Women's hockey shuts out Conn. College, wins team record 15th

Gab Venne '22 (Josh McKee photo)
Gab Venne '22 (Josh McKee photo)

The Hamilton College Continentals set a program record for wins in a season with their 2-0 NESCAC victory over the Connecticut College Camels at Conn. College's Dayton Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton (15-7-2, 9-5-2 NESCAC) eclipsed the previous mark of 14 wins set in 2016-2017. The Continentals' weekend sweep of the Camels (Hamilton edged Conn. College 2-1 on Friday night) helped them tie for second place in the conference standings and earn the No. 3 seed for the 2019 NESCAC Women's Hockey Championship. The Continentals will host No. 6 seed Colby College in the quarterfinals at Russell Sage Rink on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Hamilton goaltender Gab Venne '22 made 24 saves for her third shutout in 10 starts this season. Venne is second in the NESCAC with a .951 save percentage and third with a 1.19 goals against average.

The Continentals claimed a 1-0 lead at 4:03 in the first period. Hamilton forced a faceoff to the left side of the net after Mya Berretta '22 failed to convert a 1-on-1 rush and Camels goaltender Bailey Mertz (25 saves) covered the puck. The Continentals' Jenna Jewell '19 won the faceoff back to Kate Piacenza '21, who fired a shot from the point that was blocked, but Andrea Rockey '19 was able to collect the rebound. Rockey's second attempt to poke the puck in found its way to the back of the net on the glove side of Mertz for her sixth goal this season and second in as many days. Piacenza has seven assists and is second on the team with 16 points, and Jewell picked up her sixth assist. Hamilton finished the period with a 17-12 shot advantage.

Hamilton hung on to its one-goal lead for the next 53 minutes until Berretta's empty-net tally with 2:58 left. Nancy Loh '22 stripped the puck from a Conn. College player at the blue line and rushed the zone on the left side with Berretta on the right for a 2-on-1 break. Berretta scored her eighth goal this season from the blue line after Loh fed her a cross-ice pass. Loh leads the Continentals with 13 assists and 23 points.

The Camels (10-10-3, 6-7-3) pulled Mertz for an extra skater with 2:40 remaining and received a 6-on-4 advantage with 1:58 to go when a Hamilton player was sent to the box for holding. Conn. College took seven shots in the final two minutes but only one was on target and Venne turned it away. 

-- Recap by Amanda Ghiloni '22