June 17, 2019
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Williams Women's College Hockey 2 at Bowdoin 1

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BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Williams women’s ice hockey team scored in the final 30 seconds to spoil a late Bowdoin rally for a 2-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.

The Polar Bears (7-2-2, 2-1-1 NESCAC) suffer their first conference loss of the season. The Ephs climb to 6-4-0 (4-2-0 NESCAC) after forcing the series split.

Late in the first, Katie Leininger challenged Christina Cleroux in a one-on-one coming down the right side. Leininger broke past a Williams defender and backhanded a shot to the short side, but Cleroux denied the bid with a pad save.

After being denied by Kerri St. Denis for over 75 consecutive minutes, Williams finally solved the Bowdoin goalie with 5:04 remaining in the first. Alex Lovaas fed Caitlin Buckley from just inside the blue line with a pass outside the left circle. Buckley worked her way through a defender and backhanded a shot on net that squirted through St. Denis’ pads for the lead.

Williams dominated the middle frame, peppering St. Denis with 16 shots while allowing just three shots from the Polar Bears.

Emily Kruegar had the most promising shot the Williams power play that opened the third. Kruegar rang a shot off St. Denis’ facemask 30 seconds into the frame. Midway through the period on the Ephs second power play of the day, St. Denis was forced to making a sprawling save to the right post as the puck danced dangerously close to the goal line.

The Polar Bears finally solved Cleroux on their first power play of the game. Bowdoin transferred the puck left to right inside the blue line, with Jill Rathke finally firing off a shot from the point. Leininger caught a piece of the puck as it flew past, deflecting the shot into the net with eight minutes remaining. The goal came just 22 seconds into the power play.

The Ephs quickly responded with a trio of shots on net. St. Denis made back-to-back stops before losing her stick in the scramble, turning away the final bid with a big kick save.

With 33 seconds remaining in the game, Williams regained the lead. Abby Brustad dug the puck out of the right corner and centered a pass to Sarah Lehman in the crease for a tip to the far post.

St. Denis made 39 saves in net for the Polar Bear, while Cleroux made 16 stops for the Ephs.

Bowdoin special teams turned in a strong showing, forcing Williams to go 0-for-2 on the power play while converting on their only extra-skater opportunity.

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