By David F. Pendrys
MIDDLETOWN, CT – The Williams Ephs had a size advantage and the ability to move the puck into the Wesleyan zone fairly easily, but the Cardinals used speed, resourcefulness, and fantastic goaltending from Allegra Grant to battle to a 2-2 tie Saturday afternoon at Spurrier-Snyder Rink.
Wesleyan was only able to put 19 shots on Williams netminder Christina Cleroux but 2 of them got past the keeper. Williams in turn sent 55 at Grant, and she made a stunning 53 saves.
In period 1 the Ephs outshot the Cardinals 17-2 but Grant stopped all of them. In the second Wesleyan was able to level off the shot totals putting 10 on net compared to 14 from Williams. The Cardinals also scored twice. The first came at 8:38 when Sarah Takahashi made a surprise break in from the right side of Cleroux and she flicked it past the keeper’s outstretched glove from point blank range. Takahashi’s first collegiate goal was assisted by Sydnee Goyer
Later in period 2 Wesleyan was on the power play and they made it count. Alexis Banquer picked up her third of the year collecting the puck during a scrum in front of the net, and whacking it in from behind the goaltender assisted by Sophia Marra and Sarah Goss.
Wesleyan was able to hold on to the 2-0 lead until 4:16 of the third when Williams turned the tables on the Cardinals during a power play. Abby Brustad and Annie Rush hurried into the Wesleyan zone. Brustad maneuvered around and fed it over to Rush in front who launched it to Grant’s right. Williams sent more shots in on the Wesleyan net with little success until late in the period. With only about 3 minutes left, Meghan Halloran escaped on a break and defeated Grant in the confrontation assisted by Brustad. Williams again outshot Wesleyan by a wide margin 17-3.
The teams would end up in overtime, where unusually a penalty would get called on each team resulting in nearly the entire 5 minutes involved one team or another’s power play. Nonetheless neither team was able to score and the tie was preserved.
In addition to being outshot heavily, Wesleyan also had to kill off 14 minutes of penalties including a long sequence of Williams having a 5 on 3 advantage. Grant’s play kept the team in the game, though the defense also had success in limiting the damage Williams could do. While Williams broke in on net a lot, and got into the zone with ease, Wesleyan was fast and it did seem to mitigate some of the threats.
The Cardinals also blocked a lot of shots, sometimes at severe cost as two Wesleyan players had left with injury after a block.
Grant had to see a lot of shots through screens as well as deal with perhaps more attacks right in her face than a goaltender might usually face but she handled it. Both Williams goals came when one might expect them to, when the defense was not disrupting the attack. While Wesleyan did not get too many shots, they generated quality opportunistic chances.
Wesleyan is now 2-3-2 and 0-0-2 in NESCAC play. Williams is 2-2-2 and 0-2-2 in the NESCAC.
[More to be posted when time allows.]
(This is a not exhaustive very imperfect list of noticed plays that might not make the score sheet. It is very possible a player has far more of any sort of play than are noticed in the heat of action. It is what it is. Read these more as a player had “at least” what is noted here. Note the language is a bit stilted, I’m trying to figure out how to make the information flow better.)
Disrupted a Williams setup, and multiple times got to the puck in the D zone and sent it out. She also extricated the puck from the Wesleyan goal mouth. Had a zone entry and a scoring chance, also stole the puck from an Ephs player during the power play.
Had a variety of zone entries including several that set up team scoring opportunity. Also on defense moved the puck out of Wesleyan end.
Disrupted Williams maneuvering many times including by getting in the way of one of their centering passes. Had several puck acquisitions in the home end and also a clear on the penalty kill. During the power play kept the puck within the Ephs zone. Additionally had at least one block.
Had at least two clears on the penalty kill, and a setup several offensive efforts on the power play. Also disrupted Williams on one of their moves up ice, and also knocked the puck away from the Wesleyan goal mouth.
Had several zone entries herself or fed it to teammates who did. Also robbed a Williams player in their own end to touch off a scoring try.
Was very active on the power play either taking shots herself or keeping the puck from crossing the blue line, or even swiping it from a Williams player and bringing it back into the visitors area. She teamed up with Droste to flummox a William effort and disrupted one of their zone entries on her own. Had numerous acquisitions of the biscuit all over the ice surface.
Had a few zone entries, also defensive zone exits.
Had several zone entries including from puck collection in Wesleyan territory, the neutral zone and elsewhere. Also had a break on the net in addition to her goal. On the penalty kill, intercepted a Williams pass and fought the disc out. At several other instances brought the puck away from the Wesleyan end.
Had at least one zone entry and also robbed a Williams player back in the Cardinals zone.
Several times got to the puck in the defensive side and started it out of the zone or moved it out herself. This included eventually it ending up with Damren for an attack. She also had a scoring chance, and on the power play a zone entry.
In addition to moving the puck out of the goal mouth, also had a clear on the penalty kill, a zone entry and other defensive efforts.
Had multiple defensive plays including a block on the penalty kill and a clear. She also started it out of the defensive zone and eventually Takahashi had a break for a scoring try.
Had multiple instances of getting the puck out of Wesleyan territory.
Had several scoring chances on the power play, also had a block, and also disrupted a Williams scoring opportunity. Also had a some chances at even strength. On the penalty kill teamed up with Marra to stop an Ephs zone entry.
Had several instances of D-zone exits.
Had several zone entries including feeding it over to Banquer for a shot attempt. Also swiped the puck from the Ephs.
Had numerous zone entries and got a stick on the puck a lot to keep it from escaping the Wesleyan one. Also on the penalty kill stole the puck in the neutral zone and wasted time in the Wesleyan end, eventually the team scored. Additionally had a clear on the penalty kill. On the power play skated in with skill to set up a shot in front.
Had a scoring chance.
Had multiple scoring chances, including after she obtained the puck many times in the offensive zone. She also initiated many zone entries at even strength, during the power play, and even during the penalty kill. She intercepted a Wesleyan pass in the Ephs zone and brought it out and in for a short handed try as well.
Had a variety of zone entries for scoring chances at even strength Also snatched the puck from a Cardinals player in their zone. Defensively came up with the biscuit several times.
Fought it into the Wesleyan zone at one point, had a scoring chance on the power play, also grabbed the puck in the offensive zone, and had at least one puck acquisition in the defensive end.
Had many scoring chances and zone entries including a break right in on net. Also on the penalty kill had a block and at other defensive plays. On the power play had a
Took the puck on a voyage into the Wesleyan one many times, including after bringing it out of the D-zone. Also commenced a short handed try on the penalty kill.
Had a scoring chance on the power play, corralled the puck several times within the opposing zone so it didn’t leave, and also had a clear on the penalty kill and other defensive efforts at even strength.
Had several scoring chances. Also intercepted a centering pass and sent it up to a teammate who carried it into the Cardinals area.
Had at least nine scoring chances, many of which came on power plays. Also had a clear on the penalty kill.
Was a major part of the offense with a variety of zone entries and scoring chances. This included after intercepting an opponent’s pass in the neutral zone and also collecting the puck before it could leave the zone and shooting it instead.
Kept the puck with Wesleyan country a few times and broke in on net herself one of those. Also had a shot on the power play, and other zone entries for attacks. Cleared the puck on a penalty kill.
Had numerous zone entries for scoring chances herself or for teammates or picked up the puck within the Wesleyan section already.
Had a few shots including on the power play and also came up with the disc many times in enemy territory including after intercepting one of their passes.
In addition to several defensive steals and moving the puck away from the goal area during a penalty kill, she had steal in the Cardinals zone for a scoring chance.
Had several zone entries for tries on net.
Had several zone entries including a break and numerous scoring chances.