New London, Conn. - Junior goaltender Bailey Mertz (Glenville, N.Y.) outdueled Bantam senior netminder Sydney Belinskas (Port Orange, Fla.), turning away all 26 shots she faced to lead the Connecticut College Camels to a 2-0 victory over visiting Trinity College in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's ice hockey action this afternoon at Dayton Arena. Trinity falls to 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the NESCAC with its six consecutive setback, while the No. 9-ranked Camels improve to 8-2-1 overall and 5-1 in the league. Connecticut College won last night's meeting between the state rivals, 3-1, to sweep the two-game, home series in New London. Trinity heads to Upstate New York for another two-game, NESCAC road series, as the Bantams face the Hamilton Continentals on Friday, January 12 at 7 p.m. and the next day at 3 p.m.
The offenses played even over the first 20 minutes, taking 13 shots apiece, and the Bantams nearly drew first blood when rookie forward Taylor Peracchio (Wayne, N.J.) forced Mertz to stop both a clear wrist shot from the left wing and a quick rebound attempt six minutes into the contest. Belinskas had five saves of her own over the first eight-plus minutes, but Camel sophomore forward Elizabeth Cho (Soldotna, Alaska) scored on a rebound after the Bantam backstop had denied a bid by Camel senior forward Katlyn Paiva (Rehoboth, Mass.) just under nine minutes into the game.
Trinity senior captain forward Kelcie Finn (Weymouth, Mass.) blasted a shot from straight-on early in the second frame that was saved by Mertz, and Trinity sophomore forward Olivia White (Oakville, Ontario) nearly poked in the rebound while falling to the ice but the puck was just out of her reach. With 14:21 on the clock in the middle period, Bantam sophomore forward Lauren Mac Master (St. Albert, Alberta) drew a Camel penalty on a breakaway to give the visitors a power-play chance. Connecticut College quickly took the momentum back, however, winning the ensuing faceoff and scoring short-handed on a one-on-one move against Belinskas by junior forward Elena Gualtieri (Rome, N.Y.) 12 seconds later. Belinskas made 14 of her 29 saves to keep the Camel score at two the rest of the way, but Trinity managed just 11 more shots over the same 35-minute span.