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Hamilton Escapes With 2-1 Win Over Women’s Ice Hockey

Melissa Alexander

CLINTON, N.Y. – Hamilton scored a power play goal late in the second period and held off a furious rally attempt in the final frame to escape with a 2-1 victory over the Connecticut College women's ice hockey team at Dayton Arena on Friday evening.

The Camels, who hit the pipe three times in the game, sliced the lead in half on their fifth and final power play of the game. Senior Jordan Cross (Saugus, Mass.), who received a pass from classmate Paige Michel (Essex, Conn.), fired a shot from the left side that was initially saved by Continental netminder Gabrielle Venne. Freshman Melissa Alexander (Bellingham, Mass.), however, won the puck through a scrum and poked it home at the 10:36 mark to make it a one-possession game.

After killing off a power play, Connecticut College continued to generate scoring chances and sent a barrage of shots at Venne. Senior Elena Gualtieri (Rome, N.Y.), who hit the pipe earlier in the frame had a point-blank look that missed with under four minutes remaining, and another attempt by freshman Natalie Witkowski (Cheshire, Conn.) was turned away. The Camels pulled senior Bailey Mertz (Glenville, N.Y.) to gain an extra skater, but one shot was stopped by Venne and a few more went wide to allow the Continentals to escape with the win.

Hamilton (14-7-2, NESCAC 8-5-2) quickly got on the scoreboard first in tic-tac-toe fashion just 4:15 into the game. After winning a the puck along the boards, Kate Piacenza sent a pass from behind the net to Jenna Jewell in the slot, and Jewell made an extra one-touch pass to a cutting Andrea Rockey who slammed the puck past Mertz.

Just seconds after the goal, the Camels nearly tied it up when junior Kyla Floresca (West Memphis, Tenn.) lifted a shot that rang off the pipe. The Continentals dodged another bullet when sophomore Mairi Anthony (Stoneham, Mass.) hit the pipe at the midway point of the frame and would eventually take a 1-0 lead into the intermission by the skin of their teeth.

In the second period, Hamilton eventually broke through with the goal that would prove to be the difference on their second power play of the frame. Mya Berretta gathered the puck along the boards and found Emily Williams at the top of the slot, and the senior slid the puck over to Taegan Blackwell who fired it over the shoulder of Mertz for her first marker of the season.

Venne picked up the victory between the pipes by making 27 saves for Hamilton, which was outshot by a 28-23 margin in the contest. Mertz made 21 saves in the setback.

Connecticut College (10-9-3, NESCAC 6-6-3) and Hamilton will wrap up the regular season with playoff implications and seeding on the line tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. The Camels will also recognize five seniors for their contributions to the program prior to the contest.