Women's hockey blanks Bowdoin for NESCAC win

Kate Piacenza '21 (Josh McKee photo)
Kate Piacenza '21 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Kate Piacenza '21 scored two goals and Gab Venne '22 made 33 saves as the Continentals posted a 2-0 NESCAC win against the Bowdoin College Polar Bears at Hamilton's Russell Sage Rink on Friday night.

The shutout is the fourth for the Continentals this season. The two teams will play again at Sage Rink on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. as Hamilton's fundraiser for the Mario Lemieux Foundation's Austin's Playrooms.

Piacenza recorded the first multi-goal game of her collegiate career and is second on the team with eight goals and 13 points. Venne (1.18 GAA, .945 save pct.) has two shutouts in five starts for the Continentals and she picked up her first conference win. The 33 saves is a season high for Venne.

Each team had a power-play chance during a scoreless first period before Hamilton (11-6-2, 5-4-2 NESCAC) jumped on top 1:49 into the second period after extended pressure in Bowdoin's defensive zone. The puck was tied up behind the Polar Bears' net until Missy Segall '21 emerged with it, skated around the right side of the goal, and into the right faceoff circle. Segall found Piacenza cutting towards the slot and she backhanded a shot from near the bottom of the right faceoff circle that beat Kerri St. Denis (29 saves) on the short side.

Kelli Mackey '20 nearly doubled the Continentals' lead with about eight minutes left in the second when her shot grazed the left post. Piacenza made it 2-0 abut 100 seconds later when she stole the puck above the left faceoff circle near the blue line in Hamilton's defensive zone and skated in alone on St. Denis. Piacenza switched from her forehand to her backhand and shot from just outside the crease. The puck bounced off the inside of the right post and was inadvertantly kicked into the goal by a sprawling St. Denis with her right skate with 6:15 remaining.

The Continentals' best chance to extend their lead in the third was a 5-on-3 power play for a minute midway through the period. Bowdoin (3-15-1, 2-9-0) pulled St. Denis for an extra skater with 1:42 left and it led to a flurry of shots. The Polar Bears took six shots at the net but only one was on goal, and Venne stopped it with about 30 seconds to go.