MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University women's ice hockey team showed a great deal of resiliency on Friday evening in its NESCAC opener, as the Cardinals battled back from a pair of deficits and killed off over a minute of 4-on-3 action in overtime during a 2-2 draw against Little Three-rival Williams at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink in Middletown, Conn.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Sophomore defensewoman Caroline Seibold knotted the game at 2-2 for the Cardinals (2-3-1, 0-0-1 NESCAC) with 11:47 left in the second period on a power-play goal from just inside the blue line off a creative feed by junior forward Gina Mangiafridda, while senior forward Cici Frattasio also picked up an assist on the tally. Mangiafridda is off to a a great start this year, recording two goals and two assists in six games.
- Down the stretch of the game, Cardinals sophomore goalie Allegra Grant (1-2-1) came up with some exceptional and timely stops, including going post to post en route to denying junior forward Abby Brustad during a one-on-one situation with 8:53 left in the third. A few minutes earlier, with 11:20 left in the period, Grant made a quick reaction save on freshman forward Meghan Halloran, who flew down the right wing and fired a bullet.
- Brustad tried to put the game winner on the board for the Ephs (2-2-1, 0-2-1 NESCAC) with 4:26 remaining, as she attacked the front of the goal from the left side, but Grant made an incredible read on the shot and turned it aside. Grant turned down all three of Williams' shots in the five-minute extra session, as the team relied on a strong forecheck during the final minute and seven seconds, killing of the Ephs' 4-on-3 power play.
- The Ephs struck first at the 14:13 mark of the first on freshman forward Avery Dunn's second tally of the year, assisted by freshman forwards Michaela O'Connor and Gabby Montembeault.
- The lead did not stay intact long for the visitors, as junior defensewoman Kendall Carr tallied her first goal of the season on the power play 37 seconds later on assists by junior defensewoman Jackie Kilar and sophomore forward Alexis Banquer. Kilar and Banquer each have three assists on the season, which is tied for the most on the team, and Banquer also leads the unit with five points.
- Mangiafridda showcased her all-around game by making a tremendous diving steal, eliminating a breakaway opportunity for Halloran with four minutes left in the first.
- Williams went ahead 2-1 at the 2:29 mark of the second, as junior forward Olivia Stokes scored from point-blank range off an outstanding feed across the front of the goal by Dunn, who picked up her fourth assist of the season. Grant came up with a timely stop to keep the Cardinals within one at the 4:08 mark of the second on a one-on-one duel with Halloran.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Wesleyan was outstanding on special teams, going 2-for-2 on the advantage and killing off all four of Williams' power-play opportunities.
- The Cardinals, who are 35-44-7 all time against the Ephs, stayed undefeated at home this season, as they improved to 2-0-1 at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink, and the hosts also ended Williams' four-game winning streak in the series.
- Senior captain Alex Horton went a perfect 5-for-5 in the faceoff dot, and Banquer posted a 5-for-7 showing, as the Cardinals went 28-for-51 in the circle.
- Grant tallied a game-high 32 saves, as she has compiled 30 or more stops three times this season. Ephs senior goalie Christina Cleroux (2-1-1) turned away 24 shots.
- Williams held a 34-26 shot advantage for the entire game, and each team compiled 11 shots in the third during a back-and-forth period of continuous action.
- The Cardinals and Ephs will square off again on Sunday with puck drop set for 3 p.m. at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink.