The Hamilton College women’s hockey team improved to 4-1 in the new year, knocking off visiting SUNY Potsdam 5-3 in a non-league game Tuesday afternoon at Russell Sage Rink.

Box score

The Continentals, 7-3-1 on the season, scored twice in the third period to break a 3-3 tie. Hamilton had jumped out to a 3-0 lead just 11 minutes in before the Bears clawed back to even the score.

Sara Taffe ’17 gave the hosts the lead for good with a power-play goal a minute and a half into the final period and Hannah Bartlett ’16 provided an insurance score with a last-minute empty net goal as Hamilton improved to 6-1-1 since Dec. 1.

Bartlett also scored in the first period as she recorded her fourth multi-goal game in the last eight outings; she now ranks 10th nationally in goals per game.

Taffe’s first career game-winning goal came just 15 seconds into a Continental power play. After a win on the ensuing faceoff, Olivia Hawes ’19 fed Taffe in the high slot and Taffe responded with her third goal this winter.

Jaime Meroz ’19 made 11 of her 21 saves during the third period, helping preserve the one-goal lead until Bartlett closed out the scoring with a persistent empty-netter. After a shot at the vacated goal from center ice went wide, Bartlett chased down the puck and brought it to the near post where she needed to push it past two Bears and into the net.

Bartlett now has 10 goals this season and 23 in her Continental career.

Hamilton needed just six minutes to record three first-period goals. Ianthe Lekometros '16 opened the scoring just under six minutes in, sending her first goal of the season past Potsdam goaltender Abby Tardelli.

The Continentals scored twice in 33 seconds midway through the period. Bartlett stole a clearing attempt in the Potsdam zone after the puck took a bounce off the skate of her teammate, Naomi Woolfenden ’16. After the Continentals won the ensuing faceoff, Caroline Knop ’18 sent a shot at the left post that snuck just inside the pipe.

Potsdam’s power play pulled the visitors to within a goal by the first intermission. Sally Mooney put Potsdam on the board with 3:39 left in the period and when the Continentals were whistled for another penalty less than a minute later the Bears capitalized a second time.

Meroz crossed from one post to the other to make a spectacular stick save of a shot Anna-Rose Bertin took from the left boards. Jordan Ott sent the rebound behind the net to Katie Marsman in the opposite faceoff circle; Marsman set up Alison Greene, who pulled the Bears to within a goal.

Potsdam picked up the equalizer with just two minutes left in the second period.

Tardelli, the only goaltender to appear in a game all year for Potsdam (5-8-2), made 26 saves.

Meroz’ total came in a 48-plus minute stretch. Starter Sam Walther ’18 stopped both shots before leaving after the Continentals scored to go up 3-0.

Hamilton returns to NESCAC action this weekend, hosting a two-game series with Trinity beginning with a 7 p.m. game Friday. The Continentals’ overall .682 winning percentage is the second-highest among NESCAC teams.

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