Branka Nets First Career Goal in No. 8 Women’s Ice Hockey’s 3-0 Blanking of Wesleyan

Branka Nets First Career Goal in No. 8 Women’s Ice Hockey’s 3-0 Blanking of Wesleyan

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Ellie Branka (Medfield, Mass.) scored her first career goal and junior assistant captain Elena Gualtieri (Rome, N.Y.) factored into a pair of markers to lead the No. 8 Connecticut College women's ice hockey team to a 3-0 triumph over Wesleyan at Dayton Arena on Friday evening.

After a scoreless first period, Connecticut College (9-3-1, NESCAC 6-1-0) broke through at the 13:26 mark of the second when Gualtieri lifted a shot that was initially saved by goalie Alllegra Grant and potted her own rebound. Senior captain Lily Connolly (Duxbury, Mass.), who sent a pass to Gualtieri from behind the net, was credited with an assist on the play.

The Camels, who outshot the Cardinals by a 26-2 margin over the final 40 minutes, continued to get stronger as the game wore on and got two insurance markers in a span of 5:21 during the third period. Working from behind the net again, Gualtieri first found sophomore Kyla Floresca (West Memphis, Ark.) on the left side by winning the puck through traffic. The sophomore then slid a pass to a charging Branka, who rocketed a shot to the top shelf of the net from inside the slot for her first career goal.

Sophomore Kylie Wilkes (Howell, N.J.) closed the scoring by tacking on an unassisted tally with 8:30 remaining in regulation, as the Camels would only allow the Cardinals to attempt one low-percentage shot on target which came from the blue line during the entire third period to easily pick up another win.

Mertz earned her fifth shutout of the season by only needing to make nine saves, which included just one apiece in the second and third periods for Connecticut College. Grant of Wesleyan (4-6-3, NESCAC 0-2-3) turned away 33 shots and was charged with the loss.

Connecticut College and Wesleyan will face off one more time tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m.