NEW LONDON, Conn.—Samantha Estes (Millis, Mass.) had a hat-trick to lead the second seeded Connecticut College women's hockey team to a 5-2 victory against seventh seeded Williams College in the opening round of the 2017 NESCAC Women's Hockey Championship played at Dayton Arena today.
The Camels (15-7-3), who are the 10th ranked team in the latest United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) National Poll, tied a program record with their 15th victory, earning their fourth trip to the conference semifinals in the past five years. They will visit Middlebury College next weekend to compete in the NESCAC Final Four against an opponent to be determined with an automatic berth in the 2017 NCAA Championship on the table for the conference winner. The visiting Ephs wrap up their season with a mark of 10-13-2.
Seniors Steph Izzi (Salley, S.C.) and Julie Beattie (Livonia, Mich.) both contributed with a goal and an assist in the triumph. Junior Kate Kohl (Chelmsford, Mass.) dished out two assists. Katherine Chester (Mendham, N.J.) made 28 saves between the pipes in the final home game of her decorated career. Connecticut College scored four power play goals in a 12:54 span of the second period to take control of the contest.
Senior forward Chelsea Stevenson (Tilbury, Ont.) potted her eighth goal of the season in the loss. Junior Alex Lovaas (Wayzata, Minn.) chipped in with her third score of the year for the visitors. Marissa Anderson (East Falmouth, Mass.) made 31 saves in goal for the Ephs.
The Camels opened the scoring when Estes broke free and skated through the right side of the Ephs zone, pushing the puck over the top of the shoulder of Anderson with 11:15 in the opening period to provide the hosts with a 1-0 advantage after one.
Stevenson evened things up at one with her power play goal at 3:19 of the second. But with 13:06 remaining, Estes buried a wrist shot to put the Camels on top for good with Izzi and Kohl earning the assists. Just 1:27 later, Beattie buried a slop shot from middle of the blue line to vault the hosts out to a 3-1 advantage with Izzi assisting as the facilitator.
Williams closed to within 4-2 with 3:04 remaining in the middle period. Lovaas was able to collect the loose puck on a rebound in an odd women rush and stuff one in. Abby Brustad (Mound, Minn.) and Eliza Quigley (Marblehead, Mass.) earned assists on power play marker for the visitors.
However, with 12 seconds left, Estes completed her trifecta with yet another power play marker for the Camels. Cassie Hunter (Gilford, N.H.) delivered a perfect tape-to-tape pass through the crease and Estes one-timed it past Anderson to make it a 5-2 game. Paige Michel (Essex, Conn.) earned the second assist on the score.
The Camels enjoyed a 36-to-30 edge on the shot chart while finishing 4-for-7 with the extra woman advantage. Estes set Camels post-season record for goals in a game while the team set a post-season mark with its four power play markers.