont.) stole the puck in her defensive zone and broke free in a one-on-one situation. Trivino flipped one in from her backhand in the slot area to make it a 1-0 game.
In the second period, Nasr impressed the home crowd with some terrific stops in between the pipes. With 2:56 to go, Nasr made a glove save on Trivino's shot from the point. The Camels piled up 20 shots of their own in the second. The hosts nearly scored the equalizer with 1:04 remaining in the frame. Kyla Floresca (West Memphis, Ark.) made a nice wraparound move behind the goal to set up Ashley Anctil (Manchester, N.H.) for a shot from point blank range but Wills was able to come up with the clutch save on the one-timer for the Spartans.
But Connecticut College finally broke through just before the intermission. Sophomore Elena Gualtieri (Rome, N.Y.) won a battle for possession in the neutral zone and cycled the puck ahead to Kate Kohl (Chelmsford, Mass.). Kohl fired a low shot that was saved by Wills but senior Michaela Igo (Sandwich, Mass.) pounced on the rebound at the far post side of the goal and scored the ninth goal of her career with just 3.5 seconds remaining in the period.
Both teams came up with key defensive plays in the third. With 8:34 to go, senior captain Julie Beattie (Livonia, Mich.) did a nice job breaking up a 2-on-1 situation for the Spartans. Sophomore Felicia Bjälvegård (Gränna, Sweden) made a nice defensive stand for the Spartans that started the visitors on a breakaway. Aimee Briand (Barrington, N.H.) took the outlet pass and skated down the right side of the ice. Brian unloaded with a blast from below the circle that was saved by Nasr with 1:44 remaining.
Connecticut College was assessed with a penalty with just 59.6 seconds left but the Spartans could not cash in on the power play and the game was headed to overtime. In the extra session, the Camels enjoyed a 9-to-2 advantage but the game ended in a draw.
The Camels enjoyed a 55-to-22 advantage on the shot chart.
Tracking the Camels (Not Including Tuesday Night's Game)
The Camels are the ninth ranked team in the USCHO.com and D3Hockey.com National Polls this week. Connecticut College secured a 1-0 NESCAC victory at Trinity Friday night. Sophomore Jordan Cross (Saugus, Mass.) potted the game-winner in the third period while senior net-minder Katherine Chester (Mendham, N.J.) turned aside 29 shots to earn the 10th shutout of her career.
Chester is third in the country with a .968 save percentage while ranking fourth nationally with a .88 save percentage. Sophomore Katlyn Paiva (Rehoboth, Mass.) has scored three goals and assisted on four others to lead the club with seven points.
Under the direction of Head Coach Kristin Steele, the Connecticut College women's hockey team has advanced into the semifinal round in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship in three of the past four years.
"The opportunity to play an outdoor game at Fenway will be an amazing experience for our student-athletes," Coach Steele said. "We are fortunate to have this chance and look forward sharing it with alumni and friends of Connecticut College."
In 2015-16, the Camels notched their first home post-season victory with a 3-0 triumph against Hamilton College February 27. Connecticut College set a program record with their 15 wins.
The team returned three All-Conference performers to the ice this winter. Senior defense-woman Julie Beattie and goaltender Katherine Chester earned first team recognition. Sophomore Jordan Cross was honored as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.
Beattie is looking forward to the experience of playing outdoors against a conference rival.
"The team is very excited to be part of such an amazing opportunity to play at Frozen Fenway this year," Beattie said. "Representing the NESCAC alongside Bowdoin is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is a great honor to be recognized with the other teams lined up with for the 2017 Frozen Fenway. We are looking forward to bringing a big league win in Boston back to Connecticut College."
Fran Shields, the Katherine Wenc Christoffers '45 Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education at Connecticut College anticipates a big crowd for the game in Beantown.
"Frozen Fenway will be a great experience for our student-athletes," said Shields. "To be able to compete at the highest levels of Division III women's ice hockey against a great program like Bowdoin College in an iconic sports venue presents an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We're excited to showcase our women's ice hockey program, especially with a strong Boston-area alumni base. Our entire campus is energized by the news."