Women's hockey edged by undefeated Utica

Taegan Blackwell '19 (Josh McKee photo)
Taegan Blackwell '19 (Josh McKee photo)

Utica College's Olivia Hirschy scored the first and final goals of the contest as the Pioneers posted a 3-2 non-conference victory over the Hamilton College Continentals in women's hockey action at Hamilton's Russell Sage Rink on Sunday afternoon.

The Continentals (2-2 overall) held a 37-23 shot advantage and took 16 shots in the third period alone. Hamilton scored on one of its two power-play opportunities. 

After a scoreless first period, Utica (9-0) was the first to strike 1:20 into the second. Caley Susitti won the battle along the boards in the neutral zone and passed forward to Rebecca Brown. Sidney Molnar '22 (20 saves) denied the initial shot by Brown but Hirschy tucked in the rebound.

Hamilton ignited with two unanswered goals to take the 2-1 lead midway through the second period.

Lexi Takashima '22 opened scoring for the Continentals with her first collegiate goal at 6:09. Nancy Loh '22 dug the puck out of the corner, passed to Alayna Trice '20 at the top of the circle, and Trice served the puck to Takashima as she moved into the high slot for a snap shot into the upper-ninety.

Kelli Mackey '20 followed at 10:05 with her second of the season. Hamilton was on the power play when Utica's Noelle Capriglione was sent to the penalty box for tripping at 8:15. Jess Haviland '21 took a shot on goal and the rebound bounced out to the point. Taegan Blackwell '19 passed across the ice to Mackey for a wrist shot that clanged off the far post, hit Bria Reilly (35 saves) in the back of the leg and crossed the goal line. Blackwell has recorded an assist in every game this season and leads the team with four helpers.

The Pioneers responded with two straight goals and took the lead for good. Nicole Johnson tied the score at 2-2 with 7:31 remaining in the second period and Hirschy netted the game-winner at 8:14 in the third.

Hamilton pulled Molnar with 1:34 left in the third to gain the extra skater. The Continentals controlled the puck for the remainder of the period as they fired four shots on goal, but Utica managed to hold on.

Hamilton returns to conference action with a two-game NESCAC series against Colby College on Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. in Waterville, Maine.