NEW LONDON, Conn. – Junior assistant captain Elena Gualtieri (Rome, N.Y.) scored a power play goal in the second period to lift the No. 9 Connecticut College women's ice hockey team to a 1-0 victory over William Smith on Saturday afternoon at Dayton Arena. The Camels dealt the Herons their first loss of the season in 10 tries to begin a seven-game homestand on a high note.
After a scoreless first period which saw Connecticut College control play and hold a commanding 24-6 advantage in total shots attempted, the Camels broke through with the only goal they would need near the midway point of the second frame. Junior defender Olivia Good (Woodbury, Conn.) started the play by unleashing a shot that was saved by Heron netminder Maggie Salmon. Her teammates crashed the net, and Gualtieri won the puck through a scrum of players and sent it home. Senior captain Lily Connolly (Duxbury, Mass.), who also attempted a shot through traffic which was turned away by Salmon, and Good were both credited with assists.
William Smith (7-1-2) attempted to rally and had a major opportunity to even the score when a Camel was called off for checking in the left corner with 3:26 remaining. The hosts, however, held their ground with sophomore Lauren Helm (Frisco, Texas) and Connolly each blocking Heron shots while the team was playing shorthanded. The visitors were also unsuccessful when they pulled Salmon out of the net while the power play was ending, as sophomore Erin Healy (Melrose, Mass.) blocked a shot attempt by Laura Rollins and junior goalie Bailey Mertz (Glenville, N.Y.) made one more save to allow the Camels to escape with the victory.
Mertz earned her second shutout of the season by turning away 11 shots for Connecticut College, which was the first team to blank William Smith since Utica registered a 4-0 win over the Herons on Nov. 13, 2016. Salmon matched a season high by recording 36 saves in the losing effort for the visitors.
Connecticut College (5-2-1) and William Smith will conclude a weekend series in New London tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m.